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2024 season preview: Hendrick Motorsports

Editor‘s Note: Today‘s Hendrick Motorsports preview continues NASCAR.com‘s countdown of team previews for the 2024 Cup Series season.

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS

Manufacturer: Chevrolet
Engine: Hendrick Motorsports
Driver-crew chief pairings: Kyle Larson-Cliff Daniels (No. 5), Chase Elliott-Alan Gustafson (No. 9), William Byron-Rudy Fugle (No. 24), Alex Bowman-Blake Harris (No. 48)

Team outlook: Half of the storied organization‘s drivers entered Phoenix with a shot at winning the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series championship. The other duo ended the year without winning a race or making the playoffs. William Byron and the No. 24 team will attempt to prove 2023 was no fluke; Kyle Larson sets sights on a monster year; and 2020 Cup champion Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman eye significant improvement after their respective seasons were shortened due to injuries.

KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 CHEVROLET

Experience: 10 full-time seasons in the NASCAR Cup Series
2023 stats: Second in final standings; 4 wins, 15 top fives, 18 top 10s, 2 poles
2024 championship odds (DraftKings): 11-2

Outlook: Kyle Larson‘s charge back to the Championship 4 in 2023 signified the No. 5 is just as strong as ever. The 2021 champion is due for a whirlwind year in 2024, with plans to complete the Indianapolis 500-Coca-Cola 600 double on Memorial Day Weekend. Those IndyCar plans shouldn‘t slow down one of racing‘s most versatile figures after a four-win campaign in 2023. With 23 career Cup wins, Larson appears every bit the title threat he was three years ago.

RELATED: Kyle Larson 2023 season in review | Larson through the years

Kyle Larson poses ahead of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season.

CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 CHEVROLET

Experience: Eight full-time seasons in the NASCAR Cup Series
2023 stats: 17th in final standings; 0 wins, 7 top fives, 15 top 10s
2024 championship odds (DraftKings): 17-2

Outlook: Elliott is primed to get back to his winning ways in 2024. Last year was marked by seven absences — six due to injury, one due to suspension — and marked his first winless season since 2017, snapping a five-year streak of victories in the Cup Series and a seven-year streak of playoff appearances. Elliott, the 2020 Cup champion, ended his season with confidence in the No. 9 team‘s performance and eyes a steadier campaign ahead.

RELATED: Chase Elliott 2023 season in review | Elliott through the years

Chase Elliott poses ahead of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season.

WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 CHEVROLET

Experience: Six full-time seasons in the NASCAR Cup Series
2023 stats: Third in final standings; 6 wins, 15 top fives, 21 top 10s, 4 poles
2024 championship odds (DraftKings): 11-2

Outlook: William Byron‘s breakout season in 2023 feels like a precursor for even more success to come. Byron led the NASCAR Cup Series with six wins last year, charging into the Championship 4 and winning the pole for the title race at Phoenix Raceway before ultimately finishing third in points. The 26-year-old enters the year tied with Larson as 11-2 favorites to win the 2024 title. Perhaps it is indeed the 24 in ‘24.

RELATED: William Byron 2023 season in review | Byron through the years

William Byron poses ahead of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season.

ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 CHEVROLET

Experience: Eight full-time seasons in the NASCAR Cup Series
2023 stats: 20th in final standings; 0 wins, 4 top fives, 10 top 10s, 1 pole
2024 championship odds (DraftKings): 35-1

Outlook: Like Elliott, Alex Bowman is looking to rebound from an unsteady 2023. Although his numbers were similar to his 2022 campaign — four top fives in both years with 12 top 10s in 2022 as opposed to 10 in 2023 — Bowman missed three races due to a back injury suffered while racing a sprint car last spring. Last season marked Bowman‘s first winless campaign since 2018 and only season at Hendrick Motorsports without a playoff appearance. The No. 48 team is looking to return to Victory Lane soon and more frequently.

RELATED: Alex Bowman 2023 season in reviewBowman through the years

Alex Bowman poses ahead of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season.

BOUNCE-BACK CANDIDATES: Perhaps this reads as low-hanging fruit, but expect Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman both to return to the playoffs in their scheduled returns to full-time seasons. Neither driver had missed the playoffs in Hendrick equipment prior to their 2023 injuries, and their respective abilities behind the wheel, combined with the team’s top-shelf resources, provide a clear pathway to Victory Lane returns.

NASCAR.com 2024 team previews schedule

Jan. 15: Legacy Motor Club
Jan. 16: Spire Motorsports
Jan. 17: Kaulig Racing
Jan. 18: Wood Brothers Racing
Jan. 22: Rick Ware Racing
Jan. 23: Richard Childress Racing
Jan. 24: Stewart-Haas Racing
Jan. 25: Front Row Motorsports
Jan. 26: JTG Daugherty Racing
Jan. 29: Trackhouse Racing
Jan. 30: RFK Racing
Feb. 6: 23XI Racing
Feb. 7: Joe Gibbs Racing
Feb. 8: Hendrick Motorsports
Feb. 9: Team Penske