Many NASCAR fans and viewers were left surprised as Hendrick Motors reached a benchmark that no one expected – the one-year anniversary of its last win. The last win was scored by Kasey Kahne who won while racing in Indianapolis. Though, it still doesn’t outshine the streak of nearly 36 races which has all ended in losses.
However, there are others who know what it’s like to be on a winless streak. Jimmie Johnson, a seven-time Cup winner, who stated that he knows how much it hurts to be in a situation like Hendrick. He referenced his longest winless streak of 43 races – the longest in Johnson’s career. However, Johnson’s last win wasn’t too far back as he won the Dover in June of last year.
Despite this, Johnson is keeping on a confident face as he stated that while it may take a long time to get to this kind of position – it takes a long time to get out. All that he can do is continue looking at the highs and using that as motivation to get out of the ditch. Additionally, during his interview, he referenced the excitement that the racers get while on the track, but at times it’s nearly impossible to not have moments where you feel all of the confidence in the world at one second, and then no confidence in your racing abilities the next. As Johnson put it bluntly – he’s human, and it happens to the best of us.
Other drivers under Hendrick didn’t seem to be fazed by the anniversary. Mainly because they are all seeking their first Cup wins and going at the race with a confidence that cannot be beaten. One racer, Chase Elliott, reminded everyone that the racers know that they must do better and push themselves harder – it’s obvious. Though, he seemed nonchalant regarding winning this race, as Elliott stated, this doesn’t mean they have to push themselves to the extreme to win now.
Another racer under Hendrick agreed with Elliott’s statement. Bowman thinks that even if the winless streak lasted for only two months, it would still feel as long as the one they are in now. He stated that all of the racers know how much they have been struggling and that have to keep pushing themselves to get better and get out of his winless streak – but he honestly doesn’t believe having a number on the length is going to impact it or change that.
At Pocono Raceway, 13 of the Hendrick racers didn’t pass the post-qualifying inspectors and were disqualified from racing. Jimmie Johnson who placed 15th and Kasey Kahne who place 24th place. The other drivers are still set to race. Many experts are assuming that out of the 40 racers, only a handful of them will be considered winners or coming close to it. But many Hendrick fans are hoping that this race will be the one that ends the winless streak that has been cursing Hendrick this year.