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Hendrick stays the workforce to beat within the NASCAR Cup Sequence

Before teams even got to Richmond (Va.) Raceway, Hendrick Motorsports had gotten a big lift last Wednesday when an appeals panel restored the driver, owner and playoff points that NASCAR had stripped from all four of its Cup teams. Last month, NASCAR penalized all four teams for unapproved modifications of a single-sourced supplied part (hood

Hendrick stays the workforce to beat within the NASCAR Cup Sequence

Earlier than groups even bought to Richmond (Va.) Raceway, Hendrick Motorsports had gotten a giant raise final Wednesday when an appeals panel restored the motive force, proprietor and playoff factors that NASCAR had stripped from all 4 of its Cup groups.

Final month, NASCAR penalized all 4 groups for unapproved modifications of a single-sourced equipped half (hood louvers).

The appeals panel stored the $100,000 fines and four-race suspensions for every crew chief in place however restored the factors – which had been the one large blemish to an in any other case outstanding begin to the 2023 season for HMS.

On Sunday, Hendrick then returned to what it has accomplished greatest this season, dominating the competitors on the observe.

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William Byron – who has already gained twice this yr – led essentially the most laps however bought wrecked late within the race, which opened the door for teammate Kyle Larson to earn his first win of the season.

Larson’s victory got here by holding off Josh Berry, who’s substituting for injured teammate Chase Elliott. Fellow teammate Alex Bowman completed eighth, placing three HMS groups within the prime 10. Had Byron not been spun, all 4 seemingly would have been there.

Hendrick drivers have now gained three of the final 5 races and Larson and Byron proceed to indicate they continue to be the category of the sector.

“Definitely, we’re off to a terrific begin,” stated HMS vice chairman Jeff Gordon. “Our of us at Chevy are doing an incredible job with not solely the design of this automobile beginning final yr, but additionally among the new issues which have been delivered to all of the OEMs and alternatives that they’ve had.

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“Then the job that the groups do collaborating collectively, sharing data, and attempting to organize for every race. They’ve accomplished an incredible job.

“I feel there’s a variety of parity on the market. However proper now, I similar to the best way that I’m seeing our groups execute and our groups come ready and the velocity which can be in our race vehicles.”

Not hindered by lack of common crew chiefs

The energy of the group as a complete can also be demonstrated by the very fact the lack of all 4 workforce’s crew chiefs hasn’t slowed their collective effort.

And with every passing race, Berry – an everyday within the Xfinity Sequence with JR Motorsports – appears to be getting extra comfy operating within the Cup sequence. Previous to leaping in Elliott’s No. 9 Chevrolet final month, he had made solely two earlier Cup begins.

“We’ve been put underneath actually, actually troublesome circumstances with all 4 crew chiefs being out, and simply the job that I’ve watched them do, how they’ve communicated, you already know,” Gordon stated.

“I imply, we’re fortunate we’ve individuals which have been crew chiefs which have a variety of expertise, however on the similar time with this automobile, with no follow, no qualifying (each have been rained out at Richmond) there’s a lot that needs to be accomplished to tie all the pieces in collectively.

“Nice job for Kevin (Meendering, Larson’s interim crew chief) for all of the onerous work that he has put in. He’s nonetheless doing his different job, too, in that contribution.”

Race winner Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro

Race winner Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro

Photograph by: John Harrelson / NKP / Motorsport Images

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The robust efficiency by HMS drivers additionally got here at a observe the place the group has been hit-or-miss in current seasons.

“This has traditionally been a very unhealthy observe for Hendrick,” Larson stated. “So, to have all of us run up entrance majority of the day, come away with a one-two end, lead as many laps as we did between William and I, it was the perfect day I feel Hendrick has had at Richmond in many years most likely.

“Only a nice day throughout for Hendrick Motorsports. Nice week particularly.”

And on observe for a terrific yr.

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