Hendrick Motorsports

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Howes, Duchardt Named Vice Presidents at Hendrick

CONCORD, N.C. (Feb. 7, 2005) - Hendrick Motorsports general manager Marshall Carlson today announced that competition director Ken Howes and longtime General Motors executive Doug Duchardt have been named vice presidents over the organization’s racing operations.

“These are two gentlemen that bring an immeasurable amount of experience, creativity and energy,” Carlson said.  “Ken and Doug share a vision that will contribute to our success and carry us forward.

“Hendrick Motorsports marked its 20th anniversary in 2004, which was a significant milestone and a tribute to all the people working here.  This sets us up for another two decades of outstanding teamwork and championship racing.”

Transitioning from his role of competition director, Howes has been tabbed as vice president of competition.  The Johannesburg, South Africa, native will oversee Hendrick’s day-to-day competition-related activities, now encompassing teams, crew chiefs and pit-crew trainers, along with at-track logistics and execution.

“I’m humbled by this opportunity,” Howes said.  “Like all of us, I look forward to collaborating with Doug to build upon the principles that got this organization where it is today.  He’s a great addition to an already great group of folks.”

Duchardt, who most recently managed General Motors’ North American motor sports initiatives as director of GM Racing, has been named Hendrick Motorsports’ vice president of development, a position in which he will control race-car evolution through design, engineering and production in the chassis and engine areas.

“I’ve worked closely with Hendrick Motorsports throughout my career at GM Racing,” Duchardt said.  “It’s truly an honor to join such a great team of people, and I look forward to working with them toward Chevrolet’s 29th manufacturer’s title.”


Howes began his career in 1968 as a Formula One mechanic in South Africa, where he spent 16 years working with open-wheel race cars before coming to the United States in 1984 to manage an International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) team.

While working in Indianapolis, Howes was introduced to Hendrick Motorsports owner and president Rick Hendrick, who at the time was assisting General Motors in reviving its Corvette road-racing project.  In 1985, Howes was offered a position managing Hendrick’s team in the IMSA Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) division.

After racing sports cars with Hendrick for a half-decade, Howes began regularly attending NASCAR events in 1990, joining the Winston Cup Series (now NEXTEL Cup) two years later as crew chief for driver Ken Schrader and the No. 25 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolets.

Howes in 1996 spearheaded Hendrick’s research and development department, which he managed until being named competition director in 2001.


After nearly a decade in various roles with General Motors, Duchardt joined GM Racing in 1996 and was named director in June 2003.  He worked closely with NASCAR teams, including Hendrick Motorsports, and was responsible for Chevrolet’s on-track performance.

During Duchardt’s involvement in GM Racing the Chevy Monte Carlo garnered five Cup-level manufacturer championships, including last season when the brand won 22 of 36 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races.

From 1999-2003, Duchardt was the group manager for GM Racing’s Oval Track Group, responsible for all program management and technical development in the areas of engine, chassis and aerodynamics for the NASCAR efforts of Chevrolet and Pontiac.  He was also group manager of the Cadillac LMP Program in 2001 and 2002.

Duchardt previously served as engine manager for the Oval Track Group and was responsible for the 1998 introduction of the SB2 engine, which in its first year of competition produced a superior reliability rate to its successful predecessor.

A native of Morton, Ill., Duchardt in 1987 graduated from the University of Missouri - Rolla in mechanical engineering and went on to earn a master’s degree in engineering from Purdue University in 1992.  He joined General Motors in 1983 as a co-op student with Buick.


Hendrick Motorsports has won nine NASCAR championships in the last decade and currently fields teams in the sanctioning body’s top two divisions—the NEXTEL Cup Series and Busch Series.  Drivers include Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Brian Vickers, Terry Labonte and Jimmie Johnson.


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