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Hendrick_Motorsports

Hendrick Motorsports

Hendrick Motorsports is a stock car racing team that currently competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The team is principally owned by Rick Hendrick, but Jeff Gordon and Mary Hendrick are listed as the owners of the #48 and #5 respectively. One of stock car racing's premier organizations, Hendrick Motorsports has garnered seven Cup Series championships, three Craftsman Truck Series titles, and one Busch Series crown.

All Hendrick race cars are constructed start-to-finish at Hendrick's 62 acre complex in Concord, North Carolina. More than 700 engines are built or re-built on-site each year, with the team leasing some of those to other NASCAR outfits.

Hendrick Motorsports employs over 500 people that perform many day-to-day activities. Besides building the cars, employees manage the company's website, its 15,000 square foot museum and team store, marketing, public relations, sponsor services, licensing, show cars, and merchandising.

Car History

Sprint Cup

Car #5 History

Hendrick Motorsports debuted in 1984 under the banner "All Star Racing" with the #5 Northwestern Security Life Chevy Monte Carlo, driven by Geoff Bodine. Running all 30 races, Bodine and the team won three times and finished ninth in points. Levi Garrett came on board to sponsor the #5 Chevy in 1985. Despite not winning a race that year, Bodine improved to fifth in points. The team briefly became a two-car operation when Dick Brooks drove the #1 Exxon Chevy at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Hendrick moved to a multi-car team full-time in 1986, with Bodine and Tim Richmond as drivers. Bodine won twice in the #5 and posted an eighth place finish in points. His younger brother, Brett, raced as a teammate in the World 600 that year. Bodine went winless again in 1987, finishing thirteenth in points. Bodine won one race each of the next two years before leaving for Junior Johnson in 1990. Ricky Rudd took his place, winning once and finishing seventh in points. For 1991, the team received sponsorship from Tide as part of the car's merger with Darrell Waltrip's old team. Winning one race that year, Rudd finished a career high second in points. On the final lap of that year's race at Sears Point Raceway, second-place Rudd spun out leader Davey Allison on the last turn and went on to win. NASCAR penalized the team for rough driving and awarded Allison the win. Rudd won once each of the next two years, and then left to form his own team, taking Tide with him.

Rudd's replacement was 1984 Winston Cup champion Terry Labonte. The car received sponsorship from Kellogg's. Labonte won three races each in 1994 and 1995, and defeated teammate Jeff Gordon for the 1996 Winston Cup championship by 37 points. Labonte won one race each of the next three seasons. The 2000 season was a very difficult year for the team as two long streaks that defined Labonte's career came to an end. In the Pepsi 400, Labonte crashed his car and broke his leg. After an accident at New Hampshire damaged his inner ear, Labonte was not capable of driving, and he ended up missing two races, bringing his streak of most consecutive races to an abrupt end. Todd Bodine and Ron Hornaday, Jr. subbed for Labonte. His six-year winning streak was also broken as he failed to visit victory lane that year.

After a couple of low-key years, Labonte finished tenth in the points in 2003. He also revisited victory lane after a four-year drought, winning the final Southern 500 at Darlington. After slipping to twenty-sixth in points in 2004, Labonte announced his semi-retirement. He would drive a limited schedule for two years before officially retiring after the 2006 season. Hendrick tabbed Kyle Busch as his replacement.

Busch easily won the 2005 rookie of the year battle and made history when he took the checkered flag in the Sony HD 500 at California Speedway for his first win, becoming the youngest driver to ever win a Cup Series race at the age of 20 years, 4 months, and 2 days. Busch would win later that year at Phoenix. In 2006, Kyle won once and qualified for the Chase for the Nextel Cup, ultimately finishing tenth in points. In 2007, Busch grabbed a win at the Food City 500, the inaugural race for the Car of Tomorrow. On June 13, 2007 Hendrick announced that Kyle Busch would not return to drive the #5 car in 2008. On September 4, 2007 it was announced that Casey Mears would drive the #5 in 2008.

On June 22, 2008 ESPN.com reported that Mark Martin would leave Dale Earnhardt, Inc. to replace Casey Mears in the #5 car for the 2009 season. On Friday, July 4, at Daytona International Raceway Hendrick and Mark Martin announced that Martin had agreed to a two-year contract in the #5 car. Martin is scheduled to compete full-time in the #5 for the 2009 season, and to run 26 races in the 2010 season, with the other 10 likely shared by HMS development driver Landon Cassill and JR Motorsports driver Brad Keselowski.

