Hendrick Motorsports is going NASCAR Xfinity Series racing, again. After a long hiatus (HMS’ last Xfinity Series start was 2009), the team will field a No. 17 entry for three races in 2022.
According to a press release from Hendrick Motorsports, HendrickCars.com will sponsor the entry, which will be driven by Kyle Larson on July 2nd at Road America, Alex Bowman on July 30th at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course and William Byron on August 20th at Watkins Glen International.
HMS drivers are always looking to race more, and these starts will give the HMS Cup Series drivers extra track time on road courses, which should in turn give them better chances in the Cup companion events on those weekends.
“Our drivers are always looking for more opportunities to compete,” said Jeff Andrews, president and general manager of Hendrick Motorsports. “We believe the additional road-course experience on Saturdays (in the Xfinity Series) will translate well to Sundays (in the Cup Series). It will be exciting to see the No. 17 return to the racetrack for Hendrick Motorsports, and we’ll do everything we can to take it back to victory lane.”
For team owner Rick Hendrick the No. 17 holds special sentimental value, as that was his son’s number in racing. The paint scheme will be a replica of Ricky Hendrick’s 2001 rookie year truck.
“It will be special to see the No. 17 back in action for Hendrick Motorsports,” said Hendrick. “It’s a great chance for Kyle, Alex and William to gain more time on the road courses and to do even more with our HendrickCars.com sponsorship. I’m looking forward to running the Xfinity Series again.”
Kevin Meendering, a longtime crew chief in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, will be atop the pitbox for the No. 17 HMS team. Meendering has three wins, 39 top-fives and 77 top-10s in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition.