Hendrick Motorsports

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Not to be confused with Hedrick Motorsports.
Hendrick Motorsports
Hendrick Motorsports Logo.svg
Owner(s) Rick Hendrick
Linda Hendrick
Jeff Gordon
Base Concord, North Carolina
Series Sprint Cup Series
Car numbers 5, 24, 25, 44, 48, 50, 60, 84, 88
Race drivers 5. Kasey Kahne
24. Jeff Gordon
48. Jimmie Johnson
88. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
Sponsors 5. Farmers Insurance Group/Great Clips
24. Drive to End Hunger/Axalta/Pepsi
48. Lowe's
88. Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard
Manufacturer Chevrolet
Career
Debut 1984 Goody's 300 (Daytona)
Latest race 2014 Irwin Tools Night Race (Bristol)
Races competed 3,908 (includes starts by multiple teams; as many as 4 or 5 starts per race)
Drivers' Championships Total: 15
Sprint Cup: 11
1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013
Nationwide Series: 1
2003
Camping World Series: 3
1997, 1999, 2001
Race victories Total: 276
Sprint Cup: 227
Nationwide: 23
Truck Series: 26
Pole positions Total: 257
Sprint Cup: 199
Nationwide: 36
Truck Series: 22

Hendrick Motorsports (HMS), originally named All Star Racing, is a current American auto racing team created in 1984 by Rick Hendrick. The team currently competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. One of stock car racing's premier organizations, Hendrick Motorsports has garnered eleven Sprint Cup Series owners and drivers championships, three Camping World Truck Series owners and drivers titles, and one Nationwide Series drivers crown, 227 Sprint Cup Series victories, 23 Nationwide Series wins, and 26 Camping World Truck Series victories.[1] As of the 2014 season, the team has won a Sprint Cup race on every track on the current circuit – except for Kentucky Speedway, which has only been on the circuit since 2011.[2]

The team currently fields four Sprint Cup Series Chevrolet SS drivers, including the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Group/Great Clips for Kasey Kahne, the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger/Axalta car for four-time Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, the No. 48 Lowe's car for six-time Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, and the No. 88 United States National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew car for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. The team formerly fielded a truck for development driver Chase Elliott in the Camping World Truck Series.. The team has fielded cars in the past for many NASCAR drivers, including Geoff Bodine, Tim Richmond, Darrell Waltrip, Benny Parsons, Ricky Rudd, Ken Schrader, Terry Labonte, Kyle Busch, Mark Martin, and Brian Vickers.

All Hendrick race cars are constructed start-to-finish at the 100-plus acre Hendrick Motorsports complex in Concord, North Carolina. More than 550 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.[3] In 2009, Hendrick Motorsports made history by having three out of the five drivers finish in the top three places in the point standings (Johnson, Martin, and Gordon).

Sprint Cup Series[edit]

Car No. 5 history[edit]

2008 No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet, driven by Mears.

Hendrick Motorsports debuted in 1984 under the banner "All Star Racing" with five employees, rented equipments, two cars, with the highest-paid person's wages at only $500/week.[4] Initially, the team had planned to field a car for seven-time Cup champion Richard Petty with funding from country music business mogul C.K. Spurlock, but the deal failed to materialize. Afterwards, Hendrick attempted to hire Dale Earnhardt, but did not. As a result, the team fielded the No. 5 Chevy Monte Carlo, driven by Geoff Bodine in 1984. After a slow start to the season, Hendrick informed Bodine and crew chief Harry Hyde that he planned to shut down the team due to funding trouble. Instead, Bodine and the team won at Martinsville Speedway, leading to sponsorship from Levi Garrett; on March 30, 2014, the 30-year anniversary of the win, Hendrick stated, "We owe Martinsville so much. If we hadn't won that race, then literally the next Monday we were going to shut it down."[5] The team won two more times and finished ninth in points. Levi Garrett came on board to sponsor the No. 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 No. 1 Exxon Chevy at Charlotte Motor Speedway, in what proved to be Brooks' last NASCAR race.

Hendrick moved to a multi-car team full-time in 1986, with Bodine and Tim Richmond as drivers. Bodine won twice in the No. 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.

The No. 5 car as it looked from 1994 until 2000.

Rudd's replacement was 1984 Winston Cup champion Terry Labonte. The car received sponsorship from Kellogg's and their Corn Flakes brand. 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.

