Joseph Riddick "Rick" Hendrick III (born July 12, 1949) is the current owner of the American NASCAR team, Hendrick Motorsports and founder of the Hendrick Automotive Group and Hendrick Marrow Program. He attended Park View High School in South Hill, Virginia, and began his career in auto racing at age 14. He is also a retired race car driver himself, driving in only four NASCAR races throughout the course of his NASCAR career. He is the father of the late Ricky Hendrick, a former NASCAR driver.
Joseph Riddick "Ricky" Hendrick IV (April 2, 1980 – October 24, 2004) was an American NASCAR stock car driver and partial owner at Hendrick Motorsports, a team that his father Rick Hendrick founded. He was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, on April 2, 1980, and began his career in racing at the age of fifteen. He competed in both the Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series before his death from an airplane accident on October 24, 2004. He was killed with seven other family members and friends during the accident.
Hendrick, born on July 12, 1949, in Palmer Springs, Virginia, was raised on his family's farm. Hendrick, at the age of 14, began drag racing in a self built 1931 Chevrolet. Two years later, at age 16, Hendrick won the Virginia division of the Chrysler-Plymouth Troubleshooting Contest, a two-part test consisting of a written exam and a timed hands-on diagnosis and repair of defects planted on a car.
While attending Park View High School in South Hill, Virginia, he considered being a professional baseball player. After high school, he decided to pursue a co-op work study program with North Carolina State University and Westinghouse Electric Company in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Afterward, Hendrick opened a small used-car lot with Mike Leith, named Hendrick Automotive Group. Leith, an established new-car dealer, was convinced to name Hendrick the general sales manager of the company, at age 23. In 1976, he sold his assets to purchase a franchise in Bennettsville, South Carolina.
After doing so, he became the youngest Chevrolet dealer in the United States. Hendrick's influence increased sales to make the once troubled location become the region's most profitable. The success of Bennettsville was a precursor to the Hendrick Automotive Group, which now has 98 franchises and 10,000 employees across 13 states.
Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, his company had a revenue of excess of $3.5 billion in 2009, after selling 100,000 vehicles and servicing 1.5 million, and is the sixth largest dealership in the United States. Hendrick is also the chairman of the company.