Rick Hendrick

Joseph Riddick "Rick" Hendrick III (born July 12, 1949) is the current owner of the American NASCAR team Hendrick Motorsports, co-owner of JR Motorsports, and founder of the Hendrick Automotive Group and Hendrick Marrow Program. He attended Park View High School in South Hill, Virginia, and began his career in auto racing at age 14. He is also a retired racing driver himself, driving in only four NASCAR races throughout the course of his NASCAR career. He is the father of the late Ricky Hendrick, a former NASCAR driver, who died in a plane crash in 2004 along with other members of the Hendrick family and Hendrick Motorsports crew members. He is nicknamed "Mr. H" by those in the NASCAR industry.[1]

Rick Hendrick
Pure Michigan 400 Nascar race 8-16-15 (20552956670).jpg
Born
Joseph Riddick Hendrick III

(1949-07-12) July 12, 1949 (age 71)
NationalityUnited States American
OccupationOwner, Hendrick Motorsports
Years active1984–present
EmployerHendrick Motorsports (owner)
Spouse(s)Linda Hendrick
ChildrenRicky Hendrick (deceased), Lynn Carlson
Parent(s)Joseph Hendrick Jr. (deceased)
Mary Hendrick (deceased)
Awards13-time NASCAR Cup Champion (as an owner)
NASCAR Hall of Fame (Class of 2017)
NASCAR Cup Series career
2 races run over 2 years
Best finish63rd (1988)
First race1987 Winston Western 500 (Riverside)
Last race1988 Budweiser 400 (Riverside)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0
NASCAR Xfinity Series career
1 race run over 1 year
Best finish64th (1987)
First race1987 Amoco 300 (Road Atlanta)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career
1 race run over 1 year
Best finish88th (1995)
First race1995 Heartland Tailgate 175 (Topeka)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0

As of 2020, his team has won 263 NASCAR Cup Series races (over 300 total wins for the team in NASCAR when counting his former Xfinity and Truck Series teams), 13 NASCAR Cup Series championships (7 by Jimmie Johnson, 4 by Jeff Gordon, and 1 by both Chase Elliott and Terry Labonte) and 3 NASCAR Truck Series championships (all by Jack Sprague). All of this success led to his induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2017. He was also inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America on March 17, 2020.[2]

Hendrick Motorsports currently fields four full-time teams in the Cup Series: the No. 5 of Kyle Larson, the No. 9 of Chase Elliott, the No. 24 of William Byron, and the No. 48 of Alex Bowman.

Personal lifeEdit

Hendrick, born on July 12, 1949, in Warrenton, North Carolina, was raised on his family's farm.[3] Hendrick, at the age of 14, began drag racing in a self built 1931 Chevrolet. Two years later, at age 16, Hendrick won the Virginia division of the Chrysler-Plymouth Troubleshooting Contest, a two-part test consisting of a written exam and a timed hands-on diagnosis and repair of defects planted on a car. While attending Park View High School in South Hill, Virginia, he considered being a professional baseball player. After high school, he decided to pursue a co-op work study program with North Carolina State University and Westinghouse Electric Company in Raleigh, North Carolina.[3]

Afterward, Hendrick opened a small used-car lot with Mike Leith, named Hendrick Automotive Group. Leith, an established new-car dealer, was convinced to name Hendrick the general sales manager of the company, at age 23. In 1976, he sold his assets to purchase a franchise in Bennettsville, South Carolina. After doing so, he became the youngest Chevrolet dealer in the United States. Hendrick's influence increased sales to make the once troubled location become the region's most profitable. The success of Bennettsville was a precursor to the Hendrick Automotive Group, which now has 98 franchises and 10,000 employees across 13 states. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, his company had a revenue of excess of US$3.5 billion in 2009, after selling 100,000 vehicles and servicing 1.5 million, and is the sixth-largest dealership in the United States.[4] Hendrick is also the chairman of the company.[3][5]

