At the beginning of the season, all of the focus and attention was on one team—NASCAR's mega team, Hendrick Motorsports—and one driver in particular.
Hendrick received even more attention (if you can get any more attention after having two of finishing No. 1 and No. 2 in the standings, plus having a repeat champion) when they announced the newest addition to the Hendrick Motorsprts' stable, Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Not only did this just add another superstar to Hendrick's team, but it also turned the NASCAR world upside down. Fans of Jeff Gordon and Dale Jr. would, for the first time, be on the same team.
When the Daytona 500 came, the high expectations that were set by fans, analysts, and fellow drivers were not met. Hendrick managed to get only one car in the top 10 and the other three finished 27th or worse.
With Hendrick's one win this season by Jimmie Johnson, the Hendrick camp doesn't seem to be on track for its previous record of 18 wins in a season. Jeff Gordon has been close on some occasions, but just doesn't seem able to get the job done.
My favorite (along with many others) Dale Jr., has been oh so close at what seems like every race this season—it seems he always gets stuck with the worst luck.
Although Jr. didn't win again today at Pocono, he was close and still leads the Hendrick drivers in points as he maintains the third position in championship points.
Jimmie Johnson, being the only Hendrick driver to see victory lane, has had nowhere near the start to the season the he had last year.
And of course there is the last (and yes I do mean LAST) of the Hendrick drivers: Casey Mears. Casey has had about as much bad luck as one could have. With constant bad finishes, incomplete races, and just plain bad handling cars, Casey Mears is definitely the "bottom of the barrel" at Hendrick.
If he wants to keep his ride he will need to pick it up throughout the season and try to resurrect the Mears name in NASCAR.
Just from the names, you could say that Hendrick Motorsports is NASCAR's "Dream Team." However, when you look at the numbers it seems as if they have lost that title to teams such as Joe Gibbs Racing and Roush-Fenway.
We will just have to see how the season plays out for NASCAR's once acclaimed "Dream Team."