At the end of the 2000 season Labonte's team switched to Kellogg's Frosted Flakes brand for its primary sponsorship. 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 No. 5 car in 2008. On September 4, 2007 it was announced that Casey Mears would drive the No. 5 in 2008.

On June 22, 2008 ESPN.com reported that Mark Martin would leave Dale Earnhardt, Inc. to replace Casey Mears in the No. 5 car for the 2009 season.[6] On Friday, July 4 at Daytona International Raceway, Hendrick and Martin announced that Martin had agreed to a two-year contract in the No. 5 car.[7]

Mark Martin scored his first career win with Hendrick Motorsports at Phoenix on April 18, 2009. He became the third oldest winner and fourth driver over the age of 50 to win a Sprint Cup Series race.[8] The win was also the 36th victory and 400th top 10 of Martin's career. On September 18, 2009 Hendrick announced that Martin had extended his contract through the 2011 season and would race full-time with GoDaddy.com as a primary sponsor.[9]

No. 24 car of Jeff Gordon and No.5 car Jimmie Johnson used during the 2011 All-Star Race

Lance McGrew took over as crew chief for the No. 5 in 2011 as Gustafson moved to Jeff Gordon's team.[10] Most notably, Jimmie Johnson used the No. 5 in the All-Star Race to promote a discount deal with Lowe's.[11]

Kasey Kahne, along with his crew chief Kenny Francis were picked up from Red Bull Racing Team to run the 5 in 2012. Kahne received sponsorship from Farmers Insurance Group for 22 races, as well as additional sponsorship from Time Warner Cable, Quaker State, and Great Clips.[12] After a poor start to the season, Kahne rebounded immensely and picked up wins at the Coca-Cola 600 and the first Loudon race. By virtue of the wins, Kahne would make the 2012 Chase and finish a career-best 4th in standings.

Car No. 5 career statistics[edit]

Year Car Number Driver Races Wins Poles Top 5s Top 10s Season Rank
1984 No. 5 Geoff Bodine 30 3 3 7 14 9
1985 28 0 3 10 14 5
1986 29 2 8 10 15 8
1987 29 0 2 3 10 13
1988 29 1 3 10 16 6
1989 29 1 3 9 11 9
1990 Ricky Rudd 29 1 2 8 15 7
1991 29 1 1 9 17 2
1992 29 1 1 9 18 7
1993 30 1 0 9 14 10
1994 Terry Labonte 31 3 0 6 14 7
1995 31 3 1 14 17 6
1996 31 2 4 21 24 1
1997 32 1 0 8 20 6
1998 33 1 0 5 15 9
1999 34 1 0 1 7 12
2000 32 0 1 3 6 17
Todd Bodine 1 0 0 0 0 49
Ron Hornaday, Jr. 1 0 0 0 0 61
2001 Terry Labonte 36 0 0 1 3 23
2002 36 0 0 1 4 24
2003 36 1 1 4 9 10
2004 36 0 0 0 6 26
2005 Kyle Busch 36 2 1 9 13 20
2006 36 1 1 10 18 10
2007 36 1 0 11 20 5
2008 Casey Mears 36 0 0 1 6 20
2009 Mark Martin 36 5 7 14 21 2
2010 36 0 1 7 11 13
2011 36 0 2 1 10 20
2012 Kasey Kahne 36 2 4 11 18 4
2013 36 2 0 11 14 12
Totals 984 36 49 224 401

[13]

Car No. 17 history[edit]

1989 No. 17 Tide Chevy Lumina.

The No. 17 car at Hendrick Motorsports came about when 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. 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 No. 17 with him. The Tide sponsorship moved to the flagship No. 5 team with Ricky Rudd as the driver and remained there until the end of the 1993 season.

Car No. 17 career statistics[edit]

Year Car Number Driver Races Wins Poles Top 5s Top 10s Season Rank
1987 No. 17 Darrell Waltrip 29 1 0 6 16 4
1988 2 2 10 14 7
1989 6 0 14 18 4
1990 23 0 0 5 12 20
Jimmy Horton 3 0 0 0 0 36
Greg Sacks 2 0 0 1 1 32
Sarel van der Merwe 1 0 0 0 0 78
Totals 116 9 2 36 61

[13]

Car No. 24 history[edit]

Main article: Jeff Gordon
2008 No. 24 DuPont Impala.

