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Drew Bonifant

Day 3 Sprint Media Tour recap: Hendrick Motorsports pledges dominance in Cup 

  • Hendrick Motorsports drivers (from left) Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. join owner Rick Hendrick (center) at a team press conference during the Sprint Media Tour in Concord, N.C., on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. (Drew Bonifant / Monitor staff)

    Hendrick Motorsports drivers (from left) Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. join owner Rick Hendrick (center) at a team press conference during the Sprint Media Tour in Concord, N.C., on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. (Drew Bonifant / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Jamie McMurray's car shows a new decal following Chip Ganassi Racing's announced partnership with Cessna during the Sprint Media Tour in Concord, N.C., on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. (Drew Bonifant / Monitor staff)

    Jamie McMurray's car shows a new decal following Chip Ganassi Racing's announced partnership with Cessna during the Sprint Media Tour in Concord, N.C., on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. (Drew Bonifant / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • The line of Hendrick Motorsports Gen-6 cars on display at the team shop during the Sprint Media Tour in Concord, N.C., on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. (Drew Bonifant / Monitor staff)

    The line of Hendrick Motorsports Gen-6 cars on display at the team shop during the Sprint Media Tour in Concord, N.C., on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. (Drew Bonifant / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  •  Earnhardt-Ganassi drivers (from left) Jamie McMurray, Juan Pablo Montoya, Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti answer questions at a team press conference during the Sprint Media Tour in Concord, N.C., on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. (Drew Bonifant / Monitor staff)

    Earnhardt-Ganassi drivers (from left) Jamie McMurray, Juan Pablo Montoya, Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti answer questions at a team press conference during the Sprint Media Tour in Concord, N.C., on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. (Drew Bonifant / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Hendrick Motorsports drivers (from left) Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. join owner Rick Hendrick (second from left) at a team press conference during the Sprint Media Tour in Concord, N.C., on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. (Drew Bonifant / Monitor staff)

    Hendrick Motorsports drivers (from left) Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. join owner Rick Hendrick (second from left) at a team press conference during the Sprint Media Tour in Concord, N.C., on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. (Drew Bonifant / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Hendrick Motorsports driver Jeff Gordon addresses the media during the Sprint Media Tour in Concord, N.C., on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. (Drew Bonifant / Monitor staff)

    Hendrick Motorsports driver Jeff Gordon addresses the media during the Sprint Media Tour in Concord, N.C., on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. (Drew Bonifant / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Hendrick Motorsports driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. answers a question during a team press conference during the Sprint Media Tour in Concord, N.C., on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. (Drew Bonifant / Monitor staff)

    Hendrick Motorsports driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. answers a question during a team press conference during the Sprint Media Tour in Concord, N.C., on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. (Drew Bonifant / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Hendrick Motorsports driver Jimmie Johnson answers a question during a team press conference during the Sprint Media Tour in Concord, N.C., on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. (Drew Bonifant / Monitor staff)

    Hendrick Motorsports driver Jimmie Johnson answers a question during a team press conference during the Sprint Media Tour in Concord, N.C., on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. (Drew Bonifant / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Hendrick Motorsports drivers (from left) Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. join owner Rick Hendrick (center) at a team press conference during the Sprint Media Tour in Concord, N.C., on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. (Drew Bonifant / Monitor staff)
  • Jamie McMurray's car shows a new decal following Chip Ganassi Racing's announced partnership with Cessna during the Sprint Media Tour in Concord, N.C., on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. (Drew Bonifant / Monitor staff)
  • The line of Hendrick Motorsports Gen-6 cars on display at the team shop during the Sprint Media Tour in Concord, N.C., on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. (Drew Bonifant / Monitor staff)
  •  Earnhardt-Ganassi drivers (from left) Jamie McMurray, Juan Pablo Montoya, Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti answer questions at a team press conference during the Sprint Media Tour in Concord, N.C., on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. (Drew Bonifant / Monitor staff)
  • Hendrick Motorsports drivers (from left) Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. join owner Rick Hendrick (second from left) at a team press conference during the Sprint Media Tour in Concord, N.C., on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. (Drew Bonifant / Monitor staff)
  • Hendrick Motorsports driver Jeff Gordon addresses the media during the Sprint Media Tour in Concord, N.C., on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. (Drew Bonifant / Monitor staff)
  • Hendrick Motorsports driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. answers a question during a team press conference during the Sprint Media Tour in Concord, N.C., on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. (Drew Bonifant / Monitor staff)
  • Hendrick Motorsports driver Jimmie Johnson answers a question during a team press conference during the Sprint Media Tour in Concord, N.C., on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. (Drew Bonifant / Monitor staff)

Day 3 Recap

The third day of the Sprint Media Tour in Charlotte meant sessions with the Sprint Cup's most powerful team.

Hendrick Motorsports had its press availability, and owner Rick Hendrick and drivers Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne addressed the media as well. A year after predicting that all four drivers would make the Chase (a statement that turned out to be true), Hendrick asserted his confidence in his team again, saying that he believes all four drivers will make a title push and that the team is hungry to claim another championship after Penske's Brad Keselowski broke up Johnson's five-year run.

A popular side topic centered around the once-dominant Gordon, who's won four Cups but none since 2001. Gordon acknowledged the 20 years he's spent in the series and journey he's experienced from talented rookie to seasoned veteran, but said he's nowhere near ready to call it a career and that he still considers himself in the running for a fifth title.

Another Sprint Cup team had a moment in the spotlight yesterday. Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing held its media session and had an announcement, as owner Chip Ganassi announced that all of his teams (EGR and Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates) would be receiving sponsorship from Cessna Aircraft. Ganassi also expounded on a disappointing 2012 for EGR and his desire for the team to return to its 2010 heights, when driver Jamie McMurray won both the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400.

Quotes of the Day

"When you see these assets behind me, you realize it's not exactly Joe's Hot Dog Stand that we're bringing into the sport. These are serious companies." - Chip Ganassi, owner of Chip Ganassi Racing, on the team landing Cessna as a multi-series sponsor.

"He never calls me, I never call him. Why does it work well? Because he does well all time. That helps." - Ganassi on Scott Dixon, the 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner and his longest-tenured driver.

"I'd rather be conservative about how good (I'm) going to be, then go out there and kick everybody's ass. It's better to show it than to talk about it." - Juan Pablo Montoya.

"We feel like we fumbled the ball in the closing minutes of the game, and we want to get back to the Super Bowl." - Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, on trying to win a Sprint Cup championship after his drivers faltered at the end of last year.

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