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Hendrick Motorsports Dropped a Major Hint About Its Future

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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What’s Happening?

On Wednesday, HendrickCars.com announced that they would sponsor Rajah Caruth for the entirety of the 2024 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season. HendrickCars.com began sponsoring Caruth in 2023 in the Xfinity Series, and now they are putting an entire season’s worth of resources to support him. With the connection to Hendrick Motorsports, is Rajah Caruth the next Hendrick star?

  • Hendrick Motorsports tends to be very intentional with which young drivers they support. This is the most support they have put into a young driver since the current guard at HMS was on their way up.
  • Rajah Caruth has started strong in 2024 with 2 top-10 finishes. It’s his first season with Spire Motorsports, with whom Hendrick has been aligned within the Truck Series since 2022. This is the first season Spire has fielded a full-time Truck Series team.
  • Fans are excited to see how Caruth does with Spire, and Hendrick’s support has piqued their interest as well. What does the Caruth’s future look like?

How Hendrick Picks Their Young Drivers

Hendrick Motorsports has no full-time Xfinity or Truck Series team, and it’s understandable why. Kyle Larson, William Byron, Chase Elliott, and Alex Bowman are all 31 years old or younger with contracts that extend through between 2025 and 2028 depending on the driver. The driver who is under contract through 2025 is William Byron, and, given his recent performance, Hendrick will likely try to keep him for the foreseeable future.

There’s no rush for HMS to bring young drivers up through the ranks because they have a lineup set for a while in the future. However, Hendrick Motorsports does shepherd their along into the upper series.

Chase Elliott was signed in 2013, and he spent 3 seasons in the lower series before joining when Jeff Gordon retired. William Byron spent one year with JRM in the Xfinity Series in 2017, in a car that was developed through Hendrick. Alex Bowman came in in 2016 after an opportunity opened up when Dale Earnhardt Jr. was injured, but, Bowman had previously raced for JRM, which was aligned with Hendrick at the time. Kyle Larson is the lone exception as he had no connection to Hendrick before joining in 2021.

Rajah Caruth is the first lower series driver that Hendrick has put this much support behind since Byron. They are funding his entire racing season through HendrickCars.com, which is similar to what they have done with Kyle Larson.

Not to mention how much support Hendrick Motorsports has given to Caruth publicly. Jeff Gordon had this to say about Caruth during Speedweeks.

Rick [Hendrick] and I talked about it the other day, we’ve seen him several times and whether it’s at the banquet or at the Hall of Fame, and just every time he’s coming up, shaking our hands, he’s well put together, well spoken, and very driven, very passionate about it. When you see that in a young driver, that’s what you are looking for.

Jeff Gordon according to HBCU Gameday

It’s pretty clear that Hendrick is impressed with Caruth as a person, and he is showing prowess on the race track as well.

Hendrick Motorsports Future

Hendrick Motorsports’ near future is pretty well set. William Byron (signed through 2025), Alex Bowman (signed through 2026), Chase Elliott (signed through 2028), and Kyle Larson (signed through 2026) are all signed through 2025 at the very least.

However, if Hendrick wants to move Rajah Caruth through the pipeline, the future could be interesting. If Hendrick thinks that Caruth is ready to race in the Cup Series for the team come 2026 or 2027, could that be a time when Alex Bowman leaves? What about Kyle Larson given his desire to race anything with an engine and his business ventures outside of NASCAR?

A lot can happen between 2024 and 2026 or 2027, but, it’s an interesting timeline to look at. Could Caruth slot into Hendrick Motorsports in the near future?


Rajah Caruth will be one of the most interesting prospects to watch as time goes on. Could he be the next Hendrick Motorsports star?

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

All Posts