DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Monday, Feb. 19, marks the 40th anniversary of Hendrick Motorsports’ first start in the NASCAR Cup Series. 

Going by All-Star Racing in 1984, team owner Rick Hendrick fielded the No. 5 Chevrolet with driver Geoff Bodine. Heading into the 1984 season, Bodine had 61 Cup starts to his name and a win in what was then known as the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Crew chief Harry Hyde, who won a championship with Bobby Isaac in 1970, oversaw the team.

PHOTOS: Scenes from the first start for Hendrick Motorsports

"If I hadn’t met Harry (Hyde), I wouldn’t have been able to pull off the deal with All-Star Racing," Hendrick said of the team’s founding. "You have to give Harry the ‘atta boy’ for getting it started."

As a team making its debut, they were anything but locked into the main event with 72 cars entering the 1984 DAYTONA 500. With a fifth-place result in the first qualifying race, Bodine qualified ninth. In the team’s opening race, Bodine scored the organization’s first top-10 finish an eighth-place result. This would be the first of three top-10s to start the season for Bodine and Hendrick. 

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"I think about the day when came down here (to Daytona International Speedway)," Hendrick said during the team’s 40th anniversary media event on Thursday. "Geoff Bodine and I were talking about it. I think we had six full-time people and a bunch of volunteers. We finished eighth in that race.

"When I walked down pit road and I saw the Wood Brothers and Richard Petty and Junior Johnson, I thought we shouldn’t even be here. It brings back a lot of memories and Daytona (International Speedway) is a special place."

Seven races later with the team close to closing its doors, Bodine scored the first win for Hendrick as a team owner thanks to a triumph at Martinsville Speedway. That was the inaugural victory for what is now the winningest team in Cup Series history. In September of 2023, Hendrick Motorsports became the first organization to reach 300 Cup Series wins with William Byron’s victory at Texas Motor Speedway. Entering the 2024 season, which marks Hendrick Motorsports' 40th anniversary, the team has 301 premier series wins.

PHOTOS: Scenes from the team's 40th anniversary media event

The team’s first start is not the only significant occurrence that has occurred on Feb. 19. In 1989, Darrell Waltrip won the DAYTONA 500, giving Hendrick Motorsports its second win in "The Great American Race." 

Sunday's postponement of the 2024 DAYTONA 500 moved the race to Monday, Feb. 19, and gave the organization a chance to mark its special anniversary in style. William Byron did just that by winning the 2024 DAYTONA 500 for the organization's series-best-tying ninth victory in "The Great American Race."