Larry Hedrick Motorsports

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Not to be confused with Hendrick Motorsports.
Hedrick Motorsports
Hedrick.png
Owner(s) Larry Hedrick
Base Statesville, North Carolina
Series Winston Cup, Busch Series
Car numbers 41
Race drivers Dave Marcis, Dick Trickle, Ricky Craven, Greg Sacks, Hut Stricklin Steve Grissom, Joe Nemechek, David Green, Derrick Cope
Sponsors Kodiak
Manufacturer Chevrolet
Opened 1990
Closed 2001
Career
Drivers' Championships 0
Race victories 0

Larry Hedrick Motorsports is a former NASCAR team. It was owned by businessman Larry Hedrick and always fielded the #41 Chevrolet in both the Winston Cup and the Busch Series. The team ran from 1990 until its closure in 2001.

Beginnings[edit]

LHM made its debut at the 1990 Bud 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Larry Pearson was the driver, qualifying 26th and finishing 14th. Pearson ran three more races with the team that season, never finishing lower than 19th. The two teamed up again in 1991, running a limited schedule with Kellogg's and Jasper Engines & Transmissions sponsoring, but after signing a sponsorship deal for 1992 with Kellogg's Corn Flakes, they parted ways at the end of the season.

For 1992, Greg Sacks was hired as the team's first full-time driver. Things started off well, as Sacks put together five top-fifteen finishes as well as a 7th place qualifying effort at the TranSouth 500. Performance never improved and at the urging of team manager Harry Hyde, Sacks was replaced by long-time independent Dave Marcis, who hired Jim Sauter to drive for his racing team while he drove the 41 car. In a seven-race stretch, Marcis' best finish was 18th at the Southern 500. Sacks returned at the AC Delco 500 for a 33rd place finish. Hut Stricklin finished out the last two races of the year.

Mid-90's[edit]

In 1993, Manheim Auctions moved back to full-time sponsorship, and Phil Parsons was hired to drive. Parsons finished 8th at North Carolina Motor Speedway, but was released in the final part of the year as Dick Trickle took his place, and had an outside-pole starting spot at the Slick 50 500, then followed it up with a fifth-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway. After Trickle left at the end of the year, LHM signed 1992 Busch Series champion Joe Nemechek to compete for Rookie of the Year, sponsored by Meineke, for 1994 Nemechek had two consecutive top-five qualifying runs and finished 3rd at Pocono Raceway. When they were unable to clinch the rookie crown, Nemechek left to run his own team, and Hedrick signed another Busch Series veteran to compete for Cup rookie honors, Ricky Craven, as well as Kodiak as a sponsor. They had one top-five and four top-tens, defeating Robert Pressley for Rookie of the year. Craven was rewarded with a share of ownership in the Hedrick operation, and responded with two pole positions and five top-tens in 1996. He ran up near the top of the points standings very early in the season, but suffered a horrific crash at the Winston Select 500. Although he survived with no major injuries, his performance slipped after that, and many attribute that to a lack of confidence following that wreck. Craven left for Hendrick Motorsports at the end of the 1996 season.

Final years[edit]

The paint scheme that ran from 1997-1999.

Craven was replaced Steve Grissom to pilot the 41 ride for 1997. Grissom qualified on the outside pole at the season-opening Daytona 500, and garnered six top-ten finishes throughout the season. The momentum did not carry over into 1998, and Grissom was released after the fall Bristol race. David Green and Rick Wilson shared the driving duties for the balance of the season, with Green getting the nod to drive in 1999. Green struggled, missing two races, and finished no higher than 18th. As the season came to a close, Green left for Tyler Jet Motorsports, and Trickle returned to the team. He DNQ'd for all but one of the races he attempted, and was replaced by Derrike Cope for three races, until Gary Bradberry finished out the season.

With no driver for 2000 and Kodiak leaving the team, Hedrick decided to hire journeyman Rick Mast to drive. After a long search, LHM signed Big Daddy's BBQ Sauce as sponsor. The team struggled at first, but when Mast left for A.J. Foyt Racing, many questions began surrounding the organization. It was soon revealed that Big Daddy's had neglected to pay their sponsorship fees, and had instead given Hedrick 11 million shares of stock in the company. Hedrick tried to get a cash deal with New Holland as well as ordering Big Daddy's to pay their money, with neither working out. (The stocks were later proven to be worthless). During this time, Bradberry returned for a three-race deal, but the team took the rest of the year off because of the sponsorship problems. After no other sponsorship opportunities came up in 2001, Hedrick sold the team.

Driver History[edit]

External links[edit]