Could Hendrick Stage A Comeback In 2018? | Bonehead Picks

Could Hendrick Stage A Comeback In 2018?

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Daytona 500 qualifying along with this year’s Advance Auto Parts Clash may have already passed, but has yielded some surprising results. Normally it would be Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota on top of the world as in late 2017, but recently with some younger drivers on the rise, those driving anything other than Toyota are beginning to have a say. Along with all JGR and Toyotas who were in the top ten in qualifying, all Hendrick cars including Jimmie Johnson has risen.

With Alex Bowman making his full season debut, he captured the pole for the 60th Daytona 500 with Denny Hamlin starting second. Both are locked in but must race in the Duels at Daytona. While the remaining Hendrick drivers posted excellent times, they still must earn their positions during the Duels. Johnson finished third in qualifying and will start beside Bowman in Duel One. If Bowman were to crash or go to a backup car, he would have to start the 500 from the rear.

William Byron making his Monster Energy full time debut with Hendrick placed fifth in qualifying meaning he will start third in Duel One. Duel One will have the first three Hendrick cars starting in the top three. Chase Elliott was tenth in qualifying and will race in Duel Two in the fifth position. All Hendrick cars were the only Chevrolets to place in the top ten during Daytona 500 qualifying, but could this possibly mean that they are on the verge of a rebound after a horrific 2017?

With Johnson still shooting for number eight and Elliott his first Monster Energy win, the newest young drivers seem to play a part being fresh and goes to show the next generation is on the rise. Not to say that Dale Earnhardt Jr and Kasey Kahne weren’t getting the job done, but sometimes a change in direction is what Hendrick needed to compete with JGR and promoting from within looks to be the key.

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