The Leader Returns

HARRISBURG, N.C. - - The founder and leader of Hendrick Motorsports will return to manage his race teams in 1999. Jeff Gordon's car owner, Rick Hendrick, absent from the NASCAR scene since the end of 1996, will return to run the operation that has won four consecutive Winston Cup titles. John Hendrick, president of Hendrick Motorsports, said his brother Rick would resume a more active role with the team next season, with his leukemia in remission and his legal situation clarified.

"Rick is going to be heavily involved next year. I look at my role as about the same next year. I'll be going to the races. Rick will be going to some, but with his health, I don't believe he'll be able to stand three days at the track or 30 races or that kind of travel. We'll have to gauge that some. Rick will help these guys a lot more than I can because of his technical knowledge," John said.

Most of all he's anticipating the 1999 season opener and his brother's return to an active role in his teams. "He will be in Daytona," John said of Rick. "He's getting pretty excited. His health is real good and his energy is getting better." Now the organization is at full strength.

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