Talks of Hendrick Motorsports’ decline came a little too soon. The storied organization is beginning to hit its stride as the NASCAR season heads into the depths of summer.
Right now, Hendrick is led by Chase Elliott, who’s seventh in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points standings. The 23-year-old Dawsonville, Georgia, native claims one win this season, along with six top fives, seven top 10s and 409 laps led. He’s struggled over the last four races, failing to notch a top 10 after tallying six consecutive top fives, but heads to Kentucky where he has a high finish of third (three career starts).
Alex Bowman sits ninth in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings and has performed well at 1.5-mile tracks recently, including his win at Chicagoland less than two weeks ago. Prior to Chicagoland, he placed seventh at Charlotte and runner-up at Kansas. Bowman has never placed higher than 31st at Kentucky (three starts).
William Byron sits 12th in the points standings following his runner-up finish at Daytona. The 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion is showing he belongs at the Monster Energy Cup level with four top 10s in his last six starts. Byron placed 20th in his lone Cup start at Kentucky last season and boasts a NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series win at the 1.5-mile track.
Following talks of his decline, seven-time series champion Jimmie Johnson has posted finishes of third (Daytona) and fourth (Chicagoland) in his last two starts. He currently sits 13th in the points standings, 34 points above the Playoffs cutoff. In eight career starts at Kentucky, Johnson claims one top five and five top 10s with a high finish of third (2011). He’s finished eighth or better in his last four starts at 1.5-mile tracks: Chicagoland (fourth), Charlotte (eighth), Kansas (sixth), Texas (fifth).
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!