top of page

Cook Out 400: Hendrick Motorsports Celebrates 40th Anniversary As William Byron Tames Martinsville


William Byron celebrates in Victory Lane at Martinsville.
Hendrick Motorsports celebrated its 40th anniversary with another win at a special place. (Photo: Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images)

MARTINSVILLE, Va. - Hendrick Motorsports capped off a meaningful 40th anniversary weekend, with the first-ever 1-2-3 finish by the same team in the history of Martinsville Speedway as William Byron took the checkered flag in the Cook Out 400.


All four HMS Chevrolets had ruby red paint schemes to honor Geoff Bodine's win at Martinsville in April of 1984, which would become the first of many for the organization in the NASCAR Cup Series.


Byron, Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman all finished inside the top eight for team owner Rick Hendrick, who missed Martinsville due to knee replacement surgery.


With Byron's No. 24 Axalta Ruby Chevrolet finding Victory Lane for the third time in eight races, the 26-year-old now has the most wins this year at NASCAR's premier level.


"Just so proud of everyone at Hendrick Motorsports, I grew up a big Hendrick fan," Byron said. "To be here for the 40th anniversary, all that goes into just this organization, all the people, it’s all about the people. Just want to thank Mr. Hendrick and Linda and everyone involved."


Larson's No. 5 HendrickCars.com Ruby Chevrolet dominated the first part of the Martinsville short-track race, earning the Stage 1 win and leading a total of 86 laps, just two behind his teammate Byron. Larson would go on to finish in second place but still considers this runner-up finish one that is worth celebrating.


"Yeah, no doubt," Larson said. "Really special, too, to get a 1-2-3 there with William, Chase and I. "Yeah, just a great day for Hendrick Motorsports. It’s been a great 40 seasons for them. Really cool to have 1,500 people here from Hendrick Motorsports to celebrate."

All four Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolets race at Martinsville.
Hendrick Motorsports and Martinsville continue to create historic moments. (Photo Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images)

Joining his teammates in the top three was Elliott, who led 64 laps en route to a third-place finish. The driver of the No. 9 UniFirst Ruby Chevrolet is still looking for his first win in over a year but had to settle for another top five.


"Congrats to William and everybody at Hendrick Motorsports," Elliott said. "Rick and Linda, all the folks. Jeff (Gordon) and Jeff (Andrews) and Chad (Knaus), all the people that put this together for us. They have an unbelievable program. I think we’re all proud to call it home.

 

"It was awesome hosting over a thousand folks from Hendrick today, employees and their families. Glad one of us could get it done. Obviously wish we could have got it done, selfishly like anybody would."


The top three drivers took control of the race late with a long green-flag run and despite a late-race caution that caused NASCAR Overtime, the Nos. 24, 5 and 9 all managed to stay on the podium.


Results from the 2024 Cook Out 400 at Martinsville Speedway are listed below:

2024 Cook Out 400 Results.

Other Race Facts

The first non-Hendrick Motorsports driver in the running order was 23XI Racing's Bubba Wallace, who finished fourth after a strong showing at Martinsville. Wallace previously won the 2013 and 2014 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Martinsville fall races.


Throughout the weekend, Wallace was second fastest in practice in 5-lap average, 10-lap average, 20-lap average and qualified second, along with finishing both stages in second.


Alex Bowman was the lone Hendrick driver not in the top three. He brought his No. 48 Ally Ruby Chevrolet across the line in eighth.


William Byron is the first driver since Kyle Busch in 2019 to win three of the first eight races, according to statistician Trey Ryan.


Chase Briscoe has been quietly good at Martinsville in the Next Gen era. With his 10th-place finish, he has finished in the top 10 in all five races at the Virginia short track.


With the team's 29th win at Martinsville, Hendrick Motorsports now has the most wins by a team at any track. They have also led over 10,850 laps at the 0.526-mile track.

GRID Ranking

The 2024 GRID Ranking is the eighth year of the world's premier motorsport ranking and was initially released on Sunday, April 7.


The official ranking includes drivers that participate in seven racing series (NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula 1, Formula E, World Rally Championship, Repco Supercars, MotoGP), and each driver earns GRID Ratings, which help determine their seeding in the GRID Ranking.

DRIVER

OLD RATING

PREVIOUS RANKING

MOST RECENT FINISH

NEW RATING

NEW RANKING

William Byron

N/A

N/A

1st

15.17

8th

Kyle Larson

N/A

N/A

2nd

12.58

13th

Christopher Bell

N/A

N/A

35th

12.40

15th

Denny Hamlin

N/A

N/A

11th

9.99

23rd

Ryan Blaney

N/A

N/A

5th

9.81

25th

Week 1 of the GRID Ranking:

For the first time since 2022, Max Verstappen is not leading the GRID Ranking as Jorge Martin from MotoGP is atop the leaderboard.


With his third win in the first eight races, the 2023 NASCAR GRID Rating winner William Byron takes the lead in the 2024 NASCAR GRID Rating. Byron is currently eighth overall after Week 1 of the 2024 GRID Ranking.


The next race on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule will take place at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, April 14. Coverage will begin at 3:30 p.m. ET on FS1.


GRID Network

Comments


bottom of page