NASCAR Future: Welcome To The Hendrick Cup Series

David PhillipsAnalyst IJune 22, 2009

BROOKLYN, MI - JUNE 14:  Jimmie Johnson (L), driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, talks with team owner Rick Hendrick (C) and Brian Vickers (R), driver of the #83 Red Bull Toyota, before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LifeLock 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 14, 2009 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Welcome to the Hendrick Motorsports Cup Series sponsored by Sprint. This is not so far fetched is it?

With the 2009 Silly Season rumors beginning already, is the future of NASCAR Hendrick-only cars?

With Dodge, Chevy, Ford, and even Toyota struggling to sell new cars, and a struggling economy, one race team continues to be a threat to win every week and is leasing out more cars than any other team in the Cup garage.

Of course you have No. 24 of Jeff Gordon, No. 48 of Jimmie Johnson, No. 88 of Dale Earnhardt Jr., and the No. 5 of Mark Martin all under the Hendrick Banner.

Then satellite operations like Stewart-Haas have the No. 14 of Tony Stewart, the No. 39 of Ryan Newman, and possibly a third or even fourth team in the coming years.

Rumors are already swirling about a possible new Cup team that would use HMS equipment.

Yes, I'm talking about JR Motorsports and the rumor to put Brad Keselowski in a Cup car. But if they were to make the move to Cup, how many one-car teams actually do good?

So if they do, expect it to be a two-car operation.

Now more rumors have Team Red Bull going to Chevy with support from HMS. That would bring the No. 83 of Brian Vickers and the No. 82 of Scott Speed to the Hendrick Camp.

Going on, James Finch's only success in Cup has came from running HMS stuff, so if he is wanting to run a full-time competitive Cup ride, HMS is his best choice.

Then there is the part-time team Furniture Row with driver Regan Smith, who could team up with JR Motorsports to be a second team or with JFR to be a second team.

All those changes would give the Cup Series 13-14 drivers in HMS equipment—or enough cars to have an all HMS-field in the Chase.

But would this help or hurt HMS more?

In my opinion, it would hurt them having to pump out that many chassis and engines. You've got to think they would have to take less time on each then they currently are, which could result in more engine failures.

It would definitely be a win from a financial stand point. HMS would be racking in the cash, selling more equipment.