It has been a good NASCAR season for Hendrick Motorsports, with Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. first and second in the Sprint Cup standings and a third – Jimmie Johnson – lurking in seventh. Kasey Kahne, who is 12thin the standings, might need a victory to get into the Chase, which is just three races away.
After Gordon’s victory Sunday at Michigan, team owner Rick Hendrick answered five questions about what has been working and what hasn’t for his outfit:
Some of the new stuff that Alan brought a few weeks ago to Indy, Jeff has been running so well. We haven’t run that well as an organization. We haven’t finished that well at Watkins Glen (N.Y.). To go up there and sit on the pole, lead the race, again, it’s a combination of a lot of things. The engine guys are working really hard.
But I think the chemistry between Alan and Jeff, it’s almost like Alan anticipates what Jeff needs, the way he calls the race, the way they work together. I mean, they’re in the best stride they’ve had since they’ve been together. Just listening to them, Alan is so calm. He knows what Jeff wants. He knows what he likes in the car. No matter what the rest of the teams are doing, he’s making those adjustments that he knows will work for Jeff.
The chemistry is the best I’ve ever seen.
The thing I’m so proud of with the whole group, I feel we’ve run one-two-three in the points. Before the race I would get them together and say, ‘Listen, I want you to know what I’m going to do. I’m going to go to the loser first.’ I don’t want the guys that got beat to think I’m in Victory Lane celebrating.
I care about them all. We give them each the best equipment. There’s reasons I’d like each of them to win it. Let the best man that does the best job end up with the trophy.
I think that’s just calling a great race and Jimmie not giving up. Hopefully we have all the bad luck behind us now. They’ll be able to go to the next race feeling great.
But we got some good races for them coming up. If we got to have some things like that happen, I’d rather see them happen now than in the Chase.
I think they’re making the best of the situation that they’re in. Tony’s got a lot of good folks around him. I’ve told him I’m there if they need me. But I haven’t talked to him.