Chassis No. 3
- Sep 28, 2004
- Team Hendrick
Throughout the past 20 years of NASCAR competition, Hendrick Motorsports has fielded some of the most competitive cars in the garage. In this, and upcoming newsletters we will profile the stories of some of the most memorable cars ever to run under the Hendrick banner.
WC Chassis No. 3
Chassis No. 3 competed for HMS in the early 1980s, when the team was known as “All Star Racing,” and is responsible for the organization’s first win in Cup Series competition. On April 29, 1984 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, driver Geoff Bodine took the machine to Victory Lane, recording his first victory as a Cup Series driver and Rick Hendrick’s first triumph as a NASCAR team owner.
“We showed up at Martinsville with an unsponsored car,” Hendrick says. “It was a pivotal time and a pivotal race because we didn’t know if we could make it all the way through the year.
“That was our first win with Geoff Bodine and I think it was our eighth race of the year. It allowed us to go on and get Levi Garrett as a sponsor and I guess the rest is history.
“If Geoff Bodine hadn’t won that first race … there would be no Hendrick Motorsports,” Hendrick says.
No. 3 then went on to score the first Cup Series pole for the organization in August of the same year at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway with Bodine driving as well.
After a successful career on the track, No.3 went on to take part in the filming of “Days of Thunder” and then served as pit practice car in the 1990s for Jeff Gordon’s pit crew.
The car returned to Martinsville earlier this year as part of the Hendrick Motorsports “20 Years of Racing” celebration. Geoff Bodine drove the car in the parade lap to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the organization’s first victory in Cup Series competition.
Regarding the celebration at Martinsville, Hendrick remarked, “This is a really neat experience for us to be in the sport for 20 years. I feel very fortunate to have accomplished the things that we have. This is a celebration of a special time for us here.”