Hometown: Palmer Springs, Va.Competed: 1984-Present
The founder and owner of Hendrick Motorsports, Rick Hendrick’s organization is recognized as one of NASCAR’s most successful. A longtime racing enthusiast and driver himself, Hendrick owned drag-racing boat teams that won three championships before founding “All-Star Racing,” the team that would evolve into Hendrick Motorsports, in 1984. Hendrick’s current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable includes drivers Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kaey Kahne.
Hendrick Motorsports owns an all-time record 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car owner championship titles – five with Johnson, four with Gordon and one with Terry Labonte. Hendrick also has 13 total NASCAR national-series car-owner championships, which is also most in NASCAR history. Gordon and Labonte combined to win four consecutive titles from 1995-98. In 2010, Johnson won a record-extending fifth consecutive championship.
Some of NASCAR’s most prominent drivers have driven for Hendrick. Geoff Bodine was the first, snaring the organization’s first victory on April 29, 1984, at Martinsville Speedway. The late Tim Richmond, three-time series champion Darrell Waltrip and the late Benny Parsons, the 1973 series champion, also are Hendrick alumni. Ricky Craven, Ricky Rudd, Ken Schrader, Joe Nemechek and Kyle Busch are other well-known drivers who have driven for Hendrick.
Hendrick and his wife, Linda, reside in North Carolina. Off-track, Hendrick is active in promoting awareness for leukemia research. He successfully battled the disease in 1996, establishing the Hendrick Marrow Program in 1997 to aid patients nationwide suffering from leukemia and 70 other blood diseases.
This is the latest in a series of GodfatherMotorsports.com biographies profiling the 25 nominees for the 2012 class of the NASCAR Hall Of Fame. Each of the 25 candidates will be profiled in the coming weeks, in alphabetical order.