Joseph Riddick Hendrick III borned on July 12, 1949 in Warrenton,North Carolina, better known as Rick Hendrick is the owner of the Hendrick Automotive Group, one of the biggest automotive chains in the United States and also the owner of several Nascar Teams.
Founded in 1984, Hendrick Motorsports is one of the most successful teams in the Nascar, with over 6 championships won since its debut.
Rick Hendrick owns several race teams, including the Nextel Cup teams of Jeff Gordon, Casey Mears , Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson and the Busch Series team of Kyle Busch. Past drivers include Geoff Bodine, Tim Richmond, Benny Parsons, Darrell Waltrip, Ken Schrader, Ricky Craven, Wally Dallenbach, Jr., Joe Nemechek, Ricky Rudd, Terry Labonte, Brian Vickers, his son Ricky Hendrick, and Rick Hendrick himself.
Hendrick drove in the Nascar in the 1987 and 1988 Winston Cup races at Riverside International Raceway finishing 33rd and 15th. Rick Hendrick had a single start in the Busch Series and the Craftsman Truck Series. Due to the fact that he was diagnosed with leukemia, Hendrick had to retire, but with the help of a treatment his disease went into remission within 3 years.
Hendrick Motorsports has currently 400 employees, who handle the company’s website, its 15,000 square foot (1,400 m²) museum and team store, marketing, public relations, sponsor services, licensing, show cars, and merchandising.
Casey Mears is the official driver of the National Guard/Gmac Chevrolet in the NAscar Nextel Cup Series for Hendrick Motorsports.Mears is the nephew of four time winner of the Indianapolis 500 race, Rick Mears and the son of Indy and off-road veteran Roger Mears.
In 72 Mears is scheduled to make 22 starts in Chevrolets branded with the 24 number, which has not been campaigned by Hendrick Motorsports in the Busch Series since 2002. All races will be companion events with the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, beginning with the season-opening Daytona 300 at Daytona International Speedway.
In 2007 the Army National Guard joined forces with longtime Hendrick Motorsports partner GMAC to sponsor the No. 25 Chevrolets, driven by Casey Mears, in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series.
On May 27, 2007 Mears piloted the #25 to his first career Nextel Cup win at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in the Coca Cola 600.The National Guard is the oldest component of the Armed Forces of the United States and one of the nation’s longest enduring institutions. The National Guard operates in all 50 states, three territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands) and the District of Columbia.
The team suffered a big loss on October 24th, 2004, when ten people associated with Hendrick Motorsports lost their lives in a plane crash. Due to the heavy fog the pane crashed into Bull Mountain at seven miles from the Blue Ridge Regional Airport in Stuart, Virginia. The officials found out about the crash during the Subway 500 race in Martinsville, Virginia but they kept it secret until the end of the race, that was won by Hendrick’s driver Jimmie Johnson.
During the crash 10 persons lost their lives: John Hendrick, president of Hendrick Motorsports,Rick Hendrick’s brother and Ricky Hendrick, Rick Hendrick’s son. Kimberly and Jennifer Hendrick, Jhon Hendrick’s daughters, Jeff Turner, the general manager of Hendrick Motorsports, Randy Dorton, the Chief engine builder, The DuPont executive manager, Mr. Joe Jackson and the pilots Richard Tracy and Elizabeth Morrison.
In their memory all of the Hendrick Motorsports cars showed the pictures of the ten people who died along with the phrase "Always in our hearts".