Although Kyle Larson continued his winning streak, Hendrick Motorsports as a whole wasn’t as dominant this past weekend at Nashville Superspeedway as it’s been over the last several weeks. So this begs the question: Have other organizations narrowed the performance gap? Larson crew chief Cliff Daniels, for his part, doesn’t want the No. 5 team to rest on its laurels. “We’re still searching every week,” he said. “We identify things on a Monday. I know Kyle’s nature; he’s going to come in and meet with us. We may do it over video conference tomorrow or Tuesday. He’s going to identify things that he can do better, I’m going to identify things I can do better. That’s the mentality of our whole team. We search a lot every week.”
At Nashville, just two Hendrick drivers finished in the top 10. That’s a step down from the top-to-bottom kind of dominance the organization has shown since mid-May when Hendrick began its current five-race winning streak. This weekend’s doubleheader at Pocono provides another opportunity for other teams to show how much they’re determined not to let the Hendrick bunch ride off into the sunset.
“Look, all teams are working really hard right now to make sure they can bring their best stuff to the racetrack,” Daniels said. “Our team is certainly doing that. We just have a really heightened sense of awareness. We know any point we get comfortable, that’s when the competition is really going to catch up. They’re going to do more than just catch up.”