• Hendrick's first victory came in April 1984 at Martinsville. The winner? Geoff Bodine.
His first sponsor was Northwestern Mutual Life, and his team was then known as All-Star Racing. Yeah, nice name.
• The winningest driver for Hendrick is, of course, Jeff Gordon with 85 wins. Hendrick has also fielded cars driven by legends (Darrell Waltrip, Al Unser Jr.), dearly departed (Tim Richmond, Rob Moroso, Benny Parsons) to who-the-hell-is...? (Sarel van der Merwe).
• Hendrick has won 10 championships: five by Jimmie Johnson, four by Gordon and one by Terry Labonte.
• The team now trails only Richard Petty Motorsports, with 268 wins, but at Hendrick's current pace, that record could fall within a decade.
• The drivers bearing Hendrick regalia have 818 top-5s, 1,352 top-10s, and 181 poles. They've earned a tidy $272 million in race purses over the team's 29-plus years of existence.
• Hendrick's best track? The aforementioned Martinsville, where his drivers have won 18 times in 178 races, followed by Charlotte (16) and Darlington (14). He's had the most trouble at Homestead, where his drivers have failed to bring home a checker in 51 races, and Kentucky, which just joined the schedule last year.
Sadly, Martinsville is also the site of Hendrick's greatest tragedy, the plane crash in October 2004 that killed Rick's son Ricky and several other members of the Hendrick organization. Saturday night, in a touching final gesture, the assembled Hendrick team turned their hats backwards and pointed to the sky, a tribute to Ricky Hendrick and the others lost to tragedy over the years:
- Sports & Recreation
- Motor Racing
- Hendrick Motorsports
- Jimmie Johnson