Rick Hendrick buys new Chevy Volt for $225,000

You'd think a guy who owns a fleet of NASCAR rides and 10 championships wouldn't need to pay for a car, but Rick Hendrick did anyway, ponying up $225,000 for the second Chevy Volt to roll off the production line.

The Volt, an electric/combustion hybrid, can run up to 50 miles on battery power alone before having to kick in the engine. It's already been named the best car of the year by both Motor Trend and Automobile magazines. It also carries a $41,000 sticker price.

So why did Hendrick go five times over the asking price? He's a car dealer himself, doesn't he know how to negotiate? Truth is, the money will go toward a program to benefit science, math, technology and engineering studies in the Detroit Public Schools System.

"This was an opportunity to own a piece of history while giving back to the community," Hendrick said in a press release. "I have been a Chevrolet dealer for more than 30 years, and the Volt is one of the most exciting and important new cars since we opened our first dealership in 1976."

Knowing the throw-weight Hendrick has in NASCAR, we fully expect to see electric cars zipping quietly around the ovals within two years.

[Thanks to reader Mike for the tip.]