Sunday, April 2, 2017

Ricky Hendrick Born In Charlotte, North Carolina - April 2, 1980

April 2, 1980 – October 24, 2004
Ricky Hendrick
(Photo; hendrickmotorsports.com)
Born in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.
Hendrick began his career in auto racing at the age of 15 by racing in the Legends Series Summer Shootout. In 1998, he received his first win on May 23, and earned his first pole position on July 18. One year later, he entered the NASCAR Busch Series at Myrtle Beach Speedway, where he qualified fifth and finished 20th.

He continued to run the series in 2000, with the addition of competing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. During Busch series season he was involved in two accidents, and received a mild concussion in one of them.

In 2001, he started to compete in all the Truck races. He recorded his first NASCAR career win on July 7, becoming the youngest rookie to win a race. Hendrick was also able to accomplish 19 top ten finishes, the most by a rookie at that time. However, at the end of the season, he finished second in the Rookie of the Year Standings, with Travis Kvapil winning the award.

In 2002, he moved to the Busch Series with Jack Sprague. During the season he was involved in an accident at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, sustaining a shoulder injury. He required surgery and two months of healing before he could race again. However, Hendrick decided to retire from driving in October of the same year. He continued to be employed by Hendrick Motorsports, as the owner of two teams: Brian Vickers in the Nextel Cup Series and Kyle Busch in the Busch Series. Hendrick also founded a motorcycle dealership in Pineville, North Carolina, named Ricky Hendrick's Performance Honda.

On October 24, 2004, around 12:30 p.m. EDT, Hendrick died in a plane crash near Martinsville, Virginia. With him were nine others who also lost their lives. The plane, on its way to the Martinsville Speedway, crashed on Bull Mountain due to pilot error in heavy fog.

After Hendrick died, his 18-year-old fiancée Emily Maynard found out she was pregnant. Maynard gave birth to his daughter, Josephine Riddick "Ricki" Hendrick, who was named after him, on June 29, 2005. Maynard later competed in season 15 of The Bachelor and season eight of The Bachelorette.

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