Sport: Hendrick sends statement with sweep to open Daytona - PressFrom - US
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SportHendrick sends statement with sweep to open Daytona

23:10  11 february  2019
23:10  11 february  2019 Source:   ap.org

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CUP: Jeff Gordon takes the pole for the 2015 Daytona 500 with his teammate Jimmie Johnson on the outside.

Team owner Rick Hendrick did not immediately name a replacement for the No. 5 Chevrolet. A link has been sent to your friend's email address. He opened this season with a seventh-place finish in the Daytona 500 and was fourth in Atlanta, and seemed to show he might have returned to form.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) Rick Hendrick was telling the truth when he insisted this year was going to be much improved from last season, the worst in team history.

It's Hendrick, again: William Byron wins Daytona 500 pole

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Hendrick Motorsports’ other drivers Jimmie Johnson and Chase Elliott brought plenty of qualifying MORE: Daytona 500 qualifying results. Several veteran drivers missed the final round of qualifying and did The top two fastest Open teams — Tyler Reddick’s No. 31 Chevrolet and Casey Mears’ No. 27

Hendrick Motorsports comes out the gate strong with a sweep of the front row for the 2019 Daytona 500 and the top four speeds in both rounds of qualifying.

He moved personnel and split up seven-time NASCAR Cup champions Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus. He had a Navy SEAL deliver an inspirational speech to all of Hendrick Motorsports, met with all four of his teams and held luncheons and team-building events.

When he sent his teams to Daytona for the 36th time, he sent them to win.

Message delivered.

Hendrick horsepower routed the competition in qualifying for the Daytona 500 with a 1-2-3-4 sweep for Chevrolet. A few hours later, Johnson finally won a race after none last season.

Hendrick Motorsports is now 2-for-2 at Speedweeks with the front row for Sunday's season-opening Daytona 500 and Johnson's victory in the exhibition Clash. The proud Hendrick organization is using NASCAR's biggest stage to show how serious the boss is about rebounding from 2018, when Johnson was winless for the first time in his career, Alex Bowman and William Byron had forgettable first seasons, and Chase Elliott's three late victories were among the few bright spots.

Byron, Knaus provide fresh, new look to Hendrick's pole-day dominance

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Hendrick tabbed development driver Kyle Busch, the younger brother of Kurt Busch, as Note: With the exception of Daytona 2009, all Xfinity series entries and race wins are under the JR Motorsports 2/13 Busch Clash at Daytona International Speedway – Jeff Gordon. 5/21 Winston Select Open at

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – For the fourth consecutive race at Daytona International Speedway, a Hendrick Motorsports teammate will lead the field to "I've said this before but we've put a lot of effort into our speedway program at Hendrick Motorsports - the engine shop, chassis shop, the body shop.

''Last year sucked. I ain't gonna do that no more,'' Hendrick told The Associated Press just one week before his cars left North Carolina for Daytona.

If this was a sequel to ''Days of Thunder,'' with Randy Quaid again playing a version of Hendrick, the car owner might guarantee a Daytona 500 victory. Hendrick, after all, is from a romantic time in NASCAR when a car salesman from Virginia could scrape together the money to enter the Daytona 500 and turn a fledgling little Chevrolet team into one of the most valuable properties in sports. He still believes that with hard work and the right people, a team can step back and admire a glistening race car, confident that girl is a winner.

Hendrick still has his folksy Southern charm, still longs for those simpler days of racing, still wants to arrive in Daytona knowing his cars are the very best in the field.

So consider Sunday the first day in a new era at Hendrick Motorsports, where William Byron and Alex Bowman gave NASCAR its youngest front row in Daytona 500 history by qualifying first and second. Byron recently turned 21 and begins his second season with Knaus, who split with Johnson after 17 years.

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Thanks to Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports started off Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway in the best way possible. “You know, when I started racing and we came to Daytona , it was always try to go for the pole,” Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – For the second time this season, the Nos. 24 and 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolets will sit on the front row at Daytona International Speedway. “I have to give Hendrick Motorsports a lot of credit and particularly for me personally it’s been the No. 24 bunch,” Earnhardt said.

Knaus made a statement in 2002 when he and Johnson debuted at Daytona and won the pole in their first race together. He opened this chapter of his career the same way: winning the pole with Byron in their first race together at the Daytona 500.

It was the fifth consecutive year a Hendrick car has won the pole for the Daytona 500 and it was the 700th pole for Chevrolet, the only partner Hendrick has had in racing. As Hendrick last season worked through a massive personnel consolidation, Chevrolet struggled with its NASCAR introduction of the Camaro and won just four of 36 Cup races.

Rolling off the trucks as the four fastest cars for the Daytona 500 was an important message for the carmaker and its flagship team.

''Well, you know, Chevrolet has been awfully good to me,'' Hendrick said. ''That was my first dealership. It's all I've ever raced. It's all my dad ever raced. That bowtie, we're bowtie-proud. What a great day for Chevrolet, our organization, and these drivers. I'm really proud.''

And that was before Johnson bulldozed his way into victory lane.

Johnson is tired of losing and tired of social media trolls telling him he should retire. He also was under mounting pressure from his youngest daughter, who had prayed every night for Daddy to win again.

William Byron earns Daytona 500 pole, Alex Bowman on outside of front row

William Byron earns Daytona 500 pole, Alex Bowman on outside of front row It will be a Hendrick Motorsports front row for the Daytona 500. Again. In his first on-track pairing with crew chief Chad Knaus, William Byron captured the pole (194.305 mph) and teammate Alex Bowman, who won last year’s 500 pole, will sit on the outside of the front row (194.154 mph). It marks the fifth consecutive year a Hendrick car has won the Daytona 500 pole. This also Byron’s first career NASCAR Cup pole. “I thought the Chevy was real fast,” Byron told Fox Sports. “Credit to Chad and all the guys. It’s been a great off-season. We’re prepared. This is the first step of our process together.

It looked like Hendrick Motorsports was going to complete a sweep of the Can-Am Duel races Thursday night at Daytona International Speedway. Ryan Blaney’s strong effort was negated when David Ragan tapped the rear of Blaney’s car, sending him bouncing off the backstretch wall.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A sweep of the front row for the Daytona 500 is quite an accomplishment. Thursday night, Dale Earnhardt Jr. took it a step further – setting up a one-two-three start for Hendrick Motorsports on Sunday. Earnhardt won the first Duel at Daytona after starting in the back of the pack

Johnson's opportunity came as a race-ending rainstorm descended on Daytona International Speedway. It was time to go, and his aggressive pass on Paul Menard triggered a 16-car wreck in a field of 20. It was what he had to do to win an exhibition race worth little more than a trophy, and he was unremorseful as he watched video replays that showed him causing the crash.

Johnson for a year has insisted he can still win a record eighth championship, and now he must do it with first-year Cup crew chief Kevin Meendering. Just as Knaus used qualifying to prove he's motivated in his new role, Johnson used the Clash to prove he's got a lot of fight left in him.

The best car rarely wins the Daytona 500. And the racing formula for the showcase race is unlike the remainder of the NASCAR schedule, in which a completely different rules package will be used to determine the champion.

These season-opening wins at Daytona are morale victories, nothing more. But it's exactly what Hendrick needed for his team to show it will be better this year.

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