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      Winners’ coats: Axalta’s championship history in NASCAR


      Since entering racing in the early 1990s, Axalta paint has been a part of 23 titles across NASCAR’s top three series, helping legends — like Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson — and up-and-coming stars — William Byron and Chase Elliott to name just two — reach victory lane.

      2018: Tyler Reddick | JR Motorsports | Xfinity Series
      Tyler Reddick book-ended the 2018 season with victories at Daytona and Homestead-Miami to claim the Xfinity championship in his first full-time season in the series, earning a second consecutive title for JR Motorsports.

      2017: William Byron | JR Motorsports | Xfinity Series
      Four wins, 12 top-5s and 22 top-10s powered William Byron to the Xfinity championship and Rookie of the Year in 2017. Byron, who took over the Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 for the 2018 Cup season, has won rookie honors in four straight series.

      2017: Christopher Bell | Kyle Busch Motorsports | Truck Series
      Christopher Bell claimed five wins, 15 top-5s and 21 top-10s in 23 races to take the Camping World Truck Series title, the second championship for Kyle Busch Motorsports.

      © Hendrick Motorsports

      2016: Jimmie Johnson | Hendrick Motorsports | Cup Series
      Jimmie Johnson fought from the back of the field to win the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway and earn his record-tying seventh Cup championship, pulling him level with legends Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt.

      2015: Erik Jones | Kyle Busch Motorsports | Truck Series
      Erik Jones, then just 19 years old, finished outside of the top-10 just three times as he became the youngest Truck Series champion.

      2014: Kevin Harvick | Stewart-Haas Racing | Cup Series
      In the first season of NASCAR’s new Chase rules, Kevin Harvick took the checkered flag at Homestead to claim the title, finishing his first season with Stewart-Haas Racing with five wins and six second-place finishes.

      2014: Chase Elliott | JR Motorsports | Nationwide Series
      Now driving the No. 9 for Hendrick Motorsports in the Cup series, Elliott became the youngest-ever champion in a NASCAR national series as he swept the championship, rookie of the year and most popular driver honors at 18 years old.

      © Hendrick Motorsports

      2013: Jimmie Johnson | Hendrick Motorsports | Cup Series
      Johnson scored nine top-10 finishes in the 10-race Chase and closed out the year with six wins and 24 top-10s to capture his sixth title in eight years.

      2011: Tony Stewart | Stewart-Haas Racing | Cup Series
      Following an unbelievable five-year stretch from Jimmie Johnson, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Tony Stewart knocked Johnson from the pedestal and put an end to the No. 48’s title run in 2011. Stewart’s five wins this season all came during the Chase, including a championship-clinching win in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

      2006-2010: Jimmie Johnson | Hendrick Motorsports | Cup Series
      The 2006 season was the beginning of an incredible run for Jimmie Johnson, starting a streak of five straight championships for the No. 48. In 2007, with a 10-win campaign, Johnson became the only driver to record double-digit victories this century. And in 2009, with his fourth straight crown, Johnson broke Cale Yarborough’s record for consecutive Cup championships. Johnson tallied 35 wins, 81 top-5s and more than 7,600 laps led over his extraordinary sprint to five titles in five years.

      © Hendrick Motorsports

      2003: Brian Vickers | Hendrick Motorsports | Busch Series
      Brian Vickers, just 20 years old, raced the No. 5 to three victories in his first full season in the Busch Series and took the championship by 14 points.

      © Hendrick Motorsports

      2001: Jeff Gordon | Hendrick Motorsports | Cup Series
      Racing with a new blue and red flames scheme, Jeff Gordon’s final title came in 2001 as the pilot of the No. 24 became the third driver to win four Cup championships. The California native won six races and finished the year with a 349-point margin over second-place Tony Stewart.

      © Hendrick Motorsports

      2001: Jack Sprague | Rick Hendrick | Truck Series
      Jack Sprague’s third title in five seasons gave Hendrick a Cup and Truck championship double in 2001. Sprague’s 28 career wins in the Truck Series trails just Ron Hornaday Jr. and Kyle Busch all-time.
         

      © Hendrick Motorsports

      1999: Jack Sprague | Rick Hendrick | Truck Series
      Sprague scored his second Truck title in 1999 by just eight points over Greg Biffle thanks to 16 top-5s in 25 races. 

      © Hendrick Motorsports

      1998: Jeff Gordon | Hendrick Motorsports | Cup Series
      Gordon set several records during his remarkable 1998 season that locked up back-to-back titles. The driver of the No. 24 matched a modern-era record with 13 wins — including four consecutive victories at Pocono, Indianapolis, Watkins Glen and Michigan — and registered 17 straight top-5 finishes. Gordon’s third title in four years was also the fourth straight for Team Hendrick.

      © Hendrick Motorsports

      1997: Jeff Gordon | Hendrick Motorsports | Cup Series
      The “Rainbow Warrior” captured his first Daytona 500 victory on his way to the 1997 Cup championship, becoming the youngest driver to win the race at the time. He again registered double-digit victories, with wins at Charlotte and Darlington in addition to Daytona.

      © Hendrick Motorsports

      1997: Jack Sprague | Rick Hendrick | Truck Series
      Sprague made it two titles for Hendrick in 1997 — one of two times that Sprague and Gordon doubled up — with his first truck championship coming after he captured three victories.

      © Hendrick Motorsports

      1996: Terry Labonte | Hendrick Motorsports | Cup Series
      Terry Labonte was the only thing that stopped Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon from defending his title in 1996. Gordon won 10 races to go along with 21 top-5s but was forced to settle for second as Labonte edged the No. 24 by 37 points in the final standings.

      © Hendrick Motorsports

      1995: Jeff Gordon | Hendrick Motorsports | Cup Series
      Jeff Gordon’s first Cup title came in his third full season in NASCAR’s top series. Gordon started the year fast in his rainbow-colored scheme, winning three of the first six races on his way to registering seven victories and 17 top-5s on the season. At 24 years old, he became the youngest Cup champion of the modern era (post-1971) and the first title winner with Axalta paint.