During its entire history, the No. 24 car has always been driven by Jeff Gordon and has been sponsored by DuPont (now Axalta) Automotive Finishes, with Pepsi also having a long relationship with Gordon. AARP Drive to End Hunger took over primary sponsorship duty in 2011. Gordon debuted in the 1992 Hooters 500, qualifying twenty-first and finishing thirty-first following a crash. 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.

The rainbow paint scheme in 1997.

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, Gordon 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.

In 2008 Gordon returned to the Chase, but he failed to win a race against Dale Earnhardt, Jr. for the first time since his rookie year. Despite that statistic, he managed to enter the Chase and finish seventh in the season points standings.

At the end of the 2008 season, Gordon unveiled on The Today Show his new Firestorm paint scheme for 2009 and beyond. Gordon also broke a 47 race winless drought on April 4, 2009 at Texas, his first win at that track.

Beginning in 2011, Alan Gustafson became the crew chief of the No. 24 team. Gordon's primary sponsor changed to AARP and Gordon partnering to form the "Drive to End Hunger" initiative. The deal lasts for 22 races over the next two years, with Pepsi and DuPont continuing their associate deals.[10] The new combination saw a resurgence for Gordon, as he won at Phoenix, Pocono, and Atlanta and finished 8th in points. The following season, Gordon would be hampered by bad luck during most of the regular season. However, a win at Pocono and a 2nd place finish at Richmond vaulted Gordon into the 2012 Chase. At the Phoenix race, Gordon would tangle with fellow Chase contender Clint Bowyer, intentionally taking him out late in the race after initial contact early on. Gordon was fined $100,000 by NASCAR for the incident, but came back to take his first win in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the first time a full works Hendrick team had won at the circuit in Sprint Cup, in the final race for DuPont as Gordon's sponsor, as a restructuring of DuPont meant the Performance Coatings group that sponsored Gordon would be spun off. That spinoff company, Axalta Coating Systems, owned by The Carlisle Group, replaces DuPont as the primary sponsor for the 14 races not covered by the AARP or Pepsi in 2013.[14]

Car No. 24 career statistics[edit]

Year Car Number Driver Races Wins Poles Top 5s Top 10s Season Rank
1992 No. 24 Jeff Gordon 1 0 0 0 0 79
1993 30 0 1 7 11 14
1994 31 2 1 7 14 8
1995 7 8 17 23 1
1996 10 5 21 24 2
1997 32 10 1 22 23 1
1998 33 13 7 26 28
1999 34 7 7 18 21 6
2000 3 3 11 22 9
2001 36 6 6 18 24 1
2002 3 3 13 20 4
2003 3 4 15 20 4
2004 5 6 16 25 3
2005 4 2 8 14 11
2006 2 2 14 18 6
2007 6 7 21 30 2
2008 0 4 13 19 7
2009 1 2 16 25 3
2010 0 1 11 17 9
2011 3 1 13 18 8
2012 2 2 11 18 10
2013 1 2 8 17 6
2014 24 Jeff Gordon 24 3 2 16 8 1
Totals 749 91 76 314 447

[15]

Car No. 25 history[edit]

The current No. 25 car debuted in 2003 as the No. 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 No. 60 at the fall Charlotte race.

Kyle Busch took over the car the following season, which had been rebranded as the No. 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 No. 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 No. 25 Go Daddy Chevrolet for Brad Keselowski for a pair of races. Making his Sprint Cup debut at Texas Motor Speedway in the 2008 Dickies 500, Brad Keselowski started 37th and finished 19th in the No. 25 Chevrolet. This car is classified as a research and development car (or R&D car). Keselowski finished 13th in his last start in this car in the Price Chopper 400 at Kansas Speedway. He then left for Penske Racing, where he raced most of the remainder of the season in the No. 12 Dodge he took over full-time at the start of the 2010 season. The number returned in 2011, being driven by Mark Martin in that year's All-Star race in a special promotion with Farmers Insurance Group.

Car No. 25 career statistics[edit]

Year Car Number Driver Races Wins Poles Top 5s Top 10s Season Rank
2003 No. 60 David Green 2 0 0 0 0 60
Brian Vickers 1 0 0 0 0 49
2004 No. 84 Kyle Busch 6 0 0 0 0 52
2005 No. 44 Terry Labonte 9 0 0 0 0 40
2006 10 0 0 0 0 41
2008 No. 25 Brad Keselowski 2 0 0 0 0 57
2009 7 0 0 0 1 38
2011 Mark Martin 1 0 0 0 0 n\a
Totals 103 1 1 5 12

[13]

Car No. 48 history[edit]

Main article: Jimmie Johnson
2008 No. 48 Lowe's Impala.

