How the Hendrick Motorsports drivers stack up heading into the 2022 playoffs

August 28, 2022

CONCORD, N.C. – The 2022 NASCAR Cup Collection Playoffs are right here. All 4 Hendrick Motorsports are a part of the 16-driver area. 

Recent off an everyday season that noticed Elliott win the common season championship and the staff tally a series-best 9 wins, Hendrick Motorsports is wanting so as to add to its trophy case this postseason with its fifteenth championship. 

RELATED: Elliott receives 2022 NASCAR Cup Collection Common Season Championship

For the fifth time in staff historical past, the corporate has had three drivers (Elliott, Kyle Larson and William Byron) with a number of wins in the identical season – probably the most for anybody group out of the 12 instances it has occurred in Cup Collection historical past. The opposite occurrences for Hendrick Motorsports had been in 2005 (with Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson), 2012 (with Gordon, Johnson and Kasey Kahne), 2014 (with Gordon, Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.) and 2021 (with Elliott, Larson and Alex Bowman). Hendrick Motorsports is the one staff to perform that feat thus far this season.

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Who’s within the playoffs?
All 4 Hendrick Motorsports drivers – Elliott, Larson, William Byron and Alex Bowman will compete towards 12 others for the 2022 Cup Collection title. The opposite postseason drivers are: Christopher Bell, Ryan Blaney, Chase Briscoe, Kyle Busch, Ross Chastain, Austin Cindric, Austin Dillon, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Tyler Reddick and Daniel Suarez.

How do the standings look coming into the Spherical of 16?
1-Elliott: 2,040 factors
2-Logano: 2,025 factors 
3-Chastain: 2,020 factors
4-Larson: 2,019 factors
5-Byron: 2,014 factors
6-Hamlin: 2,013 factors
7-Blaney: 2,013 factors
8-Reddick: 2,012 factors
9-Harvick: 2,012 factors
10-Bell, 2,011 factors
11-Busch: 2,010 factors
12-Briscoe: 2,009 factors
13-Suarez: 2,007 factors
14-CIndric: 2,006 factors
15-Bowman: 2,006 factors
16-Dillon: 2,005 factors

How are the playoffs structured?
There are three rounds forward of the Championship Race. A win by a playoff eligible mechanically strikes you thru to the following spherical. Drivers will carry playoff factors with them into each spherical by the Championship 4 and this shall be added to their complete after the sector resets for every spherical. 

The Spherical of 16 consists of Darlington Raceway, Kansas Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway. After Bristol, the 4 lowest playoff drivers on factors (who haven’t gained in that spherical) are eradicated. 

The Spherical of 12 is made up of Texas Motor Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL. After Charlotte, the 4 lowest playoff drivers on factors (who haven’t gained in that spherical) are eradicated. 

The Spherical of 8 will happen at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway and Martinsville Speedway. After Martinsville, the 4 lowest playoff drivers on factors (who haven’t gained in that spherical) are eradicated. 

For the third straight 12 months, the championship shall be contested at Phoenix Raceway. When the checkered flag flies within the desert, the highest ending Championship 4 driver will take house the title. No stage factors or playoff factors are awarded within the “winner-take-all” finale. Within the elimination period (since 2014), the Cup Collection title winner has gained the ultimate race to be topped the champion.

What number of Cup Collection championships does Hendrick Motorsports have?
Hendrick Motorsports has 14 Cup Collection titles amongst 5 drivers. Jimmie Johnson gained a record-tying seven titles (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2016), Jeff Gordon gained 4 (1995, 1997, 1998 and 2001), whereas Terry Labonte (1996), Elliott (2020) and Larson (2021) every have one.

Let’s see how this 12 months’s four-driver lineup stacks up heading into the playoffs.

Chase Elliott, No. 9

POINTS POSITION: First with 2,040 factors

POSITION TO CUT LINE: +33 heading to Darlington

SEASON STATS: 4 wins, 10 prime fives, 17 prime 10s and 719 laps led

PLAYOFF ELIMINATION HISTORY: Gained championship in 2020; Reached Championship 4 in 2021; Eradicated in Spherical of 8 in 2017, 2018 and 2019; Eradicated in Spherical of 12 in 2016. 

BEST TRACKS: Charlotte ROVAL with two wins, three prime 10s and a mean end of 5.0 in 4 races. Phoenix with one win, 5 prime fives, eight prime 10s and a mean end of 10.7 in 13 begins. 

OUTLOOK: The common season champion has been an image of consistency all through the season with a five-race run of top-two finishes with three wins serving to him draw back for the 15-point bonus for being the highest driver within the common season. He enters the playoffs tied for probably the most prime fives, holds the most effective common end within the area and has led probably the most laps. His playoff level complete provides him slightly buffer to fall again on. Within the Spherical of 16, Kansas and Bristol have been strong tracks for him in recent times with Elliott grabbing a playoff win at Kansas in 2018. The No. 9 pit crew has been the most effective on pit street all 12 months, placing their driver in advantageous positions and that ought to proceed within the postseason. And whereas the Spherical of 12 lurks for everybody, he does have three wins at Talladega and the Charlotte ROVAL mixed. His Martinsville historical past bodes nicely for the Spherical of 8 as does his sneaky good report at Homestead-Miami – common end of 9.0 in six begins. Anticipate a deep run from the 26-year-old as he seems to be to seize his second Cup Collection title. 

WHAT HE’S SAYING ABOUT THE PLAYOFFS: “I really feel like I’ve had a fairly large number of experiences. Shut calls. We’ve had one (postseason) go our means. Happily and sadly, we’ve lived via the ups and downs of what it might provide. It’s very unforgiving however clearly, if you may make it and obtain the objective, it’s rewarding.”