Car #5 Career Statistics
Year Car Driver Races Wins Poles Top 5 Top 10 Season Rank
1984 #5 Geoff Bodine 30 3 3 7 14 9
1985 #5 Geoff Bodine 28 0 3 10 14 5
1986 #5 Geoff Bodine 29 2 8 10 15 8
1987 #5 Geoff Bodine 29 0 2 3 10 13
1988 #5 Geoff Bodine 29 1 3 10 16 6
1989 #5 Geoff Bodine 29 1 3 9 11 9
1990 #5 Ricky Rudd 29 1 2 8 15 7
1991 #5 Ricky Rudd 29 1 1 9 17 2
1992 #5 Ricky Rudd 29 1 1 9 18 7
1993 #5 Ricky Rudd 30 1 0 9 14 10
1994 #5 Terry Labonte 31 3 0 6 14 7
1995 #5 Terry Labonte 31 3 1 14 17 6
1996 #5 Terry Labonte 31 2 4 21 24 1
1997 #5 Terry Labonte 32 1 0 8 20 6
1998 #5 Terry Labonte 33 1 0 5 15 9
1999 #5 Terry Labonte 34 1 0 1 7 12
2000 #5 Terry Labonte 32 0 1 3 6 17
2000 #5 Todd Bodine 1 0 0 0 0 49
2000 #5 Ron Hornaday, Jr. 1 0 0 0 0 61
2001 #5 Terry Labonte 36 0 0 1 3 23
2002 #5 Terry Labonte 36 0 0 1 4 24
2003 #5 Terry Labonte 36 1 1 4 9 10
2004 #5 Terry Labonte 36 0 0 0 6 26
2005 #5 Kyle Busch 36 2 1 9 13 20
2006 #5 Kyle Busch 36 1 1 10 18 10
2007 #5 Kyle Busch 36 1 0 11 20 5
2008 #5 Casey Mears 30 0 0 1 4 22
2009 #5 Mark Martin
Totals 799 27 35 179 324

Car #17 History

Darrell Waltrip left Junior Johnson's team following the 1986 season in order to end his relationship with Budweiser. Waltrip chose to join Hendrick Motorsports with Tide as his sponsor and 17 as his car number. The team stayed mostly constant for all of its existence. Waltrip finally won the Daytona 500 in 1989, a race that had eluded him for so many years. At the end of the 1990 season, Waltrip decided he wanted to start his own team, so he left, taking the #17 with him. The Tide sponsorship moved to the flagship #5 team with Ricky Rudd as the driver and remained there until the end of the 1993 season.

Car #17 Career Statistics
Year Car Driver Races Wins Poles Top 5 Top 10 Season Rank
1987 #17 Darrell Waltrip 29 1 0 6 16 4
1988 #17 Darrell Waltrip 29 2 2 10 14 7
1989 #17 Darrell Waltrip 29 6 0 14 18 4
1990 #17 Darrell Waltrip 23 0 0 5 12 20
1990 #17 Jimmy Horton 2 0 0 0 0 36
1990 #17 Greg Sacks 3 0 0 1 1 32
1990 #17 Sarel van der Merwe 1 0 0 0 0 78
Totals 116 9 2 36 61

Car #24 History

During its entire history, the #24 car has been driven by Jeff Gordon and has been sponsored by DuPont and Pepsi. Gordon debuted in the 1992 Hooters 500, qualifying twenty-first and finishing thirty-first following a crash. Almost symbolically, that race was the last for seven-time champion Richard Petty. The team went full-time in 1993 with crew chief Ray Evernham. Gordon won his Twin 125 qualifying race at Daytona and finished fifth in the Daytona 500. He finished fourteenth in points and took home rookie of the year honors. In 1994, Gordon won his first career race at the Coca-Cola 600 and also won the inaugural Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis. Gordon improved to eighth in the points that year. The following year, Gordon would go on to win the 1995 Winston Cup championship. He finished runner-up to teammate Terry Labonte for the 1996 championship.