The current No. 48 car that Jimmie Johnson races was originally the No. 58 Racing for a Reason Chevrolet. The sponsor is a leukemia marrow sponsor founded by Rick Hendrick. The car was entered originally a safety car for Jeff Gordon to clinch his first championship. The 58 was driven by Jeff Purvis, as Gordon had to finish 41st or better in the 42 car field. Gordon clinched the championship by staying out on green flag pit stops. Purvis came in 26th place. The No. 58 would not return until 2001 as the No. 48 car.

The current No. 48 car, co-owned by Jeff Gordon and Rick Hendrick, 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 Charlotte race, qualifying fifteenth and finishing thirty-ninth after crashing out. Johnson competed in two other races that year before moving to the Sprint Cup Series circuit full-time in 2002. The No. 48 team was given all of the No. 24 team's old cars, while the No. 24 built all new cars for the 2002 season. Johnson 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 finished fifth in final points in 2002. He won three more races in 2003 and finished second in points.

Johnson led much of the 2004 season point standing 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 what was until 2011 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.[16] 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. Johnson won a staggering 10 races, including taking four in a row during the Chase for the Cup.

In 2008, Johnson tied Cale Yarborough's record by winning his third consecutive Sprint Cup Series title. In 2009 Johnson won 7 races, had 16 top fives, and 24 top tens. He went on to win his fourth consecutive championship. He is the only driver in NASCAR history to ever win four cup championships in a row. In 2010 he beat that record by winning a fifth championship in a row. He was in second at the start of the race. This is the first time since 2005, that he had to run a final race with him not in the lead of the points.

2011, statistically, was the worst season for the 48 team. Aside from using a push from Dale Earnhardt, Jr. to beat Clint Bowyer at Talladega by just .002 seconds and a victory in the fall Kansas race, Johnson would finish 6th in the Chase, the first time he finished outside the top 5 in his career. 2012 would be better for the team, as they won races at Darlington, Dover, Indianapolis, Martinsville and Texas, but were hampered by a crash at the fall Phoenix race as well as a broken drive shaft at Homestead relegating them to 3rd in points.

Car No. 48 career statistics[edit]

Year Car Number Driver Races Wins Poles Top 5s Top 10s Season Rank
2001 No. 48 Jimmie Johnson 3 0 0 0 0 52
2002 36 3 4 6 21 5
2003 3 2 14 20 2
2004 8 1 20 23 2
2005 4 1 13 22 5
2006 5 1 13 24 1
2007 10 4 20 24 1
2008 7 6 15 22 1
2009 7 4 16 24 1
2010 6 2 17 23 1
2011 2 1 14 21 6
2012 5 4 18 24 3
2013 6 3 16 24 1
Totals 435 66 32 182 262

[17]

Car No. 88 history[edit]

2008 No. 88 AMP Impala, driven by Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Car No. 88 was owned for many years by Rick Hendrick's father, the late Joe "Papa" Hendrick. It debuted as the No. 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 he was not going to make a quick recovery.

1997 No. 25 Budweiser Chevrolet, driven by Ricky Craven.

In 1988, Ken Schrader took over the ride. He won two pole positions, won the 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 No. 25 for the 1990 season. Schrader failed to 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.

2007 No. 25 National Guard Chevrolet

Craven helped Hendrick complete a 1–2–3 finish in the 1997 Daytona 500 by finishing third behind winner Jeff Gordon and second-place Terry Labonte. 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, to honor NASCAR's fiftieth anniversary, the #25 car changed its number to #50 for the season. Shortly after the season started Craven, still feeling the effects from his concussion the year before, was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome. Randy LaJoie and Wally Dallenbach, Jr. filled in while Craven recovered. Craven returned to driving at his home track, New Hampshire, and won the pole for the event, but after four more races Hendrick replaced Craven with Dallenbach, who had put together the stronger run of the two substitute drivers.

