MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Aug. 2, 2017) - William Byron is part of the future of JR Motorsports, and someday, he will be part of the future of Hendrick Motorsports. A month from now, at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, Byron and his No. 9 Liberty University team from JRM will honor the memory of Ricky Hendrick with a special throwback paint scheme. That scheme was unveiled today at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in uptown Charlotte, N.C.
Ricky Hendrick, son of JRM co-owner Rick and his wife Linda, was among those lost in the tragic plane crash on Oct. 24, 2004. He was once the future of Hendrick Motorsports, much as Byron is now. The younger Hendrick made his NASCAR national series debut at 19, in 1999, and the throwback scheme honors the car Hendrick drove in the same series in 2001 as a 21-year-old. That car, which was sponsored by GMAC Financial, carried the No. 24.
Rick Hendrick and wife Linda were present for the unveiling. Ricky Hendrick's crew chief during his NXS days, Lance McGrew, was on hand as well, along with Liberty University President Jerry Falwell. Among those attending the ceremony were Ricky's sister Lynn, many of his former team members and Darlington Raceway president Kerry Tharp.
Byron, who has won three times in his rookie season at JRM and is currently second in the series point standings, was honored to be able to participate in the program.
"Having a throwback scheme to honor Ricky Hendrick is very special," he said. "Just to be able to represent him and everything that his family has done for this sport is a huge honor. Hopefully we can get this Liberty University Chevrolet to Victory Lane in Darlington with this awesome throwback scheme."
The car itself keeps the blue, white and red colors of Liberty University and incorporates the sweeping graphics used on Hendrick's 2001 machine.
In addition to the special scheme, President Falwell also announced the Ricky Hendrick Memorial Scholarship at Liberty, the largest Christian university in the world. The scholarship will be awarded to an online and/or residential student enrolled in the undergraduate B.S. Business Administration: Automotive Dealership Management Program at the Lynchburg, Va. university. Hendrick Automotive Group is an integral part of the Bachelor of Science auto dealership program at Liberty.
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