By HEATHER WILLIAMS
11:51 AM CDT, May 7, 2012
Sure Dale Earnhardt, Jr is having a career season, and Jimmie Johnson also sits in the top 10 of the Sprint Cup points standings. But something is missing this season at Hendrick Motorsports.... oh yeah...WINS.
You have to go back to 1993 to find a season where HMS failed to win over the first 10 races of the season. Ricky Rudd got the team's first win at Michigan, week 14 on the schedule. Add to the fact to that the pressure that the organization has been sitting on win 199 since October 9th of last season (Jimmie Johnson's win at Kansas, some 17 races ago) and the pressure is starting to mount.
“Man, we’ve been all around it, and have had a lot of shots at it this year. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to pull it off,” Johnson told reporters last month at the Kansas Speedway. "We've been so close to getting it the last month or so, it's kind of a deal now where we're joking, like, let's not even think about it."
And that might be a good play. After a miserable start, Kasey Kahne seems to have gathered it in, actually making it to the ends of races now, and posting a seasons best 4th place finish this past weekend at Talladega.
But not everyone feels that way. Jeff Gordon isn't really as close. He sits 23d in the points standings and he has just a single top 5 finish, last month at Texas. And he has just one other finish in the top 10. Not very Gordon-like.
"I feel like Jimmie had a chance to win the race(at Texas), three of us had a chance the race before. The opportunities are there. We're running very good. We continue that we'll, get the win."
It just seems improbable that this organization can continue to go week after week with out wins, and yet another week goes by, now 17 of them, with out a Hendrick win.
And yet you probably won't hear a lot of sympathy around the garage. In fact unless you work for HMS or a Hendrick fan...you are probably sounding a lot like Rhett Butler, saying "frankly my dear I don't give a..." well you know how the quote ends.
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