Kyle Larson, No. 5

POINTS POSITION: Fourth with 2,019 factors

POSITION TO CUT LINE: +12 heading to Darlington

SEASON STATS: Two wins, 10 prime fives, 13 prime 10s and 307 laps led

PLAYOFF ELIMINATION HISTORY: Gained championship in 2021; Eradicated in Spherical of 8 in 2019; Eradicated in Spherical of 12 in 2017 and 2018; Eradicated in Spherical of 16 in 2016.

BEST TRACKS: Darlington- with three runner ups, 5 prime fives, seven prime 10s and a mean end of 8.9 in 9 begins. Las Vegas with one win, 5 prime fives, 9 prime 10s and a mean end of 9.2 in 12 begins.

OUTLOOK: Whereas Larson doesn’t enter this 12 months’s postseason with the treasure chest of playoff factors he carried with him final 12 months, the reigning Cup Collection champion is a risk to repeat. The Spherical of 16 units up nicely for him given his strong report at Darlington and previous success at Kansas and Bristol – two tracks he gained at in final 12 months’s playoffs. Whereas the Spherical of 12 goes to be tough for many to navigate, he’s the defending winner of the race on the Charlotte ROVAL. The 2 1.5-mile tracks within the Spherical of 8 ought to be a lift to the Elk Grove, California, native if he reaches that spherical as he has gained at Las Vegas and his proclivity for operating the fence at Homestead-Miami is well-known. Larson got here on late to seize his second win of the season within the second-to-last common season race. Don’t sleep on Larson making one other deep postseason run – he’s tied for probably the most top-five finishes within the area. 

WHAT HE’S SAYING ABOUT THE ROUND OF 16: “That first spherical are tracks that I actually like. Darlington (Raceway), Kansas (Speedway) and Bristol (Motor Speedway). Anybody of these three within the first spherical. I want they type of unfold these three tracks all through all of the rounds as a result of I really feel like these are all locations we are able to win at.”

William Byron, No. 24

POINTS POSITION: Fifth with 2,014 factors

POSITION TO CUT LINE: +7 heading to Darlington

SEASON STATS: Two wins, 4 prime fives, 5 prime 10s and 611 laps led

PLAYOFF ELIMINATION HISTORY: Eradicated within the Spherical of 12 in 2019 and 2021; Eradicated in Spherical of 16 in 2020. 

BEST TRACKS: Homestead-Miami the place he has a win with crew chief Rudy Fugle in 2021 and is the defending race winner. Byron is the newest winner at Martinsville and has three straight prime fives (all with Fugle) and 5 prime 10s in his final six begins there.

OUTLOOK: Byron has had front-running pace many of the 12 months and he has led the second-most laps this season. After profitable two of the primary eight races in 2022 and turning into the primary driver to win a number of races within the Subsequent Gen period, the finishes haven’t been there of late. Since his Martinsville win, the 24-year-old driver has had a string of dangerous luck marring promising days. For playoff development, that must change. The Spherical of 16 shapes up properly for him because the Charlotte, North Carolina, native almost gained at Darlington within the spring and was main at Kansas earlier than chopping a tire in stage two. Ought to he get via to the Spherical of 8, that would repay nicely for the younger driver as he has the tempo on the intermediates all 12 months, gained at Homestead-Miami final 12 months and gained within the spring at Martinsville. 

WHAT HE’S SAYING ON HIS SEASON TO DATE: “We actually began this season on a excessive. We obtained a pair wins within the first quarter of the season after which struggled within the second quarter of the season with pace and efficiency. I really feel just like the third quarter we’re coming again to how we had been within the first a part of the 12 months.”

Alex Bowman, No. 48

POINTS POSITION: fifteenth with 2,006 factors

POSITION TO CUT LINE: -3 heading to Darlington

SEASON STATS: One win, three prime fives, 10 prime 10s and 29 laps led

PLAYOFF ELIMINATION HISTORY: Eradicated in Spherical of 8 in 2020; Eradicated in Spherical of 12 in 2018, 2019 and 2021. 

BEST TRACKS: Kansas with two prime fives, 5 prime 10s and a mean end of 9.9 in 9 begins for the reason that begin of the 2018 season. Charlotte ROVAL with two prime fives, 4 prime 10s and a mean end of 6.0 in 4 begins. 

OUTLOOK: It’s been a story of two seasons thus far for Bowman. Within the first half, he had a career-best 9 prime 10s via the primary 14 races of 2022. The second half noticed a tricky stretch the place he didn’t get the finishes he was getting within the first half of the 12 months. The playoff reset leaves him in a packed place the place qualifying nicely and grabbing stage factors will tackle a important function. Non-drafting 1.5-mile tracks have been a powerful level for the 29-year-old this season as his lone victory in 2022 got here at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as have top-10 runs at Kansas and Charlotte. Ought to he attain the Spherical of 8, the Tucson, Arizona, native has gained at each Vegas and Martinsville throughout his time at Hendrick Motorsports. If Bowman can discover the consistency he had over the course of the primary half of the 12 months, that would result in a pleasant playoff run.  

WHAT HE’S SAYING ABOUT PLAYOFF LESSONS: “Simply to exit and attempt to execute such as you do every week. I don’t suppose you’ll be able to attempt to go do something greater than you’ve gotten all 12 months. You simply need to go run nicely. You’ll be able to’t flip it up. You bought to be able to go when these 10 weeks present up. We’ve been capable of put collectively some actually good runs via the playoffs prior to now, so hopefully we are able to have one other good one.”