Rick Hendrick has not been very lenient in allowing his drivers to race outside NASCAR in the past but that seems to change now.
Hendrick was hesitant to let go of his drivers to other races because he was concerned about their safety and didn’t want them to get hurt. However, HMS signed Kyle Larson, who has a history of racing in other disciplines while the Cup Series is running and the driver is even the driver with the most wins in the Cup Series this season.
Hendrick in the meanwhile has changed his stance of allowing drivers to race in other disciplines.
“I’ve changed my mind on the whole process,” Hendrick said. “I think driving big horsepower cars out of control has helped him a tremendous amount in the Cup racing. His car control is steel. So, you’ve got to be willing to change. I guess these guys have worked me over enough. I’ve done it.”
One reason that the drivers can benefit from racing in the other disciplines is that they can stay sharp for the Cup series races. Also, the organization can benefit from a marketing perspective.
“I couldn’t believe when I went over to the drag race how many T-shirts and Hendrick Cars stuff was there,” Hendrick said about the NHRA drag-racing world. “I think we’re going to look at every opportunity there is.”
Having seen a lot of positives in his drivers racing in non-NASCAR disciplines, Hendrick is now open to letting them drive where they want.
“I want to say I don’t encourage it,” Hendrick said. “But I’m all for it if it’s something they want to do and they feel really motivated to do it.”