Gordon won back-to-back championships in 1997 and 1998 and also tied Richard Petty's modern era record for most victories in a season with thirteen. Gordon won the 1999 Daytona 500, but the team struggled with consistency that year. Crew chief Ray Evernham announced he was leaving the team to help with Dodge's return to NASCAR that September. He was replaced by Brian Whitesell, who guided Gordon to wins in the first two races after Evernham's departure. At the end of the season, Gordon signed a lifetime contract with the team that gave him part ownership.

In 2000, Whitesell moved to a new position within the organization and was replaced by Robbie Loomis. Gordon picked up his fiftieth career victory at Talladega but finished ninth in points. He bounced back in 2001, winning his fourth championship. In 2002, Gordon became car owner for Jimmie Johnson and filed for divorce from his first wife Brooke. He finished fourth in points in 2003. In 2004, Gordon finished third in the inaugural Chase for the Nextel Cup. After winning three of the first nine races in 2005, his season fell into a downward spiral. Gordon finished eleventh in points that year, which was the first time since his rookie season that he finished outside the top ten in points. 2006 was Gordon's comeback year. With the help of new crew chief Steve Letarte, Jeff would rebound to make the Chase for the Nextel Cup and finish sixth in points. In 2007, despite winning six races and scoring a modern era record thirty top 10s, Gordon wound up finishing second in points to teammate Jimmie Johnson.

Car #24 Career Statistics
Year Car Driver Races Wins Poles Top 5 Top 10 Season Rank
1992 #24 Jeff Gordon 1 0 0 0 0 79
1993 #24 Jeff Gordon 30 0 1 7 11 14
1994 #24 Jeff Gordon 31 2 1 7 14 8
1995 #24 Jeff Gordon 31 7 8 17 23 1
1996 #24 Jeff Gordon 31 10 5 21 24 2
1997 #24 Jeff Gordon 32 10 1 22 23 1
1998 #24 Jeff Gordon 33 13 7 26 28 1
1999 #24 Jeff Gordon 34 7 7 18 21 6
2000 #24 Jeff Gordon 34 3 3 11 22 9
2001 #24 Jeff Gordon 36 6 6 18 24 1
2002 #24 Jeff Gordon 36 3 3 13 20 4
2003 #24 Jeff Gordon 36 3 4 15 20 4
2004 #24 Jeff Gordon 36 5 6 16 25 3
2005 #24 Jeff Gordon 36 4 2 8 14 11
2006 #24 Jeff Gordon 36 2 2 14 18 6
2007 #24 Jeff Gordon 36 6 7 21 30 2
2008 #24 Jeff Gordon 30 0 3 10 14 8
Totals 539 81 66 244 331

Car #25 History

The current #25 car debuted in 2003 as the #60 at the Pepsi 400 with sponsor Haas Automation and driver David Green. The car was originally formed as a partnership with Gene Haas, but the team evolved into Hendrick's R & D team, Haas CNC Racing. Green ran one additional race that year and Brian Vickers ran the #60 at the fall Charlotte race.

Kyle Busch took over the car the following season, which had been rebranded as the #84 Carquest Chevy. He made his debut at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and made five more starts that year with a best finish of twenty-fourth at California.

In 2005, Terry Labonte took over the car, which had been changed to the #44, his first number, and Kyle Busch moved to the #5. Sponsored by Kellogg's and Pizza Hut, Labonte drove the car in a limited schedule over the next two years before retiring. Hendrick did not run a fifth car until 2008, when they fielded the #25 Go Daddy Chevrolet for Brad Keselowski for a pair of races.

Car #60/#84/#44/#25 Career Statistics
Year Car Driver Races Wins Poles Top 5 Top 10 Season Rank
2003 #60 David Green 2 0 0 0 0 60
2003 #60 Brian Vickers 1 0 0 0 0 49
2004 #84 Kyle Busch 6 0 0 0 0 52
2005 #44 Terry Labonte 9 0 0 0 0 40
2006 #44 Terry Labonte 10 0 0 0 0 41
2008 #25 Brad Keselowski
Totals 28 0 0 0 0

Car #48 History

The #48 car, owned by Jeff Gordon, began competing in 2001 when Hendrick signed Jimmie Johnson, a second-year Busch Series driver for Herzog-Jackson Motorsports. Johnson made his debut at the fall Lowe's race, qualifying fifteenth and finishing thirty-ninth after crashing out. Johnson competed in two other races that year before moving to theCup circuit full-time in 2002. The 48 team was given all of the 24 teams old cars, while the 24 built all new cars for the 2003 season. He won three races and finished runner-up to Ryan Newman in the rookie battle. During his first season, Johnson became the first rookie to ever lead the points standings. He won three more races in 2003 and finished second in points.

