Are Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson taking Hendrick Motorsports to a new level?
When the season started, fans and analysts wondered if this would be the year when Jimmie Johnson would win his fourth consecutive NASCAR Cup title. When Jeff Gordon won at Texas Motor Speedway in April, talk surfaced of the potential for his fifth career Cup championship. And when Mark Martin won his third race of the season Sunday at Michigan, fans elevated him from a popular choice for champion to valid contender for the 2009 title. Clearly, Hendrick Motorsports is having a stellar season. With those three drivers contending for wins week to week, and Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s program getting significant input from a stream of engineers within the organization, the long-powerful organization seems poised for a new level of dominance. Add in its ties to Stewart-Haas Racing, an organization with points leader Tony Stewart and fifth-place Ryan Newman, and Hendrick appears to be in perhaps its best form ever. Long viewed as one of the superpowers in the sport, Hendrick now looks poised to no