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Ricky Hendrick To Undergo Minor Surgery; Hornaday To Replace Him in Busch Series

  • Mar 01, 2002

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Hendrick Motorsports driver Ricky Hendrick, who dislocated his right shoulder in Saturday’s NASCAR Busch Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, will need arthroscopic surgery to repair ligament damage in his injured shoulder. The driver of the No. 5 GMAC Chevrolet is expected to make a full recovery, but will be out approximately six weeks, according to doctors.

“Ricky is going to be just fine,” said his father Rick Hendrick, founder and CEO of Hendrick Motorsports. “He’s just disappointed about missing races.”

Hendrick’s race car encountered oil on the track and hit the wall as he came into the first turn on lap 117, sliding for more than 500 feet before coming to a stop in turn two. In compliance with NASCAR rules, the No. 5 car was carrying a “black box” which recorded data on the severity of the crash. According to initial figures, the car sustained 50 G-force impact, exceeding any ever recorded by NASCAR.

Hendrick was transported to the track’s Infield Care Center and later transferred to University Medical Center in Las Vegas for precautionary X-rays. After returning home to Charlotte, N.C., Hendrick visited specialists who recommended the surgery, to be performed by Dr. Donald D`Alessandro of Miller Orthopedic Clinic on Wednesday, March 6.

Hendrick Motorsports announced that veteran driver Ron Hornaday will replace the 21-year-old Busch Series rookie. The two-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion has two victories, two outside poles, seven top-five finishes and 18 top-10 finishes in more than 50 Busch Series starts.

“I’m here to do anything I can do to support Rick Hendrick and Ricky,” said Hornaday. “It’s a great feeling to know that Hendrick Motorsports thinks that much of me. I know that they have the best equipment in NASCAR racing and I’m proud to be able to get into a Hendrick car to show my talent until Ricky’s ready to come back.”

“Ron is a proven veteran who’s been instrumental in the careers of many young drivers, including Ricky’s,” said the elder Hendrick. “Hendrick Motorsports and the team’s sponsors are proud to put him behind the wheel until Ricky’s return.”

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