With the team back to racing the #25 with Dallenbach behind the wheel, the team raced to an eighteenth place finish in points 1999. However, Dallenbach left the team to drive for a new team and Budweiser moved over to sponsor Dale Earnhardt, Inc.'s #8 car in 2000 and the team needed to hire a replacement and find a sponsor. Homebuilder and television personality Michael Holigan came on to sponsor the car for 2000 and Hendrick hired Jerry Nadeau, who had most recently been driving for MB2 Motorsports as a replacement for the retired Ernie Irvan, who due to injuries was forced out of NASCAR midway through 1999. Nadeau had a solid first year with Hendrick, finishing twentieth in points and winning the season-ending race at Atlanta. The team returned for 2001 with the United Auto Workers and Delphi Auto Parts as co-sponsors, and Nadeau finished a career high seventeenth in points while nearly repeating his Atlanta victory; Nadeau ran out of gas short of the finish and finished fifth. After eleven races in 2002, Nadeau was let go from the team and Joe Nemechek, who had lost his ride when Haas-Carter Motorsports folded his team due to the bankruptcy of their sponsor Kmart, was hired to replace him. Nemechek won at Richmond in 2003 but was let go before the end of the season so he could join MB2 Motorsports as the replacement for an injured Nadeau.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. stands with Lt. Gen. Clyde A. Vaughn, director of the Army National Guard, and team owner Rick Hendrick.

Nemechek's replacement in the #25 was Brian Vickers, who was initially supposed to drive the car beginning in 2004 while racing full-time in the Busch Series in 2003 (where he won the championship). UAW and Delphi did not return as sponsors, so Hendrick replaced them with GMAC Financial (Vickers' primary sponsor in Busch) and ditech.com. With a third place finish in the rookie points battle, his first season was somewhat of a disappointment. 2004 was a sad year for Vickers and the No. 25 team. "Papa" Joe, long-time owner of the No. 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 No. 25 Chevrolet driven by Casey Mears. Mears piloted the No. 25 to his first career win at Charlotte Motor Speedway 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 No. 88 car, after a deal with Robert Yates Racing that sent the No. 88 car to Hendrick Motorsports. The No. 88 replaced the No. 25, and AMP Energy and the National Guard stepped up to sponsor the car. Earnhardt, Jr.'s crew chief and cousin, Tony Eury, Jr., also made the move to Hendrick Motorsports. However, this partnership only lasted until April, 2009 when Tony Eury, Jr. was replaced by Lance McGrew, a technical advisor and part-time crew chief with HMS for the No. 25 car.

At the start of the 2011 season, Steve Letarte moved over from Jeff Gordon's team and became Earnhardt's crew chief.[10] For 2012, PepsiCo decided to replace the struggling AMP Energy brand with the Diet Mountain Dew brand. The team won for the first time since 2008 and for the second consecutive year made the Chase, but Earnhardt suffered a concussion during an August Hollywood Casino 400 tire testing on the reconfigured Kansas Speedway, and was not tested for the concussion until the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at Talladega, where he was involved in a second hard crash. After testing, Earnhardt was deemed medically unfit to race. Regan Smith, scheduled to drive for Phoenix Racing, instead drove the No. 88 at Charlotte and Kansas in what turned out to be a tryout that led to Smith joining Earnhardt's Nationwide Series team for 2013. Earnhardt returned at Martinsville and finished out the season.

Earnhardt finished fifth in Sprint Cup points in 2013, after winning two poles (at Kentucky Speedway and Dover International Speedway), and posting five second-place finishes.

On February 23, 2014, Earnhardt ended a 55-race winless streak in spectacular fashion. He led a race-high 54 laps and won the Daytona 500 for the second time in his career. The win was Earnhardt's 20th in Sprint Cup competition. It also made him the 11th driver in NASCAR history to win multiple Daytona 500s. On June 8, 2014, Earnhardt got his second win of the season at Pocono Raceway, his first mutiple win season since 2004. Letarte joined NASCAR on NBC in 2015, and JR Motorsports crew chief Greg Ives was hired to replace him.[18]

On August 6, the National Guard decided not to renew their sponsorship with Earnhardt.[19]

Car No. 88 career statistics[edit]

