MOORESVILLE, N.C. – William Byron and JR Motorsports will honor the memory of Ricky Hendrick with a special throwback paint scheme during next month’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Darlington Raceway.
The scheme was unveiled Wednesday at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C.
Ricky Hendrick, son of JRM co-owner Rick and his wife Linda, was among those lost in the tragic Hendrick Motorsports plane crash on Oct. 24, 2004. He was once the future of Hendrick Motorsports, much as Byron is now.
The younger Hendrick made his NASCAR national series debut at 19, in 1999, and the throwback scheme honors the car Hendrick drove in the same series in 2001 as a 21-year-old.
That car, which was sponsored by GMAC Financial, carried the No. 24.
Rick Hendrick and wife Linda were present for the unveiling; as was Ricky Hendrick’s crew chief during his XFINITY days, Lance McGrew; and Liberty University President Jerry Falwell. Among those attending the ceremony were Ricky’s sister Lynn, many of his former team members and Darlington Raceway president Kerry Tharp.
Byron, who has won three times in his rookie season at JRM and is currently second in the series point standings, said Wednesday he is “honored” to be able to participate in the program.
“Having a throwback scheme to honor Ricky Hendrick is very special,” said Byron. “Just to be able to represent him and everything that his family has done for this sport is a huge honor. Hopefully we can get this Liberty University Chevrolet to victory lane in Darlington with this awesome throwback scheme.”
The car itself keeps the blue, white and red colors of Liberty University and incorporates the sweeping graphics used on Hendrick’s 2001 machine.
In addition to the special scheme, President Falwell also announced the Ricky Hendrick Memorial Scholarship at Liberty. The scholarship will be awarded to an online and/or residential student enrolled in the undergraduate B.S. Business Administration: Automotive Dealership Management Program at the Lynchburg, Va. university.
Hendrick Automotive Group is an integral part of the Bachelor of Science auto dealership program at Liberty.
CREDIT: JR Motorsports