Hendrick Motorsports communications team has been busy this week.
Alex Bowman’s move to the #48 in 2021 clears the way for Hendrick Motorsports to add Kyle Larson next season. Kyle Larson has been long rumored to join HMS for the 2021 season.
While Larson hasn’t “officially” signed with the team the biggest question other than “will Chevy sign off on this deal” is “what number will Larson have?”
What Number Does Larson Get?
Currently, the open seat at HMS is the #88. That number joined the HMS stable when Dale Jr. joined the team, it is not an original Hendrick number. Will it remain part of the team going into 2021 or will the number changed? More than likely not. Hendrick has a couple of “traditional” numbers for the team, potentially Larson has a number he wants to use. On top of that, the #88 does have some underlying issues that certainly wouldn’t reflect well considering what Larson was suspended for.
#5 – NASCAR fans haven’t seen the #5 since the 2017 season when it was renumbered to the #24 after Chase Elliott renumbered the #24 to the #9. Keeping up? The #5 car was the original HMS car all the way back in 1984, there’s a strong case to be made for bringing it back.
#25 – Ever since Tim Richmond died the #25 car has been a mixed bag of results for HMS. The original #25 was dropped at the end of the 2007 season. It was then renumbered to the #88 for the 2008 season. It served as a part-time car in 2008/2009 for Brad Keselowski. Chase Elliott made his first Cup start in 2015 with that number. The #25 hasn’t been a consistent contender since Tim Richmond. Will Kyle Larson be able to return that number to its original glory? Rick Hendrick would sure love to see it.
#57 – Then there is the #57, potentially the least sexy number outside of #63. However, it is Kyle Larson’s dirt track number. The same number that has stormed across the country this summer collecting trophy after trophy. On top of that HMS used the number in 2005 & 2006 in the Busch Series.
If you’re letting Larson come back into the sport, let him bring his own number. It’s his brand on the line, allowing him to use his number potentially allows HMS to distance themselves if something happens.