|As you drive north away from Charlotte Motor Speedway along Burton Smith Parkway you would think you are in Hendricksville. There must be 5 different Hendrick auto dealerships next door to each other selling any brand of car you need or want. Not more than 2 miles from the speedway is Hendricks Motor Sports complex.
Hendrick Motorsports (HMS), originally named All Star Racing, is an American professional stock car racing team that currently competes in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The team, created in 1984 by Rick Hendrick, is one of stock car racing's premier organizations. As of 2016, Hendrick Motorsports has won twelve Monster Energy Cup Series owners and drivers championships, three Camping World Truck Series owners and drivers titles, and one Xfinity Series drivers crown, 240 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victories, 26 Xfinity Series wins, and 26 Camping World Truck Series victories. As of the 2016 season, the team has won a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on every track on the current circuit – except for Kentucky Speedway, which has only been on the circuit since 2011.
The team currently fields four full-time Monster Energy Cup Series teams, including the No. 9 NAPA/SunEnergy1/Hooters/Mountain Dew/Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Chase Elliott, the No. 24 Liberty University/Axalta/UniFirst/Hertz Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for William Byron, the No. 48 Lowe's/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Jimmie Johnson, and the No. 88 Nationwide Insurance/Axalta Coating Systems/LLumar/Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Alex Bowman. The team formerly fielded teams in the now-Xfinity Series before merging its efforts with JR Motorsports. The team also fielded several trucks in the Camping World Truck Series, most recently for development driver Chase Elliott in 2013. The team has fielded cars in the past for many NASCAR drivers, including Geoff Bodine, Tim Richmond, Darrell Waltrip, Benny Parsons, Ricky Rudd, Ken Schrader, Terry Labonte, Kyle Busch, Casey Mears, Mark Martin, Brian Vickers, Jeff Gordon, and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
All Hendrick race cars are constructed start-to-finish at the 100-plus acre Hendrick Motorsports complex in Concord, North Carolina. More than 550 engines are built or re-built on-site each year, with the team leasing some of those to Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR). They currently have a technical alliance with JTG Daugherty Racing. Hendrick Motorsports employs over 600 people that perform many day-to-day activities. In 2009, Hendrick Motorsports made history by having three out of the four full-time drivers finish in the top three places in the point standings (Johnson, Martin, and Gordon).
Car No. 80 history
In 2009, Hendrick Motorsports announced that they would run a No. 80 HendrickCars.com car driven by Tony Stewart in the Xfinity Series Camping World 300 at Daytona. The number 80 represented the number of affiliates in the Hendrick Automotive Group. Stewart won the race in this car, with this being his only race for Hendrick Motorsports while focusing on his own team in a partnership with Gene Haas, Stewart-Haas Racing, which previously received engines, chassis, and technical support from Hendrick Motorsports
On October 24, 2004, ten people associated with Hendrick Motorsports lost their lives in a plane crash while en route from Concord, North Carolina, to a small airport near the Martinsville Speedway. The plane crashed in heavy fog into Bull Mountain, seven miles from the Blue Ridge Airport in Stuart, Virginia, after a failed attempt to land. Ten people aboard the Beechcraft King Air 200 died. Six were Hendrick family members and/or Hendrick Motorsports employees: John Hendrick, the owner's brother and president of Hendrick Motorsports; Jeff Turner, general manager of Hendrick Motorsports; Ricky Hendrick, a Hendrick Motorsports driver and its owner's son; Kimberly and Jennifer Hendrick, John Hendrick's twin daughters; and Randy Dorton, chief engine builder. Also dead were the plane's pilots, Richard Tracy and Elizabeth Morrison, Joe Jackson, director of the DuPont Motorsports program,and Scott Lathram, who worked for Joe Gibbs Racing as a helicopter pilot.
NASCAR officials learned of the crash during that day's Subway 500 race in Martinsville, Virginia; they withheld the information from drivers until the end of the race, which was won by Hendrick driver Jimmie Johnson. For the rest of the 2004 season, all Hendrick Motorsports cars and the No. 0 Haas CNC Racing car featured pictures of the crash victims on the hood, accompanied by the phrase "Always in our hearts".
I know this is lengthy but we wanted to share this story because the man has a net worth of over a billion dollars but still has so much tragedy in his life and his faith is what got him thru. He has fought leukemia, lost his son, brother, twin nieces and 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.