Sunday, November 22, 2009

Rick Hendrick Misses Team's History-Making Day

Hendrick Motorsports made history at Homestead.

The #48 team clinched a record-breaking fourth consecutive Sprint Cup championship. Plus, Hendrick teams snagged the top three spots in the Chase - another never-before-accomplished NASCAR feat.

Unfortunately, team owner Rick Hendrick wasn't there to see it.

Just before the race, Hendrick general manager Marshall Carlson told reporters that Hendrick had returned to North Carolina to be with his family and his niece, Alesha Gainey,who was awaiting an emergency liver transplant at a North Carolina hospital.

Gainey is the daughter of Hendrick's brother John, who was killed in the 2004 plane crash which also took the lives of Gainey's twin sisters and Rick's own son Ricky.

For a family that has seen more than its share of tragedy, the sad news of Gainey's condition seems especially hard. Twitter was lit up with messages of prayer and support for Rick Hendrick and his niece. And broadcasters on both Speed TV and ESPN/ABC aired well wishes to the team owner.

But all that still didn't make up for Hendrick's absence in Victory Lane. The post-race celebration didn't seem complete without the owner's jubilant congratulatory hugs and gracious words to the media.

Yet Hendrick's decision to miss what may well be the biggest career achievement of his life only illustrates what makes the man so respected by his employees and competitors.

To Rick Hendrick, people are more important than championships. And family is the most important of all. There is much to be admired in that.

As of this post, the news from Hendrick Motorsports is that Gainey is in surgery and all is going as planned.

We wish her and the entire Hendrick family well. God bless.


  1. He has his priorities in order!!

  2. Hendrick did show substance and character, siding with people over things -- like the twin gold rings of a 4th consecutive championship as well as a top-3 points finish for Hendrick Motorsports teams. After all the prior tragedy, it's understandable the responsibility Hendrick feels for his niece. But yes, he was missed ...

  3. My pray goes out to the Hendrick Motorsport and to Rick's family...