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Hendrick Motorsports ‘really wanted’ to sign this rising NASCAR star to a contract

Hendrick Motorsports "really wanted" to sign this rising NASCAR star to a contract but it did not materialize. Who was this driver?

Hendrick Motorsports

Hendrick Motorsports entered the 2023 NASCAR season with a hunger for more championships after coming up just short last year. Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson fought for the driver and owner’s championship but did not have good enough cars at Phoenix Raceway.

Larson and Elliott came close to winning at the Daytona 500 and Auto Club Speedway, respectively. Meanwhile, Alex Bowman is one of four drivers with two top-10 finishes through two races and William Byron has shown speed.

It has been a strong start for Hendrick Motorsports despite no victories due to two other Chevrolet teams. However, there was a possibility that one of these drivers would not be in this situation.

Related: Hendrick Motorsports preparing for big jump to the NASCAR Xfinity Series

Hendrick Motorsports ‘really wanted’ this rising NASCAR star a few years ago

Hendrick Motorsports
Mar 6, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver William Byron (24) and driver Chase Briscoe (14) race for position during the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Hendrick Motorsports has the entirety of its driver lineup locked up through the 2025 season after Alex Bowman and Ally Financial signed a multi-year extension with the team before the Daytona 500.

However, there was a significant possibility that one of these drivers would not be in the lineup, as stated above. During the 2016 season, Hendrick Motorsports “really wanted” to sign current Stewart-Haas Racing driver Chase Briscoe to a contract, according to the driver himself.

Briscoe sat down with The Athletic’s Jeff Gluck and talked about a variety of different topics, including the time when Hendrick Motorsports Vice Chairman Jeff Gordon personally recruited him on several occasions.

“I’m walking around (Indianapolis Motor Speedway) and I get this text from a random phone number and it said, ‘Hey Chase, this is Jeff Gordon. Would love to sit down and talk with you at some point today’…So, I go to Jeff’s motorhome and they were telling me all about how they’ve been watching me and been impressed and wanted to potentially have me over at (Hendrick Motorsports).”

Chase Briscoe talks about Jeff Gordon wanting him at Hendrick Motorsports

At this point in his career, Briscoe was absolutely crushing the competition in the ARCA Menards Series. The now Stewart-Haas Racing driver won the championship by over 500 points and came home victorious six times.

It was truly a sign of things to come as Briscoe did well in his first full-time season in the NASCAR Truck Series and then won an incredible nine times during the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series season.

Gordon saw the talent in Briscoe and really wanted his services at Hendrick Motorsports. However, Briscoe continued with his story of how things did not work out with the organization.

I went to (Hendrick Motorsports) two or three times in 2016 and got a full shop tour…I remember there was a rain delay in a (NASCAR Cup Series) race and (Jeff Gordon) was texting me about still trying to get me to Hendrick. But obviously, they needed some sponsorship money and I didn’t have any sponsorship money to bring at the time.

Chase Briscoe discusses his possible deal with Hendrick Motorsports

The idea of sponsorship ruining a potential partnership is more common than you would think. In this case, Briscoe was not able to secure the sponsorship money to land a ride with Hendrick Motorsports and the team missed out.

Granted, the organization has an amazing driver lineup but Briscoe is undoubtedly going to be a NASCAR star one day. He almost made the Championship 4 in his second full-time NASCAR Cup Series season despite his equipment deficit.

Now, Briscoe is locked into a long-term deal with Stewart-Haas Racing and he finally has a home. It may not be at Hendrick Motorsports; however, the future is really bright for the Indiana native.

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