Did You Know: Rick Hendrick

David PhillipsAnalyst IJune 19, 2009

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 15:  (L-R) Team owner Rick Hendrick poses with actor Tom Cruise prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 15, 2009 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Did You Know

Rick Hendrick has been a team owner since 1984. But did you know he made two Cup Starts in his own Hendrick Motorsports cars in 1987 and 1988 at the Riverside International Road Course?

At Riverside, Hendrick started 21st and finished 33rd in '87 and started 13th and finished 15th in '88.

As the road course came around, I was watching old road course races and particularly the 1988 Riverside Race.

I saw Hendrick Pilot his own No. 18 Levi Garrett Chevrolet, and was very surprised to hear Bob Jenkins say Hendrick was a road racing ace. (Watch out for those Hendrick cars at Sonoma.)

Did You Know Fact No. 2

Hendrick also piloted the No. 15 Levi Garrett Chevrolet at Road Atlanta in the now Nationwide Series. He started sixth and finish 24th after having clutch problems.

Hendrick only won $560.00 that day for a 24th-place finish, but it goes to show he built these teams with his own hands.

He and his son Ricky both made starts in the Nationwide Series under the Hendrick Banner (not in the same year of course).

Did You Know Fact No. 3

In 1995, Hendrick made his lone Truck Series start at the age of 46 at Topeka, where he started 16th and finished second in the Budweiser Chevy.

Hendrick did everything from Cup to Trucks from '87 to '95 in four lone races.

Did You Know Fact No. 4

Hendrick's name is not Rick Hendrick. It is actually Joseph Riddick Hendrick III—Rick for short.

Did You Know Fact No. 5

Hendrick plead guilty to mail fraud in 1997 and was sentenced to a $250,000 fine and 12 months of home confinement—He would have gone to prison if not for his leukemia.

Hendrick also had three years of probation and was to have no involvement with Hendrick Automotive Group or Hendrick Motorsports, until 2000, when then President Bill Clinton gave Hendrick a full pardon for his crime.

It's hard to tell where NASCAR would be today if not for Hendrick.

All of the following have something to thank Hendrick for: Geoff Bodine, Tim Richmond, Ken Schrader, Ricky Craven, Todd Bodine, Wally Dallenbach Jr., Randy LaJoie, Joe Nemecheck, Ricky Rudd, Terry Labonte, Brian Vickers, Casey Mears, Jerry Nadeau, Greg Sacks, Benny Parsons, Al Unser Jr., Jack Sprague, David Green, youngsters like Boson Reid, Landon Cassill, Blake Feese, Kyle Krisiloff, Adrian Fernandez, Kyle Busch, Ricky Hendrick, Brad Keselowski, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Darrell Waltrip, Mark Martin, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, and even Tony Stewart.

Hendrick Motorsports has over 180 wins as a team since 1984 and has won the Cup championship eight times, including the last three with Jimmie Johnson.

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