News 7 Sports Director
5:30 PM EST, January 25, 2012
Wednesday was Day 3 of the NASCAR Media Tour in Charlotte, and it was with the heavy hitters at Hendrick Motorsports, a team that wasn't happy with the way last season ended.
The sport's most successful team over the last decade is out to prove itself again.
The big offseason news here at Hendrick Motorsports was the addition of Kasey Kahne to the driver lineup, though Kahne was absent from Wednesday's media gathering as he fulfilled a jury duty obligation. But his teammates had plenty to say about him.
“Kasey is a good spirit man,” Dale Earnhardt Junior said. “He's a good guy. He is a talent and fun to be around. He can win races and he will win races. That's one thing I'm excited about is him bringing some new ideas and new approaches. I think it's great for us all the way around.
Four-time Cup Series champ Jeff Gordon said: “I think Kasey's abilities speak for themselves. You've seen him be able to win consistently over the years. i think you take Hendrick Motorsports equipment and surround them and it's Gonna be a very powerful combination.”
Three Hendrick cars made the Chase last season but failed to win the championship. In fact, none of the three finished in the top five of the final standings. Don't expect that to happen again in 2012.
Five-time Cup Series champ Jimmie Johnson said: There is a lot of motivation to be at the top of the heap from the 48's perspective and all four cars. Rick said some lofty things in our big gathering. He wants all four cars in the chase and one of the cars to win the championship. None of us want to disappoint him so we do have a desire and a focus to go get a championship.
Rick Hendrick's next Cup Series win as a car owner will be the 200th for the organization.
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