Hendrick Motorsports: What's in a Team?

Heather L. RuelleCorrespondent IJuly 31, 2008

There is this word being spun about the Hendrick camp, called "team." It would appear that some don't know what this word is, or means. To the force that is Hendrick Motorsports, they don't compromise their integrity by saying that they're all for one.

No, they're all for the other.

Rick Hendrick, CEO of Hendrick Motorsports, as we all know, appears in victory lane for all his drivers. It's a family unit there. Sure, back in 2006, in Martinsville, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon raced each other hard for the win. "As long as you don't wreck each-other," quipped over the in-car radio, by  Rick Hendrick. This team thrives on being competitive with each other.

It isn't for appearance sake that one teammate appears in the others' victory lane. It's because they care about the other guy winning that's on the team.

We have seen Johnson appear in Junior's twice now, as well as Gordon and Casey. They're all recipients of hugs and adulation when the other wins. So why are some writers calling Jimmie the top dog at HMS now?

Each of them are happy when the other wins. It's good for the entire company's morale when this is reflected in victory lane. Chad Knauss, Steve LeTarte, and Rick Hendrick shook Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s hand on the way in to the winner's circle in Daytona.

They were ALL very proud of Dale's win. They were all proud of Jimmie's a few months later, as well as last week. That was a well earned one I might add.

What matters most is that they're team players who help each other in the respective drafts and stick together.  That is, unless someone misses their set-up and can't keep up. Then it's all bets off when those last ten laps happen. Competition among teammates is healthy and not a deterrent.