CONCORD, N.C. -- Rick Hendrick is always looking forward -- to the next practice, the next race, the next win, the next championship.
However, prior to his NASCAR Hall of Fame induction Friday night, the Hendrick Motorsports owner had a chance to do something he said he doesn't do that often -- reflect back.
The week leading up to his induction into the sport's most prestigious club offered Hendrick the chance to look back on his journey from the very beginning.
"I think you get so busy in life, you're looking at today and what you're going to do tomorrow and plan for how you're going to race this year," Hendrick said, "but this week I ratcheted back and I started looking at old pictures of my dad, my mom, us when we first got married."
Hendrick said the week was an emotional rollercoaster, but that he and his wife Linda enjoyed looking back on all those special memories.
They recalled the first time they met at a service station in Raleigh, North Carolina, Hendrick's drag boat days, the early days of Hendrick Motorsports in the little tin garage on the top of the hill.
"I didn't do anything else this week but go back and reflect on the past, I couldn't help it," Hendrick said. "I've never been that way. And I'm kind of glad that I got to take a minute, and we shared stories about, 'Remember when I left to go to school and she was sanding the boat in the yard' -- the drag boat -- and we laughed about adding up our money in the back of the Winn‑Dixie to make sure we could pay when we got out. You know, those kind of things you just forget about."
It was certainly a special and meaningful week for Hendrick as he prepared to be recognized for all he has done for the motor sports industry -- a sport he has idolized since he was young.
"In my growing up as a gear head, that's all I really cared about," Hendrick said. "I loved working on the race cars, being around the cars, and it was just ‑‑ NASCAR was the epitome of racing."