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Hendrick drivers have one final season to learn from Jimmie Johnson

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Nine months from now, there will be a Jimmie Johnson-sized hole at Hendrick Motorsports.

The seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion is set to retire at the end of the season, leaving an organization that once featured Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the hands of three drivers all under the age of 26.

So with the green flag set to drop on Johnson’s final season Sunday at the 62nd Daytona 500, how the team moves forward without him will certainly be a question Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman and William Byron have to grapple with over the next year.

And the answers will surely vary.

“I feel like all four of us bring something different to the table,” Bowman said during Wednesday’s media day. “We haven’t really talked about it, though, so it’ll be interesting to see. You can’t just walk in and say, ‘Hey, I’m going to be the leader of this deal’. It definitely has to happen organically over time. We’ll have to wait and see how that happens, who it is and all that.”

(From left to right) Hendrick Motorsports drivers William Byron, Alex Bowman and Chase Elliott will spend one final season with Jimmie Johnson before the seven-time champion retires from full-time Cup racing.

On the surface, Elliott certainly appears to be the next face of Hendrick Motorsports.

NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver two years in a row, the 24-year-old will be HMS’s longest-tenured driver when Johnson steps away in November (five seasons), has six wins over his past two seasons, and has made deep playoff runs each of the past three years.

“I definitely think he’s the leader in the group moving forward,” Johnson said, adding that Elliott reminds him of a younger Dale Jr. “Chase has been on his own path, though. I’m so proud of him, and who he is and how he goes about his business.”

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Adrian Woody
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Contributor At Industry News Blog

Having the apt skills to play with words to put forth various updates and news relating to the field of technology in an interesting way has made Adrian is a contributor in our organization. He is dedicated to writing articles related to all the up-to-the-minute inventions, launches, updates, and much more happening in the world of technology. In his free time, Adrian offers a guest lecture to kids about the latest inventions.

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