Year Car Number Driver Races Wins Poles Top 5s Top 10s Season Rank
1986 No. 25 Tim Richmond 29 7 8 13 17 3
1987 8 2 1 3 4 36
Rick Hendrick 1 0 0 0 0 107
1988 Ken Schrader 29 1 2 4 17 5
1989 29 1 4 10 14 5
1990 29 0 3 7 14 10
1991 29 2 0 10 18 9
1992 29 0 1 4 11 17
1993 30 0 6 9 15 9
1994 31 0 0 9 18 4
1995 31 0 1 2 10 17
1996 31 0 0 3 10 12
1997 Ricky Craven 30 0 0 4 7 19
Todd Bodine 1 0 0 0 0 52
Jack Sprague 1 0 0 0 0 68
1998 No. 50 Ricky Craven 8 0 1 0 1 46
Wally Dallenbach, Jr. 16 0 0 0 3 38
Randy LaJoie 9 0 0 1 3 49
1999 No. 25 Wally Dallenbach, Jr. 34 0 0 1 6 18
2000 Jerry Nadeau 34 1 0 3 5 20
2001 36 0 0 4 10 17
2002 11 0 0 0 1 37
Joe Nemechek 25 0 0 3 3 34
2003 32 1 0 2 5 25
Brian Vickers 4 0 0 0 0 49
2004 36 0 2 0 4 25
2005 36 0 1 5 10 17
2006 36 1 1 5 9 15
2007 Casey Mears 36 1 1 5 10 15
2008 No. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 36 1 1 10 16 12
2009 36 0 0 2 5 25
2010 36 0 1 3 8 21
2011 36 0 1 6 12 7
2012 34 1 1 10 19 12
Regan Smith 2 0 0 0 1 24
2013 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 36 0 2 10 22 5
2014* 22 3 0 10 15 1
Totals ------ ------ 829 21 38 147 290 ------

[13]

* Season currently in progress.

Other car history[edit]

Benny Parsons drove for Hendrick in 1987 as a replacement for Tim Richmond. Hendrick kept the No. 25 available for Richmond to run a limited schedule, so Parsons drove the No. 35 car instead.

In 1993, Hendrick fielded a car numbered 46 for two races. The first race was that year's Daytona 500 as Al Unser, Jr. qualified for his only career NASCAR race in a Valvoline-sponsored car (Valvoline being his then-primary sponsor in the IndyCar Series). The second saw Buddy Baker fail to qualify a DuPont-sponsored car at Talladega in the spring.

Other car career statistics[edit]

Year Car Number Driver Races Wins Poles Top 5s Top 10s Season Rank
1985 No. 1 Dick Brooks 1 0 0 0 1 53
1986 No. 2 Brett Bodine 1 0 0 0 0 92
1987 No. 51 Jim Fitzgerald 1 0 0 0 0 79
1987 No. 35 Benny Parsons 29 0 0 6 9 16
1988 No. 18 Rick Hendrick 1 0 0 0 0 63
1988 No. 47 Rob Moroso 1 0 0 0 0 54
1989 No. 51 Bobby Hamilton 1 0 0 0 0 89
1989 No. 18 Tommy Kendall 1 0 0 0 0 80
1989 No. 42 Kyle Petty 1 0 0 0 0 30
1989 No. 46 Greg Sacks 1 0 0 0 0 32
1990 No. 18 Stan Barrett 1 0 0 0 0 74
1990 No. 18 Greg Sacks 12 0 1 1 3 32
1990 No. 46 Greg Sacks 1 0 0 0 0 32
1990 No. 68 Hut Stricklin 1 0 0 0 0 28
1990 No. 51 Hut Stricklin 1 0 0 0 0 28
1993 No. 46 Al Unser, Jr. 1 0 0 0 0 81
1995 No. 58 Jeff Purvis 1 0 0 0 0 47
Totals 56 0 1 7 13

[13]

Team results[edit]

Sprint Cup Series Wins[edit]

1984

1986

1987

1988

1989

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

Nationwide Series Wins[edit]

1984

1985

1986

1987

1988

1989

2002

2004

2005

2006

2007

2009

Truck Series Wins[edit]

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2013

All-time statistics[edit]

As of 8/24/14 – Includes NASCAR's Sprint Cup, Nationwide, and Camping World Truck Series Races

  • Starts: 3,908*
  • Wins: 276
  • Poles: 257
  • Top 5s: 1,148*
  • Top 10s: 1,855*
  • Championships: 14 (10-Cup Series, 3-Truck Series, 1-Nationwide Series)

* – includes results by multiple teams; sometimes as many as 4 or 5 teams per race

Nationwide Series[edit]

JR Motorsports and Hendrick Motorsports officially combined NASCAR Nationwide Series operations following the conclusion of the 2007 racing season. The No. 5 Chevrolets were fielded full-time under the JR Motorsports banner in 2008. The team is fielded by JR Motorsports in partnership with Hendrick Motorsports.[20] The partnership campaigns two full-time race cars under the JR Motorsports banner that utilize Hendrick Motorsports engines, chassis and vehicle engineering support. Rick Hendrick is listed as car owner of the No. 5 team and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is car owner of the No. 88. JRM and HMS also collaborate in the areas of partnership development, sponsorship services, marketing and media relations.

