CONCORD, N.C. – During last week’s announcement that saw four longtime senior executives take on new roles and responsibilities at Hendrick Motorsports, team owner Rick Hendrick said that "we are in the best shape we’ve ever been in."
With back-to-back NASCAR Cup Series championships to give the organization 14 titles, that is certainly true.
"We are here to race and to win and win championships," Hendrick told the group of Hendrick Motorsports employees at the Dover victory bell celebration. "We’ve got the best lineup of drivers and crew chiefs we ever had. I think across the board when you look at the results from last year, two years back-to-back champions. The strength of our organization – Chase (Elliott) is leading the points. I know when the time comes for the playoffs we’ll be there."
The organization has several partners in place long term and its driver lineup locked up through 2023. Elliott and William Byron inked extensions this season while Kyle Larson and Alex Bowman signed new deals last year.
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"This place lives on sponsorships and we have those in place," Hendrick said. "The future is super bright."
That future also includes the company's announced intention in collaboration with NASCAR, Chevrolet, IMSA and Goodyear to compete in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2023, with a special Garage 56 entry.
Last Tuesday, Hendrick Motorsports president and COO Marshall Carlson was promoted to president of Hendrick Companies. Carlson had led the day-to-day operations for Hendrick Motorsports since 2005. His new role will see him support all Hendrick-affiliated businesses and initiatives as well as oversee a range of commercial initiatives such as the organization’s expanding work in contract manufacturing, product innovation and technology investment.
"What Mr. Hendrick is doing now, is really doubling down on our future," Carlson told the crowd. "You guys keep knocking it out of the ballpark. There’s performance, there’s growth and there’s opportunity in everything you touch and what he’s putting in place now is the ability for us together to be able to go out there and capture that."
Hendrick Motorsports executive vice president and general manager Jeff Andrews was promoted to president and general manager of the race organization. Andrews has been with Hendrick Motorsports since 1992 and held of variety of senior leadership positions including the general manager post (since September 2020) as well as vice president of competition and director of engine operations.
"Jeff (Andrews) has been a pillar of our team for three decades and is one of the most respected people in racing," Hendrick said. "He is a gifted leader and fierce competitor. Jeff’s ability to prioritize winning without sacrificing integrity or culture has been a hallmark of his career. He’s an enormous part of our past, present and future, and I couldn’t be prouder to see him carry us forward."
Speaking last week with HendrickMotorsports.com, Andrews said he owed a great deal of gratitude to Mr. (Rick) Hendrick and was ready to tackle his new role.
"I love this company. I’ve given the better part of my life to this company and most importantly, I love the people of this company," Andrews said. "They are our greatest asset. I work with them every day and every weekend and get to talk to them and interact with them. That’s really the biggest reward for me in my job is the people aspect of it. I want to do a good job for Mr. Hendrick, Jeff (Gordon) and Marshall (Carlson), but just as important to me is that I am able to do a great job for the people of this great company.
For Andrews, his new responsibilities will see him involved in the management of the organization’s business units. As someone who grew up in racing and on the mechanical side of things, he wants to make sure he stays close with the competition aspect as well.
"What Marshall Carlson has done for the last 17 years – his record speaks for itself on what the company has accomplished with him at the helm of this company," Andrews noted. "I think I can safely say there will not be in anyone else in the position that he held here that will accomplish what he did. We as a company owe him a great deal of gratitude. I will be an office mate of his so I am very thankful that he’s going to be four doors down from me and I will need his expertise on the business side.
"...I enjoy the technical side of our sport and I enjoy being involved in technical meetings that go on at this company. It helps me. I like to learn. I thrive to be around race cars and I thrive to be around our people that are working on race cars.
"I also know at the same time that this is a role that I am expanding to that is more the business side of the company as well. But to be good at that, I think it’s important for me to stay attached to the mechanical and the racing side of it."
Andrews will report to Hendrick Motorsports vice chairman Jeff Gordon, who formally assumed his strategic executive management role on Jan. 1, 2022. Gordon, who was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2019, won 93 Cup races and four championships at Hendrick Motorsports from 1992 to 2016.
"What I have loved as I have gotten into this role is just looking back at the history," Gordon said last week. "Yes, I’ve been here almost 30 years as well and Jeff Andrews and I talk about this all the time. Just so many people that have been here and been a part of building this up and that’s what I love so much about what Rick (Hendrick) has created here. There’s no one person that makes it happen. We have great leadership, we have great support but it's everybody here that has made this company grow to the level that it has. You set the standard and raise the bar constantly. You just feel so lucky that you get to come to a place like this each and every day. There no other organization that does it like Hendrick Motorsports."
In addition to Carlson and Andrews’ new roles, Wayne Robbins will reassume his role as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Hendrick Companies. He had been Hendrick Motorsports’ CFO since 2019. Scott Lampe, who served as the CFO of Hendrick Motorsports from 2005 to 2019, has returned to the team in the same role after more than two years working in private equity.
The team owner also mentioned that General Motors new Charlotte Technical Center is going to be opening pretty soon and called it an "unbelievable opportunity to have that right outside our campus." Ground was broken last year on the 130,000-square foot facility and the center will accelerate the strategic knowledge transfer between motorsports and the development of production vehicles.