Hendrick drove in two races during the 1987 and 1988 Winston Cup Series, with finishes of 33rd and 15th, respectively. He also had a single start in both the Busch Series and the Craftsman Truck Series.[6] He also had been a pit crew member for the Flying 11 that Ray Hendrick (no relation) drove in the 1960s.[7] In 1997, Hendrick began the Hendrick Marrow Program, a non-profit works with the Be The Match Foundation to support the National Marrow Donor Program. It raises funds to add volunteers to the Be The Match Registry, which helps to find a marrow match for patients. It also provides assistance to recipients with uninsured transplant costs. Since the beginning, it has raised millions of dollars, 100,000 potential donors to the organization and eased the financial burden of more the 5,000 patients with grants from the Hendrick Family Fund for Patient Assistance.[3]

 
Hendrick (right) with his wife Linda (second from right), Kelley Earnhardt Miller and L. W. Miller, and William Byron at Daytona in February 2017

Afterward, he and his wife, Linda, were honored in 1999 with the Be The Match Foundation's Leadership for the Life Award. The award recognizes individuals who have made an extraordinary commitment to serve marrow transplant patients. Some of the past patients include U.S. Rep. C. W. Bill Young, baseball great Rod Carew and former Postmaster General William J. Henderson. He takes a personal approach to the cause after being diagnosed in November 1996 with chronic myelogenous leukemia, but has been in full remission since December 1999. Hendrick also has a passion for The Hendrick Foundation for Children, a foundation that supports programs and services that benefit youngsters with illness, injury, disability or other hindrance, and was established by his brother, John Hendrick. Governor Jim Hunt recognized Hendrick in 1996 with The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina's highest civilian honor. The award is bestowed upon citizens of the state who have a proven record of extraordinary service. Past recipients include journalist Charles Kuralt, the Rev. Billy Graham, artist Bob Timberlake and Hendrick's late father, Joe Hendrick, who was presented the award by Gov. Mike Easley in 2004.[3]

In 1997, Hendrick pleaded guilty to mail fraud.[8] In the 1980s, Honda automobiles were in high demand and Honda executives allegedly solicited bribes from dealers for larger product disbursements. Hendrick admitted to giving hundreds of thousands of dollars, BMW automobiles, and houses to American Honda Motor Company executives.[9] Hendrick was sentenced in December 1997 to a $250,000 fine, 12 months' home confinement (instead of prison, due to his leukemia), three years probation, and to have no involvement with Hendrick Automotive Group (which was run by Jim Perkins) or Hendrick Motorsports (run by his brother John) during his year of confinement. In December 2000, Hendrick received a full pardon from President Bill Clinton.

His main private jet is a Gulfstream V with the tail number N500RH.[10][11]

On October 31, 2011, Hendrick and his wife, Linda, were involved in a plane crash in Key West, Florida, when the plane landed long at Key West International Airport. Linda suffered minor injuries while Rick suffered three broken ribs and a fractured clavicle.[12]

Team ownerEdit

In the late 1970s, Hendrick founded a drag boat racing team that won three consecutive championships, as well as setting a world record of 222.2 mph (357.6 km/h) with Nitro Fever.[3] He then moved to the NASCAR Model Sportsman Series (now Xfinity Series), in which he earned one victory with Dale Earnhardt at Charlotte Motor Speedway.[3] In 1984, he founded All-Star Racing (now Hendrick Motorsports). With five full-time employees and 5,000 square feet (460 m2) of workspace, he fielded one NASCAR Winston Cup team. With Geoff Bodine the driver, his team managed to race in all 30 races to finish ninth in the final standings with three wins and pole positions.[3] Throughout his career as a team owner, Hendrick has won 17 Drivers' championships (13 Cup Series, 1 Xfinity Series, and 3 Camping World Truck Series), 347 race wins (252 Cup Series, 67 Xfinity Series 23 with Hendrick Motorsports and 44 with JR Motorsports, and 26 Truck Series), and 291 pole positions (216 Sprint Cup Series, 53 Xfinity Series, 36 with Hendrick Motorsports, and 17 JR Motorsports, and 22 Truck Series).[13] He is widely considered to be the most successful team owner in NASCAR history. On December 13, 2018, Hendrick announced that when he retires as owner of Hendrick Motorsports, there are plans in the works for Jeff Gordon to replace him.[14][15]

During the late 1980s, Hendrick owned the Goodwrench IMSA GTP Corvette driven by Sarel Van der Merwe and Doc Bundy. The car was actually built by Lola but resembled later Corvette models and was powered by GM's twin-turbo V-6 engine. The GTP team was based in a tiny shop on Gasoline Alley (formerly Roena St.) in Indianapolis, Indiana and managed by Ken Howes of South Africa. The team experienced mixed successes, setting track records and winning many pole positions but few races. The project was abandoned after only a few seasons.

