NASCAR America: When should Hendrick Motorsports start to worry?

Daniel McFadin
NBC Sports

On Sunday, Hendrick Motorsports saw important gains in its efforts to win it first race since June.

With a third-place finish, Chase Elliott led an effort that saw all four Hendrick cars in the top 15 for the first time this year.

But Elliott’s top five was the team’s first in 2018.

Of Hendrick’s four drivers, only seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson has won a Cup race.

On NASCAR America, analysts Dale Earnhardt Jr., Steve Letarte and Dale Jarrett discussed what’s ailed the team and when it should start to worry about results.

“I think the car is a lot of it,” Earnhardt said, referencing the new Camaro model Chevrolet teams are breaking in this season. “I look at the Chevrolet and I see things I like about that car that I think would make instant success on the track compared to what we had last year. But then there’s things I see that are going to take some time for those guys to figure out just in the body alone.”

Earnhardt said anyone worried about Hendrick should wait until the end of May and the beginning of summer. If HMS is still struggling to get into the top 10 then “it’s a serious issue.”

A race looms next weekend at Martinsville Speedway, a track Johnson has won at nine times.

But Earnhardt, Johnson’s former teammate, said a Johnson win at the short track wouldn’t necessarily  mean the team’s problems are solved.

“Even if he does run well, Martinsville is such an odd track and doesn’t relate to any other race track we go to,” Earnhardt said.

Watch the above video for more on Hendrick’s problems.

 

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