FORT WORTH, TX (WFXG) - NASCAR team owners come in all different flavors. Some are very hands on while others prefer to stand back and let their employees do the job that they were hired to do. Rick Hendrick is one of those behind the scenes owners that recognizes that he has hired very talented people and he just needs to give them the tools to succeed.
Hendrick's No. 48 team is only two races away from claiming its sixth NASCAR Cup Series title. Yet, the mild talking owner is just not thinking so much about titles as he just being competitive.
"I'm just thankful we're competitive and we've won races," explained Mr. H about the success of his 4 teams. "I think you do the best you can and you show up. If we don't win, I can handle that."
Don't get me wrong, Hendrick loves his Cup Series titles and is confident that Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus have a chemistry that is simply unmatchable in today's lineup.
"I look at Jimmie and his workout routine and what he eats and how he runs, and I look at Chad, and Chad is calmer and I think he's more seasoned than I've seen him," continued Hendrick regarding his championship contending team. "He can handle adversity better, and that's made the team better. I'm glad I don't have to race against them."
So, what does Mr. H feel that the key to the No. 48 team's success.
"I think Jimmie is able to cinch it up, man, when he needs to, and Chad has always been able to fire his guys up and work harder," said Hendrick. "They sure didn't give up and they knew they were capable of doing it."
With a seven point lead and two races to go, Johnson and Knaus are in a good position to move within 1 championship of the immortal Petty and Earnhardt. However, Hendrick is not counting his trophies just yet.
"I think it's going to be the last lap at Homestead, unless one of them has a major failure early in Phoenix, and then the other guys just got to finish in the Top 10. But I don't see that happening," commented Hendrick on how he sees the last two races. "I think this is just going to be a dog fight there. The teams are that close."
I've seen the look in the eyes of the 48 team during those championship years and they certainly have that look again. The only way that they will lose that sixth championship is if they defeat themselves.