Roads To The NASCAR Hall Crossed Many Times
Rivals at the tracks, team owners Richard Childress and Rick Hendrick are now brothers in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
By Deb Williams | Senior Writer
CHARLOTTE, N.C – Four of the five men inducted Friday into the NASCAR Hall of Fame had careers that were intertwined over three decades.
For Richard Childress and Rick Hendrick, their first formal meeting came in 1987 at the invitation of then NASCAR president Bill France Jr. France summoned Childress, Hendrick and their drivers – Dale Earnhardt and Geoff Bodine – to NASCAR headquarters in Daytona after the two competitors had spent two weekends wrecking each other at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It was a meeting that was recreated in the movie “Days of Thunder.”
It was a day that impacted all four men’s lives. France told Hendrick he could go back and focus on selling cars, Bodine could return to running Modifieds, and Earnhardt could return to the dirt tracks if things didn’t change.
“This sport is bigger than you and me and it will be here when we are gone,” France told Earnhardt.
Hendrick said in his NASCAR Hall of Fame induction speech that France “pinned our ears back like I’ve never had anybody talk to me in my life.” Read the full story »