Hendrick Motorsports

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Ken Howes - Vice President of Competition

Full name: Kenneth Howes
Birthdate: Aug. 29, 1948
Hometown: Johannesburg, South Africa
Residence: Concord, N.C.
Family: Wife Eve; sons Dylan and Brendan

Hendrick Motorsports vice president of competition Ken 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.

Howes quickly was introduced to Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick, who at the time was assisting General Motors in reviving its Corvette road-racing project.  In 1985, Hendrick offered Howes a position managing his team in the IMSA Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) division, a decision that soon produced wins at courses like Road Atlanta and West Palm Beach, Fla.

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

Beginning in 1996, Howes managed Hendrick’s research and development department until being named competitiondirector in 2001.  He was elevated to vice president ofcompetition in February 2005.

In his current position, Howes oversees Hendrick’s day-to-day competition-related activities, encompassing teams, crew chiefs and human performance, along with at-track logistics and execution. He works hand-in-hand with vice president of development Doug Duchardt.

In 2002, Howes was presented with the Papa Joe Hendrick Award of Excellence for his contributions to Hendrick Motorsports for almost two decades. The award is presented to the employee who embodies the values, principles and ideals of Hendrick Motorsports.

Howes was honored on July 27, 2008 with the C&R Racing True Grit Award, which exemplifies outstanding achievement in racing and acknowledges dedicated crew chiefs and mechanics in the motor sports industry. Howes accepted the honor prior to the 400-mile event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.