NINTH TITLE: With Jimmie Johnson's performance today at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports secured its ninth car owner's championship in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition, tying the organization with Petty Enterprises for the...
NINTH TITLE: With Jimmie Johnson's performance today at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports secured its ninth car owner's championship in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition, tying the organization with Petty Enterprises for the all-time lead. Car owner Rick Hendrick has won nine of the past 15 Sprint Cup titles.
COMPARISONS: In the major American professional sports leagues, Hendrick Motorsports' nine Sprint Cup owner's championships are tied for ninth behind only the New York Yankees (27 World Series titles), Montreal Canadiens (24 Stanley Cups), Boston Celtics (17 NBA titles), Los Angeles Lakers (15 NBA titles), Toronto Maple Leafs (13 Stanley Cups), Green Bay Packers (12 NFL championships), Detroit Red Wings (11 Stanley Cups) and St. Louis Cardinals (10 World Series titles). The other teams with nine championships are Petty Enterprises (NASCAR owner's championships), the Chicago Bears (NFL) and the Oakland Athletics (MLB).
ALL-TIME CHAMPIONSHIPS: The 2009 Sprint Cup car owner's championship is the 12th for Hendrick Motorsports across NASCAR's three national series -- a new all-time record. In the car owner category, the organization has won nine titles in the Sprint Cup Series and three in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Hendrick Motorsports also has won a NASCAR Nationwide Series driver championship, which came in 2003.
FOUR-PEAT: After earning the 2009 Sprint Cup championship, Jimmie Johnson is now the first driver ever to capture the honor in four consecutive seasons. With his 2006-08 titles, Johnson tied the legendary Cale Yarborough, who recorded three in a row from 1976-1978.
KNAUS SETS THE STANDARD: Chad Knaus is the only crew chief ever to win more than two consecutive Sprint Cup titles (he now has four in a row), and his championship total (also four) ties him for second with Kirk Shelmerdine among crew chiefs in NASCAR history. Only Dale Inman (eight titles) has more.
FIRST AND 10: A Hendrick Motorsports driver led the championship points after every Chase for the Sprint Cup race in 2009. Mark Martin, who entered the Chase with the points lead, led following the first three Chase races, and Jimmie Johnson led after the final seven. It marks the first time since the format's inception that one organization has led the points after each Chase race.
NOT A FIRST: Hendrick Motorsports' run of four consecutive championships is not a first in NASCAR -- or for the team. In the 1990s, drivers Jeff Gordon (1995, 1997 and 1998) and Terry Labonte (1996) combined to win four straight Sprint Cup titles for the organization. No other team has won more than three in a row.
THE OTHER GUYS: In major American professional sports, only three teams have won more than four championships consecutively: the Boston Celtics' eight NBA titles starting with the 1958-59 season and ending in 1965-66; the New York Yankees' five World Series rings from 1949-53; and the Montreal Canadiens' five Stanley Cups from 1956-60.
A RARE FEAT: Hendrick Motorsports, the New York Yankees and the Montreal Canadiens are the only teams in any of the major American professional sports leagues to win four or more consecutive championships on more than one occasion. Hendrick Motorsports accomplished the feat 1995-98 and 2006-09; the Yankees did it 1936-39 and 1949-53; and the Canadiens recorded titles 1956-60 and 1976-79.
THREE SWEEP: Hendrick Motorsports is the first NASCAR team ever to capture the top-three spots in the championship standings with Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon finishing 1-2-3 in the 2009 Chase for the Sprint Cup. Hendrick Motorsports drivers have qualified 15 times for the Chase, the most of any team since the playoff format went into effect in 2004. In each year that Hendrick qualified three drivers, the organization earned the championship.
WINNING PERCENTAGE: Hendrick Motorsports is the most efficient team in major American professional sports, earning nine titles since its inception in 1984 for a 34.6 all-time title-winning percentage. The Celtics rank second with 17 titles in 64 seasons (26.56 percent), while the Yankees are third with an all-time winning percentage of 25.47 percent (27 championships in 106 seasons).
SINCE 1984: No other major American professional sports team has earned more championships than Hendrick Motorsports since 1984, the organization's inaugural season. The Chicago Bulls have collected six championships in that time, while the New York Yankees (MLB) and Edmonton Oilers (NHL) have scored five titles apiece.
25TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON: Hendrick Motorsports wrapped up its 25th anniversary season today at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Founded in 1984, the organization has posted 188 Sprint Cup wins (second all-time), which is an average of more than seven trips to Victory Lane annually.
HOW '09 STACKS UP: Hendrick Motorsports drivers scored the second-most top-five finishes (48) and top-10s (76) in the organization's history during the 2009 campaign. The team's 13 Cup wins tie this season with 2004 for the team's third-highest one-year total. Hendrick scored the most wins (18), top-five finishes (57) and top-10s (84) in 2007.
STILL ROLLING: Hendrick Motorsports never has run a Sprint Cup campaign without winning a pole position (1984-2009), and this season the team scored 12, including a career-best of seven from Mark Martin. The team's all-time season record was set in 1986, when Geoff Bodine and Tim Richmond combined for 16 pole positions.
WINNING WAYS: Hendrick Motorsports has posted at least one Cup-level win in 24 straight seasons (1986-2009), the longest active streak in NASCAR. The streak began Feb. 16, 1986, when Geoff Bodine won Hendrick's first Daytona 500.
ANOTHER ONE FOR CHEVY: Chevrolet captured its 33rd Sprint Cup manufacturers' championship this season after winning 18 races. Johnson led all Chevy drivers with seven victories, and Hendrick Motorsports contributed 13 of the 18 wins.
* When referencing "major American professional sports," the following have been factored in: Major League Baseball, NASCAR, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League and the National Hockey League.