mobile app bar

Kyle Petty Puts Hendrick Motorsports’ NASCAR Longevity Into Perspective

Gowtham Ramalingam

“Miss My Mom So Much”: Kyle Petty’s Tear-Jerking Post on Christmas Moves NASCAR Faithful

Hendrick Motorsports (HMS) strongly tipped the Martinsville scale in their favor on Sunday and grabbed the top three spots of the Cup Series race. With William Byron winning the race, Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott followed closely to make for a memorable weekend. What they pointed out through this result is the time-beating dominance that their team has achieved in the highest level of motorsports.

40 years back, in the spring of 1984, Rick Hendrick faced a tough call. He had to either call it quits on his loss-making racing outfit or find a way to win a race. Upon the urging of crew chief Harry Hyde, he decided to give winning one more shot and entered his car in Martinsville. And as fate would have it, Geoff Bodine took the checkered flag and gave Hendrick Motorsports its first-ever win.

Four decades later after this remarkable event in history, three of the team’s drivers found the top three spots in the Martinsville race. If that isn’t a storybook-worthy tale, what is? Talking to NASCAR about the endurance of the team, former racer Kyle Petty said, “For 40 years there’s been seven presidents! Since he [Rick Hendrick] won his first race to this last race, they’ve had 14 championships.”

View on Website

He continued about accomplishing a 1-2-3 finish at the site where the team won its first-ever race, “That’s a walk-off, people. That’s a walk-off. That’s saying we’re here for the first 40. We’re going to be here for another 40. Count on us doing the same thing.” The 1-2-3 finish was HMS’s fourth such result in history and the first ever in Martinsville. 

Hendrick Motorsports’ top brass is overjoyed at continued Martinsville success

HMS is now the most successful outfit in the Martinsville Speedway with 29 wins and over 10,000 laps led. Considering the importance of the track in the team’s history it is only prophetic that it would be so. It is just a great day for all of our people to celebrate 40 years,” Mr. Hendrick said. “To come back to Martinsville and run 1-2-3. All the people are going to stay and celebrate with the drivers. Wish I was there.”

The team owner had not been at the track due to a knee replacement surgery he’d undergone a month back. However, there was no loss of enthusiasm from him. He continued to, “It’s such a momentous occasion. I don’t think I’ve had one (win) that means any more than this one. Maybe that first win that kept us going, but this has been a special day.”

Post Edited By:Srijan Mandal

About the author

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham is a NASCAR journalist at The SportsRush. Though his affinity for racing stems from Formula 1, he found himself drawn to NASCAR's unparalleled excitement over the years. As a result he has shared his insights and observations by authoring over 350 articles on the sport. An avid fiction writer, you can find him lost in imaginary worlds when he is not immersed in racing. He hopes to continue savoring the thrill of every lap and race together with his readers for as long as he can.

Read more from Gowtham Ramalingam

Share this article