Johnson led much the 2004 season's points but suffered bad luck before the Chase for the Nextel Cup began, falling to second behind Jeff Gordon. After falling as far as ninth in points during the Chase, he rebounded with four wins in five races. Despite this, Johnson would lose the championship by only eight points to Kurt Busch in the closest final championship margin in Cup history.

Johnson led the points for much of the 2005 season, but lost the points lead to Tony Stewart after the Brickyard 400 when he suffered a hard crash. He won four races and ultimately finished fifth in points that year. On February 19, 2006, Johnson won his first Daytona 500 while crew chief Chad Knaus was serving a four-race suspension for rules infractions. Johnson would go on to win the All-Star Challenge, Brickyard 400, and the 2006 Nextel Cup championship.

Johnson also won the 2007 Nextel Cup championship in a season that Hendrick Motorsports won eighteen of thirty-six races, with Jimmie winning a staggering 10 races, including taking four in a row during the Chase for the Cup.

Car #48 Career Statistics
Year Car Driver Races Wins Poles Top 5 Top 10 Season Rank
2001 #48 Jimmie Johnson 3 0 0 0 0 52
2002 #48 Jimmie Johnson 36 3 4 6 21 5
2003 #48 Jimmie Johnson 36 3 2 14 20 2
2004 #48 Jimmie Johnson 36 8 1 20 23 2
2005 #48 Jimmie Johnson 36 4 1 13 22 5
2006 #48 Jimmie Johnson 36 5 1 13 24 1
2007 #48 Jimmie Johnson 36 10 4 20 24 1
2008 #48 Jimmie Johnson 30 5 5 12 18 1
Totals 249 38 18 98 152

Car #88 History

Car #88 was owned for many years by Rick Hendrick's father, the late Joe "Papa" Hendrick. It debuted as the #25 in 1986 with Folgers sponsorship and Tim Richmond driving. Richmond, who was teamed with veteran crew chief Harry Hyde, won seven times that year and finished third in points. He missed the beginning of the 1987 season due to AIDS, while publicly saying he was suffering from pneumonia. Benny Parsons and Darrell Waltrip were hired to drive Hendrick's second and third cars at this time. Richmond returned midway through the season and won twice, but it was obvious he wasn't going to get better anytime soon.

In 1988, Ken Schrader took over the ride. He won two pole positions, won the Talladega DieHard 500, and finished fifth in points. He won four more poles in 1989 and picked up a victory in the fall race at Charlotte. Kodiak replaced Folgers as the sponsor of the #25 for the 1990 season. Schrader didn't win a race in 1990, but he won the Daytona 500 pole for the third year in a row. He won two more races in 1991 and finished ninth in points. Schrader did not win again, but he finished a career-best fourth in points in 1994. After that year, Budweiser replaced Kodiak as the sponsor. Schrader left the team after the 1996 season and was replaced by Ricky Craven.

Craven helped Hendrick complete a 1-2-3 finish in the 1997 Daytona 500. After suffering a concussion at Texas, he missed two races. Jack Sprague and Todd Bodine filled in for him during the injury. The other highlight for Craven during the 1997 campaign was a Winston Open win. Craven ultimately finished nineteenth in points. In 1998, the car number was changed from #25 to #50 in honor of NASCAR's 50th anniversary. Shortly after the season started, Craven was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome, and he was forced to sit out several races while Randy LaJoie and Wally Dallenbach, Jr. filled in. Craven returned to driving at his home track, New Hampshire, and won the pole for the event. Despite his effort, Craven was unable to produce strong results and was replaced by Wally Dallenbach, Jr. full-time.

Dallenbach, Jr. finished eighteenth in points in 1999, but it was not high enough to keep his job. Budweiser left at the end of the season as well, so Hendrick chose Jerry Nadeau to drive the #25 with new sponsor Michael Holigan Homes. Nadeau had a solid first year with Hendrick, finishing twentieth in points and winning the season-ending race at Atlanta. He improved three positions in points in 2001 with the UAW-Delphi sponsorship. After eleven races in 2002, he was replaced by Joe Nemechek. Nemechek won at Richmond in 2003 before leaving for MB2/MBV Motorsports at the end of the year.