Car No. 5 history[edit]

Main article: JR Motorsports

The No. 5 car was purchased by Hendrick Motorsports as the No. 24 from JG Motorsports and began competing in 2001 as the Hendrick No. 24 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet with Rick Hendrick's son 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 No. 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.

The No. 5 car's paint scheme for 2002 & 2003.

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 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 No. 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. The team moved to the JR Motorsports shop for 2008, as Johnson, Earnhardt, Casey Mears, Mark Martin and Landon Cassill split the car that season,[21] as well as Martin Truex, Jr. and Ron Fellows in one-race deals. This car was sponsored by Delphi, the National Guard, and GoDaddy.com.

In 2009, the No. 5 car would be reduced to a part-time schedule due to the lack of sponsorship. Fastenal, Unilever and GoDaddy.com would sponsor the car with Cassill, Truex, Jr., Earnhardt, Jr., Martin, Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman and Scott Wimmer also drove the car. The car would remain inactive save for limited appearances by Dale Jr.

Car No. 24 history[edit]

Casey Mears racing in the 2007 Ford 300 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.

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 No. 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 did not run in 2008.

Car No. 48 history[edit]

The 48 car made its debut in the Busch Series in 2004 at Lowe's, running a one-race deal with sponsorship from Lowe's and The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. 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 three races, both Lowe's races and the Ameriquest 300 at California.[22] His best finish was seventh in the first Lowe's race. Johnson drove the 48 car in the same three Busch races for the 2007 races, with a best finish of fourth at California.

Car No. 80 history[edit]

In 2009, Hendrick Motorsports announced that they would run a No. 80 HendrickCars.com car driven by Tony Stewart in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Camping World 300 at Daytona. The number 80 represented the number of affiliates in the Hendrick Automotive Group. Stewart won the race in this car, with this being his only race for Hendrick Motorsports while focusing on his own team in a partnership with Gene Haas, Stewart-Haas Racing, which gets its engines, chassis, and technical support from Hendrick Motorsports.[23]

Camping World Truck Series[edit]

Truck No. 17 history[edit]

The 17 Camping World Truck Series (was 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 No. 24 history[edit]

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 his ride 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.

Truck No. 94 history[edit]

Hendrick Motorsports revived its truck program in 2013, fielding a part-time entry for Chase Elliott. The team was sponsored by Aaron's and ran nine races. The trucks were not built directly by Hendrick Motorsports, but were instead provided by Turner Scott Motorsports. However, the trucks were fielded directly by Hendrick, with crew chief Lance McGrew.[24] Elliott made his debut at Martinsville Speedway on April 6 and finished in the sixth position.[25] Elliott would become the youngest pole winner in Truck Series history at Bristol in August,[26] and later the youngest race winner in the Truck Series by winning the inaugural Chevy Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.[27] Elliott departed the No. 94 to join JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series in 2014.[28]

ARCA RE/MAX Series[edit]

Car No. 87 history[edit]

In 2007, Hendrick Motorsports fielded the No. 87 for Landon Cassill in a couple races as a development package.

Plane crash[edit]

2004 No. 25 Ditech/GMAC Monte Carlo. The hood design pays tribute to the people killed in the October 2004 plane crash.

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 (11 km) from the Blue Ridge Airport in Stuart, Virginia, after a failed attempt to land.[29] Ten people aboard the Beechcraft King Air 200 died. Six were Hendrick family members and/or Hendrick Motorsports employees: John Hendrick, the owner's brother and president of Hendrick Motorsports; Jeff Turner, general manager of Hendrick Motorsports; Ricky Hendrick, a Hendrick Motorsports driver and its owner's son; Kimberly and Jennifer Hendrick, John Hendrick's twin daughters; and Randy Dorton, chief engine builder. Also dead were the plane's pilots, Richard Tracy and Elizabeth Morrison, Joe Jackson, director of the DuPont Motorsports program,[30] and Scott Lathram, who worked for Joe Gibbs Racing as a helicopter pilot.[31]

NASCAR officials learned of the crash during that day's Subway 500 race in Martinsville, Virginia; they withheld the information from drivers until the end of the race, which was won by Hendrick driver Jimmie Johnson. For the rest of the 2004 season, all Hendrick Motorsports cars and the No. 0 Haas CNC Racing car featured pictures of the crash victims on the hood, accompanied by the phrase "Always in our hearts."

