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Monster Energy NASCAR Cup

Hendrick Motorsports Flashes Hot New Looks for 2018

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Hendrick Motorsports hasn’t given up on 2017, especially not with drivers Jimmie Johnson and Chase Elliott still in contention for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship.

But the 12-time Cup championship team definitely has an eye on 2018, when much will change at Hendrick: A new Cup car in the 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1; new drivers in William Byron (24) and Alex Bowman (88) and a totally new look for the team.

Thursday night at the Charlotte Convention Center’s Crown Ballroom, the team did something it had never done before, unveiling the 2018 Daytona 500 paint schemes for all four of its cars in a flashy and impressive roll out featuring lasers, glow sticks and loud music.

No. 9

For 2018, Chase Elliott moves from the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to the No. 9, which was Elliott’s number when he won a NASCAR XFINITY Series championship and, of course, was the number used by his father, NASCAR Hall of Fame member Bill Elliott.

While Elliott’s car will still feature the familiar gold-on-blue NAPA Auto Parts logo, the new Camaro has a lot of white in its design as well.

No. 24

William Byron won’t turn 20 years old until next month, but he’s about to take over one of the most iconic rides in NASCAR history, the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet that Jeff Gordon won 93 races and four Cup championships with.

And Gordon fans will no doubt love the fact that Byron’s 2018 Camaro ZL1 while prominently feature the Axalta flames similar to those that Gordon carried on his car.

No. 48

One of the most radical departures for the Hendrick squad is the No. 48 2018 Camaro ZL1 that seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson will drive. Trimmed out in solid black, the No. 48 will be sponsored by, continuing a partnership that began in Johnson’s rookie season of 2002.

Johnson is going for his record eighth championship this season and already has 83 career race victories, all in the No. 48.

No. 88

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is retiring after the end of the season and he was instrumental in recommending Alex Bowman to take over the No. 88 in 2018.  Bowman was impressive subbing for Earnhardt in 2016, and his performance was enough to land the ride for next season.

Bowman’s No. 88 Camaro ZL1 will be sponsored by longtime Hendrick partner Nationwide and features the insurance company’s blue and white paint scheme.

Tom Jensen

Tom Jensen is a veteran motorsports journalist. He spent 13 years with, where he was Digital Content Manager. Previously, he was executive editor of NASCAR Scene and managing editor of National Speed Sport News. Jensen served as the president of the National Motorsports Press Association and is the group’s former Writer of the Year.