After winning the Busch Series championship in 2003, Brian Vickers took over the #25 in 2004 with sponsorship from GMAC and Ditech. With a third place finish in the rookie points battle, his first season was somewhat of a disappointment. 2004 was a sad year for Brian Vickers and the #25 team. "Papa" Joe, long-time owner of the #25 car, died in July, while close friend Ricky Hendrick perished in a plane crash that also took the lives of nine others in October. Vickers improved to seventeenth in points in 2005. Midway through the 2006 campaign, Vickers announced he would leave Hendrick Motorsports at the end of the season. On June 9, 2006 Hendrick Motorsports announced that Casey Mears of Chip Ganassi Racing would take the spot of Vickers in 2007. Vickers collected his first career win later that season at Talladega.

In 2007, the Army National Guard joined forces with longtime Hendrick Motorsports partner GMAC to sponsor the #25 Chevrolet driven by Casey Mears. Mears piloted the #25 to his first career win at Lowe's in the Coca Cola 600.

On June 13, 2007, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. announced he would join Hendrick Motorsports for the 2008 season. On September 14, 2007 it was announced that he would drive the #88 car. The #88 replaced the #25, and AMP Energy and the National Guard stepped up to sponsor the car. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s crew chief and cousin, Tony Eury, Jr., also made the move to Hendrick Motorsports.

Car #25/#50/#88 Career Statistics
Year Car Driver Races Wins Poles Top 5 Top 10 Season Rank
1986 #25 Tim Richmond 29 7 8 13 17 3
1987 #25 Tim Richmond 8 2 1 3 4 36
1987 #25 Rick Hendrick 1 0 0 0 0 107
1988 #25 Ken Schrader 29 1 2 4 17 5
1989 #25 Ken Schrader 29 1 4 10 14 5
1990 #25 Ken Schrader 29 0 3 7 14 10
1991 #25 Ken Schrader 29 2 0 10 18 9
1992 #25 Ken Schrader 29 0 1 4 11 17
1993 #25 Ken Schrader 30 0 6 9 15 9
1994 #25 Ken Schrader 31 0 0 9 18 4
1995 #25 Ken Schrader 31 0 1 2 10 17
1996 #25 Ken Schrader 31 0 0 3 10 12
1997 #25 Ricky Craven 30 0 0 4 7 19
1997 #25 Todd Bodine 1 0 0 0 0 52
1997 #25 Jack Sprague 1 0 0 0 0 68
1998 #50 Ricky Craven 8 0 1 0 1 46
1998 #50 Wally Dallenbach, Jr. 16 0 0 0 3 38
1998 #50 Randy LaJoie 9 0 0 1 3 49
1999 #25 Wally Dallenbach, Jr. 34 0 0 1 6 18
2000 #25 Jerry Nadeau 34 1 0 3 5 20
2001 #25 Jerry Nadeau 36 0 0 4 10 17
2002 #25 Jerry Nadeau 11 0 0 0 1 37
2002 #25 Joe Nemechek 25 0 0 3 3 34
2003 #25 Joe Nemechek 32 1 0 2 5 25
2003 #25 Brian Vickers 4 0 0 0 0 49
2004 #25 Brian Vickers 36 0 2 0 4 25
2005 #25 Brian Vickers 36 0 1 5 10 17
2006 #25 Brian Vickers 36 1 1 5 9 15
2007 #25 Casey Mears 36 1 1 5 10 15
2008 #88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 30 1 1 9 14 10
Totals 707 18 33 114 236

Other Car History

Benny Parsons drove for Hendrick in 1987 as a replacement for Tim Richmond. Hendrick kept the #25 available for Richmond to run a limited schedule, so Parsons drove the #35 car instead.

Jeff Gordon had to avoid finishing last in the 1995 NAPA 500 in order to win the championship, so Jeff Purvis drove the #58 car in that event to ensure the first championship for Hendrick Motorsports.