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Official site of Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR Racing & Team Store". Hendrickmotorsports.com. Retrieved November 26, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Gordon wins at Homestead - a Hendrick Motorsports' first". Hendrick Motorsports. November 18, 2012. Retrieved December 25, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Official site of Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR Racing & Team Store". Hendrickmotorsports.com. Retrieved November 26, 2010. 
  4. ^ Hendrick Motorsports' Humble Beginnings - 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup
  5. ^ Jensen, Tom (March 30, 2014). "Rick Hendrick talks Martinsville and about drivers who got away". Foxsports.com. Retrieved March 30, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Sources: Martin to leave DEI, replace Mears in No. 5 – Racing — ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. June 23, 2008. Retrieved November 26, 2010. 
  7. ^ Dave Rodman (July 4, 2008). "Martin signs two-year deal with Hendrick for the No. 5 – Jul 4, 2008". Nascar.Com. Retrieved November 26, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Jayski's NASCAR Silly Season Site — NASCAR Sprint Cup News Page". Jayski.com. Retrieved November 26, 2010. 
  9. ^ Nascar.Com (September 18, 2009). "Martin signs through '11 and adding new sponsor — Sep 18, 2009". Nascar.Com. Retrieved November 26, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c Sporting News Wire Service. "Hendrick swapping crew chiefs for three teams". Nascar.Com. Retrieved November 26, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Jimmie Johnson to Drive the Number 5 Car in the Sprint All-Star Race". Bleacher Report. April 21, 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Official site of Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR Racing & Team Store". Hendrickmotorsports.com. April 14, 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2010. 
  13. ^ a b c d e "Rick Hendrick Owner Statistics". Racing-Reference.info. Retrieved November 26, 2010. 
  14. ^ Rebranded Axalta Coating Systems remains committed to Hendrick Motorsports and Jeff Gordon.
  15. ^ "Jeff Gordon Career Statistics". Racing-Reference.info. Retrieved November 26, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Jimmie Johnson wins Daytona 500 without crew chief Knaus". Racewayreport.com. Retrieved November 26, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Jimmie Johnson Career Statistics". Racing-Reference.info. 1975-09-17. Retrieved November 26, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Greg Ives named Junior's crew chief in 2015". NASCAR. Retrieved July 30, 2014. 
  19. ^ http://motorsportstalk.nbcsports.com/2014/08/06/national-guard-to-end-sponsorship-of-dale-jr-indycars-rahal/
  20. ^ "Official site of Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR Racing & Team Store". Hendrickmotorsports.com. July 30, 2007. Retrieved November 26, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Busch Series No. 5 driver lineup star-studded for '08". Sports.espn.go.com. September 21, 2007. Retrieved November 26, 2010. 
  22. ^ "Drivers : Jimmie Johnson". Nascar.Com. Retrieved November 26, 2010. 
  23. ^ "Stewart Smokin' Hot With Camping World 300 Win". Daytona International Speedway. February 14, 2009. Retrieved October 30, 2013. 
  24. ^ Rea White (January 23, 2013). "Hendrick Motorsports moves 17-year-old to Truck Series". Retrieved 14 February 2013. 
  25. ^ "Chase Elliott's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Results at Martinsville Speedway". Racing-Reference.info. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Elliott becomes youngest Truck pole winner". NASCAR. August 21, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Elliott wins first Truck Series race in Canada". NASCAR. September 1, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  28. ^ Ryan, Nate (January 6, 2014). "NAPA will back Chase Elliott at JR Motorsports". USA Today. Retrieved January 6, 2014. 
  29. ^ NTSB Identification: IAD05MA006 from the National Transportation Safety Board website
  30. ^ DuPont statement: Joe Jackson, an October 25, 2004 Dupont press release via NASCAR.com
  31. ^ Stewart on Lathram: 'I got really close to him', an October 29, 2004 article from NASCAR.com

External links[edit]