Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Everyone's Chasing Hendrick; the Team Is Seeking Its Fifth Consecutive Nextel Cup Victory

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Everyone's Chasing Hendrick; the Team Is Seeking Its Fifth Consecutive Nextel Cup Victory

Article excerpt

Byline: DON COBLE

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Hendrick Motorsports has everything working in its favor at Texas Motor Speedway, including the weather.

Thunderstorms forced NASCAR to use the Nextel Cup Series standings to set the starting lineup, and that means Hendrick cars will start first, third and fifth in the Samsung 500. The race team will go for its fifth consecutive win, a modern-era record in NASCAR.

Hendrick teams, particularly Jimmie Johnson, have mastered the new Car of Tomorrow racers used at the last two short tracks, as well as the more traditional cars. Today's race will feature older stock cars, the ones that have a traditional front bumper and a rear spoiler.

With Johnson winning twice this year in the older car and once with the scoop-like front bumper and the rear wing of the Car of Tomorrow, it doesn't seem to matter which car the company brings to the track.

"I'm not sure that we're sitting back saying we've got to win five to keep the streak alive," Johnson said. "We're all coming here with our agendas to run well and do well in the points. If we can get a victory and more points toward the Chase [for the Nextel Cup], we'll work toward that. But it's just really business as usual, and if we're in a position to do that, we'll celebrate in Victory Lane."

Points leader Jeff Gordon, Johnson's teammate, will start on the pole. Jeff Burton is second, followed by Johnson in third, Matt Kenseth in fourth and Hendrick driver Kyle Busch in fifth.

The last time a race team won five in a row was in 1971, a year before NASCAR moved to its modern era with a more-selective schedule. All five of those wins were with Richard Petty at the wheel.

The NASCAR record for consecutive wins by a race team is 16. Carl Kiekhafter-owned cars driven by Buck Baker, Tim Flock, Speedy Thompson and Herb Thomas combined to set the record in 1956.

"Well, streaks come together, and we can't explain why it goes on or what causes it," Johnson said. "But we certainly don't want to change anything, in case it's something that we don't notice. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.