Daytona 500 Win Is a Birthday Gift for Hendrick Motorsports

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

NASCAR Cup driver William Byron’s victory in Monday’s Daytona 500 was a welcome anniversary present for his team owner, Rick Hendrick, who formed Hendrick Motorsports 40 years ago to the day.

Hendrick, 74, is now one of the nation’s largest automotive dealers. In 1984, he was struggling to pay the bills for his fledgling one-car NASCAR team, then called All-Star Racing. He had hired driver Geoff Bodine after a deal to have Richard Petty drive for the team fell through.

“I think about the day when we came down here [to Daytona International Speedway],” Hendrick said last week. “Geoff Bodine and I were talking about it. I think we had six full-time people and a bunch of volunteers. We finished eighth in that race.

“When I walked down pit road and I saw the Wood brothers and Richard Petty and Junior Johnson, I thought we shouldn’t even be here. It brings back a lot of memories. Daytona is a special place.”

It was made more special when Byron crossed the finish line in the number 24 Chevrolet Camaro Monday night, with Hendrick teammate Alex Bowman a close second.

It was the ninth Daytona 500 victory for Hendrick Motorsports, tying it with Petty Enterprises for the most wins. It had been 10 years, though, since a Hendrick car won the Daytona 500, with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., taking the checkered flag in 2014.

“You couldn’t write the script any better, 24 in ’24,” Hendrick said after the race. “We win this on our 40th to the day. And we tied a record now, so that’s awesome.”

2024 NASCAR Cup Series Daytona 500 winner champagne
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Hendrick is the honoree at the 29th Amelia Concours d’Elegance, held February 29 through March 3 at the Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island, Florida. Many notable Hendrick Motorsports cars will be on display, including the Garage 56 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 that ran in the 24 Hours of Le Mans last year.

On Saturday, March 2, Hendrick will take part in a seminar titled “40 Years of Hendrick Motorsports,” moderated by former Hendrick crew chief Ray Evernham, and featuring past Hendrick Motorsports drivers Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Terry Labonte, and Kenny Schrader. It will be livestreamed on Facebook, courtesy of Chevrolet.




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