After Jeff Gordon, Rick Hendrick Readies to Steal the Show at Amelia Alongside Infamous Garage 56 Project

Published 11/21/2023, 2:21 AM EST

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2023 was nothing short of a victory lap for Hendrick Motorsports. Their drivers didn’t just dip their toes in the water; they made waves, with two roaring into the Championship 4 and clinching 2nd and 3rd spots, hot on Ryan Blaney‘s tail. It’s fair to say their trophy cabinet might be groaning under the weight of new accolades. William Byron’s Texas win marked a milestone 300th Cup Series victory for the team, and Kyle Larson’s Darlington win was the cherry on top, being the 500th national series win while hitting a personal milestone with his 300th Cup series start in Atlanta. Not to be outdone, Chase Elliott chalked up over 5,000 laps led. Clearly, the team’s been on fire, piling up milestones left, right, and center.

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Yet, this time, it’s not the drivers basking in the limelight. Rick Hendrick, the mastermind steering the ship, is grabbing the headlines. He’s been singled out for recognition in 2024 at The Amelia, an accolade celebrating his colossal impact on the sport. In his and HMS’s honor, a parade of cars from his collection will take center stage. The show will include the Garage 56 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, a sharp contender at the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans, and a nostalgic journey through four decades of Hendrick Motorsports cars.

Rick Hendrick receives honor owing to the tradition of “the racers concours”

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True to its spirit, Rick Hendrick is the latest to be honored in this prestigious setting. Since rolling out its first car in 1984, Hendrick Motorsports has been a force to be reckoned with in the NASCAR Cup Series. The team has amassed 14 championships and a staggering 301 race victories.

Reflecting on the honor, Hendrick shared, “For my entire life, I’ve loved automobiles and racing. The Amelia is truly a celebration of both of those passions. The list of past honorees is filled with names I respect and admire, and it’s incredibly humbling to be mentioned in the same breath. The wonderful success our organization has enjoyed has only been possible because of the many, many people who helped build it over the years. I look forward to experiencing The Amelia and sharing this very special honor with all of them.”

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The 2023 edition of The Amelia had the spotlight on Jeff Gordon, a four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and NASCAR Hall of Famer. The event celebrated Gordon’s career, showcasing the vehicles he piloted to victory.

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Looking ahead to 2024, The Amelia promises a plethora of special classes, including a showcase of 90’s Japanese performance cars, Pikes Peak concurs, Porsche: 911 The Original Owners Club, Sport Customs, and #001 Race Chassis. The week also expands to include a RADwood event on March 2. Each class will present the crème de la crème of their category, nestled alongside traditional displays.

But putting these things aside, Rick Hendrick’s honor is more than a personal accolade. It’s a mention of the 10,000 individuals who have fueled Hendrick Motorsports’ success. And, with Jeff Gordon poised as his likely successor, it’s also a nod to the future of this racing dynasty.

Is Jeff Gordon the future of Hendrick Motorsports?

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It seems like a green flag for Jeff Gordon to take the lead at Hendrick Motorsports in the future. In a candid chat with the Charlotte Observer, Gordon, currently the vice chairman of the company, opened up about his evolution from a full-time driver to a key executive. But when it comes to passing the baton, Rick Hendrick has a clear vision.

As per racingnews.co, Hendrick laid it out plainly, “That’s the way we’re going. Whenever I finally step away, it’ll be Jeff Gordon in my place.” He made this decision, probably because he doesn’t have a family successor following the tragic loss of his son Rickey in a 2004 plane crash.

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“I’ve Always Had That Philosophy”- Rick Hendrick Unravels Inclusive Mindset Behind HMS’ Colossal NASCAR Success

Handing over the keys to Jeff Gordon isn’t just a good call; it’s a strategic move. However, don’t expect this change to happen in the blink of an eye. Hendrick, with a touch of humor, mentioned his intention to stay at the helm of HMS just a bit longer than Roger Penske plans to lead Team Penske. And by his own admission, he’s not planning on bowing out anytime soon.

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Written by:

Neha Dwivedi

914Articles

One take at a time

Controversies, gossip, and breakneck speeds? Count me in! While F1 has its charm, NASCAR helps me relive those "Roadrash" gaming days. My favorite among the drivers has to be Tyler Reddick. The 23XI Racing pilot is not only likable but also a complete beast when he is on track, more specifically, road courses.
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Edited by:

Ariva Debnath

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