Hendrick Motorsports has been a dominant NASCAR racing team for years. Originally named All Star Racing, the team has 16 NASCAR championships to its name and an association with major stars such as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, and Jimmie Johnson.
Here, we’ll offer a brief look at how the renowned NASCAR team owner got to where he is today.
Now 69, Rick Hendrick’s love of racing first manifested itself when the Warrenton, North Carolina native was 14 and started drag racing in a self-built Chevrolet. Two years later, Hendrick won the Virginia division of the Chrysler-Plymouth Troubleshooting contest. So his history of winning definitely started early.
Now, Hendrick’s love of money didn’t really come until the age of 23, when he opened a used-car lot with established car dealer Mike Leith called Hendrick Automotive Group. Hendrick, who is now also chairman of the company, became the youngest Chevrolet dealer in the United States after he sold assets in 1976 to buy a franchise in Bennettsville, South Carolina.
Hendrick Automotive Group now has 98 franchises across 13 states and raked in a revenue of a whopping $3.5 billion in 2009 after selling 100,000 vehicles, making it the sixth largest dealership in the U.S.
How’s that for success? And we haven’t even gotten to Hendrick’s career as an owner yet.
Success as an Owner
Hendrick is predominantly known for his ties to car racing , but interesting enough, his first foray into successful ownership was as the founder of a drag boat racing team in the late ’70s. The team went on to win three consecutive championships, and Hendrick’s Nitro Fever boat even ended up setting a world record of 222.2 MPH.
Though he did a little bit of racing himself, Hendrick was most successful, as you already know, as a NASCAR team owner. In 1984, he founded All-Star Racing (now Hendrick Motorsports), and that’s when the accolades really stated to roll in.
Considered to be the most successful team owner of all time (his 2017 induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame was clearly well-deserved), Hendrick has 16 Drivers’ Championships (12 Sprint Cup Series, 1 Xfinity Series, and three Camping World Truck Series), 296 race wins (245 Sprint Cup Series, 26 Xfinity Series, and 26 Truck Series), and 245 pole positions (189 Sprint Cup Series, 35 Xfinity Series, and 21 Truck Series). With a valuation of $350 million, Hendrick Motorsports is one of the most valuable racing teams in NASCAR.
So, while Hendrick may not race boats anymore, he certainly stills enjoys them. But the boats that he can afford these days certainly don’t compete in drag races.
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Living the Lifestyle
While Rick Hendrick’s lifestyle has definitely come with its downs, such as a 1997 mail fraud conviction and a 2011 plane crash, his successes have certainly afforded him the ability to live large.
At the 140-acre Hendrick Heritage Center in Charlotte, he keeps more than 200 classic cars, around half of them being Corvettes. In only two days back in 2016, Hendrick spent around $4 million at the Barrett-Jackson car auction like it was no big deal. Earlier this year, Hendrick spent nearly $1 million on the first 2019 Corvette ZR1.
But hey, that pretty much sums up Rick Hendrick: He likes cars, and he has a whole lot of money.
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