Other Car Career Statistics
Year Car Driver Races Wins Poles Top 5 Top 10 Season Rank
1985 #1 Dick Brooks 1 0 0 0 1 53
1986 #2 Brett Bodine 1 0 0 0 0 92
1987 #51 Jim Fitzgerald 1 0 0 0 0 79
1987 #35 Benny Parsons 29 0 0 6 9 16
1988 #18 Rick Hendrick 1 0 0 0 0 63
1988 #47 Rob Moroso 1 0 0 0 0 54
1989 #51 Bobby Hamilton 1 0 0 0 0 89
1989 #18 Tommy Kendall 1 0 0 0 0 N/A
1989 #42 Kyle Petty 1 0 0 0 0 30
1989 #46 Greg Sacks 1 0 0 0 0 32
1990 #18 Stan Barrett 1 0 0 0 0 74
1990 #18 Greg Sacks 12 0 1 1 3 32
1990 #46 Greg Sacks 1 0 0 0 0 32
1990 #68 Hut Stricklin 1 0 0 0 0 28
1990 #51 Hut Stricklin 1 0 0 0 0 28
1993 #46 Al Unser, Jr. 1 0 0 0 0 81
1995 #58 Jeff Purvis 1 0 0 0 0 47
Totals 56 0 1 7 13

Sprint Cup Statistics

Year Starts Wins Top Fives Top Tens Poles Rank
Totals 2463 169 668 1103 150 -

Nationwide Series

JR Motorsports and Hendrick Motorsports officially combined NASCAR Nationwide Series operations following the conclusion of the 2007 racing season. The No. 5 Chevrolets will be fielded full-time under the JR Motorsports banner in 2008. The team will be fielded by JR Motorsports in parnership with Hendrick Motorsports. The partnership will campaign two full-time race cars under the JR Motorsports banner that utilize Hendrick Motorsports engines, chassis and vehicle engineering support. Rick Hendrick will be listed as car owner of the No. 5 team and Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be car owner of the No. 88. JR Motorsports and Hendrick Motorsports will also collaborate in the areas of partnership development, sponsorship services, marketing and media relations. Jayski stated that JR Motorsports will field a third car, the #83, driven by Dale Earnhardt, Jr...

Car #5 history

The #5 car was purchased by Hendrick Motorsports as the #24 from JG Motorsports and began competing in 2001 as the Hendrick #24 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet with Ricky Hendrick driving. Hendrick made three starts in the car, his best finish coming at Kentucky Speedway, when he finished 15th. He and truck series teammate Jack Sprague moved up to the Busch Series full-time. Hendrick drove the #5 car but was injured early in a wreck at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Ron Hornaday would take over for him for the next six races, before Hendrick returned at Richmond. Towards the end of the season, Hendrick suddenly announced his retirement from driving, but would remain on board as a team co-owner until his 2004 death. David Green and Ward Burton finished out the season for the team.

Brian Vickers was hired to drive the 5 car in 2003. He won three races and the Busch Series championship. When he moved up to NEXTEL Cup, Kyle Busch was hired as the team's new driver. In his rookie year, he won five races and was runner-up to Martin Truex Jr. in points. He moved up to Cup as well after the season, but he continued to drive the 5 part-time. Mexican driver Adrian Fernández drove the car in six races, finishing tenth at Mexico City, but did not have another top-ten finish that season. Hendrick development drivers Blake Feese, Boston Reid, and Kyle Krisiloff also drove the car, running a total of eighteen races with best finishes of twenty-third, seventeenth, and nineteenth, respectively. Busch and Jimmie Johnson ran the rest of the schedule with Busch winning at Lowe's Motor Speedway. He drove 30 races the in 2006, winning at Bristol and finishing seventh in points. He skipped the race at Memphis Motorsports Park, being replaced by Justin Labonte for that race.

In 2007, Busch and Mark Martin shared the #5 on a part-time basis. The car carried a number of different sponsors including Lowe's, Delphi, Spectrum, and Hendrick Autoguard. Kyle Busch drove the car to victory lane in the rain delayed Daytona, Richmond, and Kansas. In 2008, this team will be based out of the JR Motorsports shop, with Hendrick engines and chassis. Four drivers will run the car in 2008, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Casey Mears, Mark Martin and Landon Cassill, as well as Martin Truex, Jr. and Ron Fellows in one-race deals. This car will mostly be sponsored by Delphi, the National Guard, and GoDaddy.com

