Nascar’s Rick Hendrick And McLaren’s Zak Brown Type A “Motorsports Dream Staff” At The Indianapolis 500

The mixture of probably the most profitable crew proprietor in Nascar Cup Sequence historical past with one in every of main crew house owners in Method One has created a “Motorsports Dream Staff” on the Indianapolis 500 in 2024.

A deeper have a look at the connection between Nascar’s Rick Hendrick and McLaren’s Zak Brown sees the potential of a robust alliance that might obtain some nice issues in worldwide auto racing.

Each admitted 2021 Nascar Cup Sequence champion Kyle Larson’s Indy 500 trip in 2024 may very well be step one in additional involvement between the 2 iconic racing organizations.

“That is one of many many issues that may be very thrilling about our partnership,” Brown stated Thursday evening. “As Mr. H (Rick Hendrick) stated, we’re all a bunch of racers that race in numerous formulation, and all have loads in widespread. You by no means fairly know the place partnerships result in.

“Going to LeMans, I’ve an ideal historical past in sports activities vehicles. I bear in mind the Corvette GTP program very a lot, which was an uber-cool racing automotive and racing collection. That was one of many issues that was very thrilling for us to create a partnership that will get a bunch of racers collectively which have a ardour for profitable and racing vehicles that may result in different alternatives sooner or later.”

The 2024 Indianapolis 500 will probably be Hendricks first entry within the Indianapolis 500. The famed Nascar Cup Sequence crew proprietor has gained a file 14 championships, 291 Cup Sequence victories, 343 Nascar Xfinity Sequence wins and 26 Nascar Craftsman Truck Sequence victories.

A few of the best drivers in Nascar Cup Sequence historical past have pushed for Hendrick Motorsports together with seven-time Cup Sequence champion Jimmie Johnson and four-time Cup Sequence champion Jeff Gordon.

Hendrick has additionally efficiently competed in IMSA Sports activities Automobile Racing and will probably be a part of the Storage 56 entry within the 24 Hours of LeMans in 2023.

Brown has helped revive McLaren’s Method One effort and has created a really spectacular multi-car operation within the NTT IndyCar Sequence.

“I’ve by no means dreamed we might be companions operating the Indianapolis 500,” Hendrick stated Thursday evening. “Kyle has made it very clear to me that he would like to do it. I by no means thought it might occur.”

Arrow McLaren SP and Hendrick Motorsports are each Chevrolet groups.

“For me to do it with Chevrolet, I at all times needed to be with a premier crew if we ever did do it,” Hendrick stated. “To have the ability to associate with McLaren and have Hendrick Vehicles on it, that’s particular to me and our entire group.

“Everyone is happy about it. To associate with McLaren and have the expertise that you’ve assembled and know that Kyle goes to be in first-class tools with complete preparation, it is going to be thrilling for our group, our followers and everybody concerned. We’re tremendous excited and really appreciative to associate with you. Wanting ahead to Kyle operating the Indy 500 subsequent 12 months. It is a tremendous alternative.

“A bucket listing for any racer.”

Hendrick crew up in South Hill, Virginia and is among the most profitable automotive sellers in the US. The Hendrick Automotive Group has over 100 sellers in the US.

In 1984, he was the founding father of All Star Racing that includes Geoff Bodine as his driver. That was the genesis of Hendrick Motorsports, which might go on to turn out to be the main crew in Nascar Cup Sequence historical past.

In 2024, Hendrick will probably be a part of the beginning grid on the Indianapolis 500 for the primary time.

“I feel if you’re a racer and in your bucket listing if you happen to might be part of and have an entry within the Indy 500, that is an enormous deal,” Hendrick stated. “Kyle has advised me he needed to do it. If you wish to race, you have to be aggressive. To have a associate or crew to affiliate with like a McLaren and Zak Brown, that’s what you could have. I am not fascinated about going if we aren’t ready and do not have a shot to be aggressive.

“I do know it is a tall order to speak about attempting to win it, however each race I’ve ever seen Kyle in, I have a look at the McLaren crew and I do know they’re winners and Kyle is a winner, Jeff Gordon has been in the midst of this, and we’re all speaking about getting him in a automotive on the finish of the 12 months. Zak and I talked about that earlier right this moment.

“All of that is going to develop, however what I like about it’s we have an ideal crew we’re related to. For me to have an opportunity to be a co-owner and convey Hendrick Vehicles to Kyle’s followers and our group, I get extra enthusiastic about it daily.

“I wasn’t too enthusiastic about it at first however after we began speaking about it, to associate with McLaren and Zak Brown and a top quality group in the whole lot from Method One to Indy, this can be a nice alternative for us.

“I am wanting ahead to it. We’ll see the way it all works out.”

When requested how he expects to really feel for this primary Indy 500, Hendrick mirrored to the identical feeling he had 39 years in the past.

“I most likely really feel like I did after I went to Daytona the primary time in 1984,” Hendrick stated. “I had an entry there and I seemed down the storage lane and noticed the Wooden Brothers and Junior Johnson and thought, ‘Oh, Man – I should not be right here.’ However being companions with McLaren provides us an incredible quantity of consolation we may have one of the best tools and one of the best preparation. We owe that every one to the McLaren group as a result of they’re one of the best.

“We’re wanting ahead to seeing what it is like.”

The collective enterprise horsepower of Zak Brown and McLaren, together with Rick Hendrick, Hendrick Motorsports and the Hendrick Automotive Group has the whole lot wanted for fulfillment. However these concerned understand they will solely obtain greatness by working collectively.

“I do know full nicely what it is prefer to step into a corporation or racing collection like NASCAR to compete,” Hendrick stated. “It takes quite a lot of time. Any race crew, it is all about individuals. We all know Chevrolet has an ideal product. I’ve by no means raced something however Chevrolet. There isn’t any method our group may make this step with out having a associate like McLaren. I am in awe that I will be talked about in the identical sentence with McLaren and Zak.

“No matter we do, I will put one of the best effort on the market we will.”

Hendrick will probably be 74 on the 2024 Indianapolis 500, however the profitable businessman and racing crew proprietor believes it is by no means too late to test off his bucket listing.

“The Indianapolis 500 is a bucket listing,” Hendrick stated. “I by no means thought I’d be going to LeMans, both. It is a kind of offers that Kyle has been about adamant. He satisfied me to let him run Dash Vehicles.

“The Indy 500 is such a prestigious occasion in all of motorsports. I by no means thought I’d be there. It is going to be particular to stroll out on the grid subsequent 12 months and be part of it.”

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