In the New NASCAR Season, Should Hendrick Have Title Hopes?

Gerrick ZebroCorrespondent IApril 21, 2009

AVONDALE, AZ - APRIL 18:  Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on April 18, 2009 in Avondale, AZ.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images for NASCAR)

In the new season of NASCAR, it shows what most people thought—Hendrick is running the show. But there have been other teams that have won races, like Roush Fenway and Joe Gibbs. And Tony Stewart has been running consistently, but not on the level of the Hendrick squad.                                                                 

Jeff Gordon is the season leader after eight races, showing that the four-time champ still has the drive to win. He ended his 47 race winless streak with a win at Texas last week. He struggled this past weekend at Phoenix, but still remained number one in the standings.

His teammate and defending three-time champ Jimmie Johnson is nipping at his heels in second place. Johnson won at Martinsville—no surprise, he has won there three times in a row in the spring—and showed with a fourth place finish this weekend at Phoenix he is ready to compete for a fourth title, and join Gordon in that club.

The biggest disappointment this year so far for the Hendrick crew has been Dale Earnhardt Jr. He is 19th in points and hasn't won a race yet. Many people thought that moving to Hendrick would mean that he would produce and compete for the title, but he hasn't.

Next would be newly acquired Mark Martin. At the age of 50, he won a race at Phoenix last weekend and sits at number 13 in the points standings. Not too bad, I would say. He should be higher in the points, but a lack of good luck has plagued him.

My guess this year is that the Cup winner won't be out of the Hendrick stable.

No, I say it is Carl Edwards' year. But, looking at the early stats, it looks like the Hendrick Motorsports team should be able to bring home another points title this year, making it four years straight and counting.