Car #24 history

The 24 car began racing in 2005 as the #57. The number came from the sponsorship of Heinz, and their 57 varieties. Brian Vickers debuted the car at Darlington with Pizza Hut/Ore-Ida sponsorship. He qualified second but finished forty-third after an early wreck. His best finish in the car came at Dover, where he finished fifth. Kyle Busch drove the car in an additional four races, finishing in the top-five once. Boston Reid also drove the car once at IRP, finishing 23rd. Vickers drove the car in eight races, not finishing any higher than 23rd. Adrian Fernandez drove at Mexico City and Watkins Glen, finishing twelfth and seventeenth, respectively. In 2006 Brian Vickers ran eight races and the #57 had a new part time sponsor in Mountain Dew with the full time sponsor remaining Ore-Ida for the other five races. Mountain Dew was the full time sponsor for three races in 2006 at Fontana, Darlington and Michigan with 9th, 12th, and 16th the finishes respectively. Vickers best finish in 2006 was a second at Daytona in July.

After Vickers' departure from Hendrick Motorsports, the team changed back to the 24 with Casey Mears and the U.S. National Guard coming on board for a limited schedule. Adrian Fernandez, and Landon Cassill also shared the ride. This team will not run in 2008.

Car #48 history

The 48 car made its debut in the Busch Series in 2004 at Lowe's, running a one-race deal with sponsorship from SpongeBob SquarePants. Jimmie Johnson drove it to a third place finish. He drove the car for five races in 2005, winning a pole at Lowe's. During 2006, he started 3 races, both Lowe's Races and the Ameriquest 300 At California. His best finish was 7th in the first Lowe's race. Jimmie Johnson drove the 48 car in the 2007 CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, the first of 3 Busch races of 2007 for Johnson.

This team, like the #24 Busch Series team, will not run in 2008 as operations are consolidated with JR Motorsports.

Craftsman Truck Series

Truck #17 history

The 17 Craftsman Truck Series team made its debut in 2000 with Ricky Hendrick driving with GMAC/Quaker State sponsorship. He made six races that season and finished in the top-ten four times. In 2001, Hendrick won his only career Truck race at Kansas Speedway and finished sixth in points, runner-up to Travis Kvapil for Rookie of the Year honors. The team did not run after 2001.

Truck #24 history

The 24 truck debuted with the Truck Series in 1995 with Scott Lagasse Sr. driving and DuPont sponsoring. Lagasse posted two top-fives and finished ninth in the standings. The team also fielded the 25 Budweiser Chevrolet part-time with Hendrick Sr. and Roger Mears driving. Midway through the season, Jack Sprague came on board to finish out the season for the team, winning a pole at Phoenix International Raceway. In 1996, he moved to the 24 full-time with Quaker State sponsoring. He won five races and was second in the points. The following season, he won three times and clinched his first NASCAR championship.

The team lost the Quaker State sponsorship after 1997, but signed GMAC Financial as a sponsor after a one-race deal with Big Daddy's BBQ Sauce. He won an additional five races, but lost the championship by three points. In 1999, Sprague won the championship again but fell to fifth in 2000. In 2001, NetZero came on board as the team's sponsor, and Sprague won his third championship. After Sprague moved to the Busch Series, Ron Hornaday drove the 24 in a one-race deal at Daytona, finishing twelfth. The team closed after that race to focus on its Busch Series efforts.

Aviation Tragedy

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 Regional Airport in Stuart, Virginia. While NASCAR officials learned of the crash during that day's Subway 500 race in Martinsville, Virginia, they withheld that information from drivers until the end of the race, which was won by Hendrick driver Jimmie Johnson.

The following ten aboard the Beechcraft King Air 200 died:

  • John Hendrick, president of Hendrick Motorsports; Rick Hendrick's brother
  • Ricky Hendrick, Rick Hendrick's son
  • Kimberly and Jennifer Hendrick, John Hendrick's twin daughters
  • Jeff Turner, general manager of Hendrick Motorsports
  • Randy Dorton, chief engine builder
  • Joe Jackson, DuPont executive
  • Scott Lathram, pilot for NASCAR driver Tony Stewart
  • pilots Richard Tracy and Elizabeth Morrison

For the balance of the 2004 season, all of the Hendrick Motorsports cars and the #0 Haas CNC Racing car showed pictures of the ten Hendrick members on the hood along with the phrase "Always in our hearts" (see image of #25 car for photo).

Sources

References

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