Motorsports career resultsEdit

NASCAREdit

(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Winston Cup SeriesEdit

NASCAR Winston Cup Series results
Year Team No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 NWCC Pts
1987 Hendrick Motorsports 25 Chevy DAY CAR RCH ATL DAR NWS BRI MAR TAL CLT DOV POC RSD MCH DAY POC TAL GLN MCH BRI DAR RCH DOV MAR NWS CLT CAR RSD
33
ATL 106th 64
1988 18 DAY RCH CAR ATL DAR BRI NWS MAR TAL CLT DOV RSD
15
POC MCH DAY POC TAL GLN MCH BRI DAR RCH DOV MAR CLT NWS CAR PHO ATL 63rd 118

Busch SeriesEdit

NASCAR Busch Series results
Year Team No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 NBSC Pts
1987 Hendrick Motorsports 15 Chevy DAY HCY MAR DAR BRI LGY SBO CLT DOV IRP ROU JFC OXF SBO HCY RAL
24
LGY ROU BRI JFC DAR RCH DOV MAR CLT CAR MAR 64th 91

SuperTruck SeriesEdit

NASCAR SuperTruck Series results
Year Team No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 NCTC Pts
1995 Hendrick Motorsports 25 Chevy PHO TUS SGS MMR POR EVG I70 LVL BRI MLW CNS HPT
23
IRP FLM RCH MAR NWS SON MMR PHO 88th 94

ARCA SuperCar SeriesEdit

(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

ARCA Permatex SuperCar Series results
Year Team No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 ARSC Pts
1991 Hendrick Motorsports 15 Chevy DAY ATL KIL TAL TOL FRS POC MCH KIL FRS DEL POC TAL HPT
23
MCH ISF TOL DSF TWS ATL 123rd 0

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ McGee, Ryan (May 14, 2012). "The real Rick Hendrick can be found". ESPN. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  2. ^ 2020 Inductees at the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports" (PDF). DuPont Motorsports. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 15, 2011. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
  4. ^ Pappone, Jeff (2013-04-22). "Motorsport teams and sponsors enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 2013-11-28. Retrieved 2013-12-04.
  5. ^ "Hendrick Automotive Group". Hendrickauto.com. Retrieved 2010-11-26.
  6. ^ "Rick Hendrick Career Statistics". Racing-Reference.info. 1949-07-12. Retrieved 2010-11-26.
  7. ^ "Benny Parsons' commentary, ESPN 26 hour marathon for the Top NASCAR races as it turns 50 years old at Riverside International Raceway". Top NASCAR Races. 1999. 1:00 minutes in. ESPN2. ESPN.
  8. ^ Kurz Jr., Hank (2004-10-25). "Hendrick Motorsports Plane Crash Kills 10". Chicago Tribune. Associated Press. Retrieved 2007-06-14.
  9. ^ Lacey, Marc; Johnston, David (February 28, 2001). "Clinton Will Not Block Aides From Testifying on Pardons". The New York Times.
  10. ^ "Clinton Pardons". Jurist.law.pitt.edu. Retrieved 2010-11-26.
  11. ^ "DOJ listing of Hendrick's pardon". Usdoj.gov. 2000-12-22. Retrieved 2010-11-26.
  12. ^ "Plane carrying NASCAR owner crash lands in Florida". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2011-10-31.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Rick Hendrick Owner Statistics". Racing-Reference.info. Retrieved 2010-11-26.
  14. ^ Vincent, Amanda (December 13, 2018). "Jeff Gordon Will Eventually Take Over Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR Team: Report". The Drive. Time Inc. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  15. ^ Pearce, Al; Hembree, Mike (December 13, 2018). "Racin' to the Oldies: NASCAR's aging team owners face the future with diverse plans for their teams". Autoweek. Retrieved December 14, 2018.

External linksEdit