By any objective measure, Hendrick Motorsports spanked the competition in 2021. So will other traditional powerhouse organizations such as Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske be able to narrow the performance gap and maybe even leapfrog Hendrick this year?
With former champion Brad Keselowski no longer part of Team Penske, it’s possible the organization could take a step back. JGR’s four-driver roster has remained intact, but that’s no guarantee that Hendrick will be any less dominant. Hendrick has all four of its drivers back as well – plus four-time Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon as the organization’s new vice chairman. Hendrick drivers won 17 of 36 races last season, so maintaining that level of mastery will be difficult.
But until JGR, Team Penske or another organization offers a reason to believe otherwise, Hendrick will be considered the team to beat.