Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Fast Facts: 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Rick Hendrick

credit: Getty Images for NASCAR/Jerry Markland
Rick Hendrick has become one of the most prolific team owners in NASCAR when it comes to winning championships, and on Jan. 20, 2017, he will be one of five inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Learn more about Hendrick in this week’s Fast Facts, and look for profiles on fellow Hall of Famers Mark Martin, Raymond Parks and Benny Parsons in coming weeks.
  • Joseph Riddick Hendrick III was born July 12, 1949 in Palmer Springs, VA. He began drag racing at age 14, and competed in four NASCAR races across the top three series (Cup, Xfinity and Trucks), but found the most success as a team owner.
  • In the late 1970s, Hendrick owned a drag boat racing team that won three championships before moving on to NASCAR in the early 1980s. In 1984, he founded All-Star Racing – which later became Hendrick Motorsports – and with driver Geoff Bodine won three races and finished ninth in points in its inaugural season.
  • For the upcoming 2017 season, Hendrick Motorsports will field four teams in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for drivers Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chase Elliott and Kasey Kahne.
  • Through the 2016 season, Hendrick Motorsports has won 15 NASCAR driver’s championships: 11 Cup Series (seven with Johnson, four with Jeff Gordon), one Xfinity Series with Brian Vickers, and three Camping World Truck Series, all with Jack Sprague.
  • Hendrick suffered a tragic loss on Oct. 24, 2004, as son Ricky, brother John, twin nieces Kimberly and Jennifer and six others were killed in a plane crash in Virginia. Hendrick and his wife Linda were themselves involved in a minor plane crash in Key West, FL on Oct. 31, 2011, with Linda suffering minor injuries and Hendrick suffering three broken ribs and a fractured clavicle.
  • Away from the track, Hendrick is the chairman and founder of Hendrick Automotive Group, which operates 98 franchises in 13 states. The group is headquartered in Charlotte, NC.
  • In 1997, Hendrick founded the Hendrick Marrow Program, an organization that works with the Be The Match Foundation and supports the National Marrow Donor Program. Hendrick was diagnosed in Nov. 1996 with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Hendrick also continued the Hendrick Foundation for Children, which was established in 2004 by his late brother John.
  • Learn more about Hendrick and Hendrick Motorsports at www.hendrickmotorsports.com.
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