Hendrick wants Chase Elliott, William Byron to retire on team

Rick Hendrick — whose NASCAR crew, Hendrick Motorsports, turned the winningest organization in Cup Sequence historical past this season — is waiting for the long run. And protecting his present 4 drivers with the crew is an “ongoing” focus “to maintain the band collectively.”

And to date, it appears to be like like issues are figuring out the best way the 72-year-old crew proprietor desires with defending Cup Sequence champion Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman, Kyle Larson and William Byron.

In June, Hendrick Motorsports introduced Bowman signed a two-year contract extension, protecting him behind the wheel of the No. 48 Chevrolet by means of the 2023 season. Bowman is in his fourth full-time season with Hendrick.

Then Wednesday, it introduced Larson signed a one-year extension, additionally by means of the 2023 season, to remain within the No. 5 Chevrolet. Larson is presently in his first season with the crew after Chip Ganassi Racing fired him early within the 2020 season after he said the N-word throughout a live-streamed iRacing occasion.

And now, the main target is on the remaining two Hendrick drivers: Elliott and Byron.

“Completely, my plan is for Chase and William to retire with us, in order that’s an ongoing state of affairs with me,” Hendrick mentioned, via NASCAR.com. “I like the lineup proper now, and I need to preserve the band collectively.”

Elliott and Byron have offers by means of the tip of the 2022 NASCAR season, and it is smart that Hendrick would need to preserve them round, particularly contemplating Hendrick Motorsports has been the crew to beat for a lot of the 2021 Cup Sequence season to date.

By means of the primary 21 races, the 4 drivers mix for 10 wins: Larson has 4, Bowman has three, Elliott has two and Bryon has one. All 4 drivers are presently within the prime 11 within the driver standings and are projected to be ranked among the many top-7 drivers when the 16-driver, 10-race playoffs start in September.

Additionally for the long-term way forward for the crew, Jeff Gordon will officially take over next year because the group’s vice chairman, parting with FOX Sports activities after six seasons within the broadcast sales space. He’ll be the crew’s No. 2 chief behind Hendrick.

Gordon is considered one of a number of drivers to spend an enormous chuck of their careers – or, in his case, his total profession — competing for Hendrick Motorsports, racing full-time for the crew from 1993 till he retired in 2015. Different latest drivers in that class embody Dale Earnhardt Jr., who retired in 2017 after his final 10 seasons with the crew, and Jimmie Johnson, who retired (from NASCAR, not racing) on the finish of the 2020 season after spending his whole 19-year career with Hendrick.

NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick ‘absolutely’ wants Chase Elliott, William Byron to retire with team

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