“From there it all grew” – Chief of Staff HMS Paris put his heart out as he charted his life’s course

When we look at the most successful people on the planet, we cannot ignore their accomplishments. We rarely acknowledge the fact that they were once people nobody knew who had to struggle every day to get there. Needless to say, they also have their share of heartbreaks, frustrations, failures, and setbacks. However, it is their indomitable spirit and unwavering determination that sets them apart.

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Hendrick Motorsports is probably the most sought after, or, as they say, “most lucrative” stock car racing team in NASCAR today. Team owner Rick Hendrick founded the Hendrick Automotive Group in 1976, one of the largest auto dealership chains in the USA. With over 200 cars in his possession, HMS’ owner occasionally takes time off from his busy schedule and strolls around his garage, reminiscing about his struggling days as a young man.

Rick Hendrick’s cars are testaments to his growth as a Hendrick Motorsports team owner


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Rick Hendrick’s Heritage Center houses a classic collection of classic Corvettes and other priceless Chevy collectibles. You are not allowed to enter unless you are invited. However, in 2015, the president of Hendrick Motorsports opened his car museum to everyone for one day. His Heritage Center is a tribute to his family and their contribution to the automotive industry.

In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, he said, “I pay tribute to my family, my grandfather’s general store, and the bank my mother worked for. The volunteer fire department that my father built. The tractor shop I used to work at is in Chevrolet City.”

Looking back, Rick Hendrick considered himself very lucky to be able to do what he loves to do. He admitted that he had no plans. Back in Venezuela and South Carolina, he only sold about 200 cars each year. However, General Motors approaches him and tells him that if he can improve his sales, they will give Hendrick a big shot.

“18 months, three days, 30 minutes, City Chevrolet became available. From there, it all grew.” Legendary NASCAR team owner revealed.

According to Rick Hendrick, however high a fly may be, one should never forget its origin. His eyes sparkled with joy as he said, “This place for me is so special. I walk into this place when I’m having a bad day. I’m so grateful that I’m doing what I want to do… It’s what I love.”

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Not everyone owns 220 unique cars, 122 of which are rare Corvettes. So what made Rick Hendrick build an entire Heritage Center for his cars?

The tragedy that occurred 9 years ago is directly linked to Rick Hendrick’s cherished car collection

Hendrick’s favorite is probably the black 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71. It’s the same car that his son Ricky Hendrick drove into his father’s personal barn and boarded a Beechcraft Super King Air 200 with 9 others en route to Martinsville Speedway. But the plane crashed into Bull Mountain in Patrick County, killing everyone on board.

Rick Hendrick said in the same interview, “When my son died, these cars were strewn all over the dealerships and warehouses and I said, I want to build a building, a heritage center because the guys here have restored his trailer, put all his helmet back in and gave me the trailer.Such a heavy toll on a father’s heart.


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Moments before his son Ricky Hendrick left for Martinsville, he had an argument with his fiancée, Emily Maynard. But the young couple never had a chance to resolve their disagreement, as Ricky never returned. Goodbyes are never sweet, but this one was very bitter.

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On an episode of Meredith Vieira’s show, Emily Maynard revealed why she talked about her argument with Ricky so many years after his death. The author of I Said Yes: My Story of Grief, Redemption, and True Love said, “This is part of being human; People go to sleep like crazy, people leave and lock doors… It’s something we all regret but I wanted people to see that, and it happens to everyone.”

“And as much as I want to forget about it and pretend like we had this stunner I love you so much bye that’s not the case but that doesn’t define our relationship,” She added in a clear voice of remorse.


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Many tragedies remain hidden behind the auto show at the Rick Hendrick Heritage Center. But as the man himself said, we should always be appreciative of everything we receive in life and never forget where we came from.

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