Richard Petty told me many years ago that when a race team is hot, there is not much you can do to cool them off. Rick Hendrick Motorsports is on one of those hot steaks and the competition seems helpless to slow them down.
Jimmie Johnson's win at Michigan last Sunday made it five consecutive wins for the HMS teams and team owner Mr. H is proud of his teams efforts.
"Just a tribute to Chad and all the crew chiefs and drivers working hard, working together, the engine shop, chassis shop," said the winning car owner. "Everybody is really putting out a lot of effort right now, and it's paying off."
This is the not the first time that the Hendrick organization has won five consecutive races. It happened once before 2007 with Johnson going on to win his second of five consecutive Cup Series titles.
Still Crew Chief Chad Knaus is not making room for another trophy just yet.
"The fact of the matter is I think we've got to be a little bit better," said Knaus after the race. "Last week we were a whisker away from losing that one. This weekend maybe we were one pit call away from not winning this one. We've got to continue to improve our product so by the time we get to the Chase we're where we need to be."
Despite Chad's concerns, Johnson was thrilled about his first ever win at Michigan International Speedway but admitted that he was holding his breath on those last few laps.
"When I heard 10 to go, and I've been there before with the lead. I heard 5 to go, I've been there before, didn't win. Taken the white with the lead and didn't make it back. So I was really -- I wasn't taking anything for granted on that final trip around, and about 200 yards before the finish line I knew if the car exploded I'd still slide across the finish line and it didn't matter. That's finally when I relaxed and let it go." commented Johnson in victory lane.
With another Hendrick team victory, the competition is working hard to find a way to keep pace. If they don't find an answer soon, it could be another Championship title heading to NASCAR's most successful team at season's end.
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