NASCAR: Rick Hendrick Supports New Types of Tracks, Would ‘Like to See a Street Race’

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Though the repaved and reconfigured Atlanta Motor Speedway posed a challenge to NASCAR Cup Series drivers, it provided an interesting addition to the Cup Series tracks, and NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick is a fan. The updated track gave drivers an intermediate superspeedway experience without being a superspeedway.

At a mere 1.54 miles, the historic track doesn’t meet the criteria necessary to be in the same category as Talladega and Daytona. However, the high banks and narrow width of the Atlanta Motor Speedway mimic the superspeedway format. With its 28-degree banks, the track now holds the title of the highest banked intermediate oval on the circuit. Additionally, its now 40-foot corners resemble that of Daytona.

The alterations to the track left many drivers concerned about potential difficulties, but Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick couldn’t be happier. “You know, I think it’s great for NASCAR,” Hendrick said. “I mean, the stadium brought a lot of new fans in…the dirt track, I’ve got people coming out of the woodwork wanting to go to Bristol now for that race. I think it’s exciting for the fans, and the drivers are adapting well.”

“In this car…we basically run the same car everywhere. So, I think it’s great for the sport. I’d like to see a street race, so hopefully we just continue to work outside the box and I think that’s growing a lot of new fans for us.”

NASCAR Team Owner Rick Hendrick Looks Forward to Unique Tracks and Races

The new Cup Series tracks aren’t the only ones in which NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick is excited to compete. In a recent press conference, the Hendrick Motorsports owner also discussed his enthusiasm for his team’s upcoming appearance in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France.

It’s been almost 50 years since NASCAR sent a representative to the iconic competition overseas, but the American organization is ready to send a team to France once again. And who better to represent NASCAR than Rick Hendrick and his impressive lineup of drivers?

The 24 Hours of Le Mans competition provides an unparalleled experience for drivers. Rather than completing a certain number of laps in the least amount of time, winning requires covering the most distance in a 24-hour time frame.

“We’re not taking this lightly,” Hendrick says of the honor. “This is a full-blown effort to run 24 hours and to run competitive times. And so, our guys are working aero, weight, horsepower, and we’re looking at different classes.”

“They’ve told us kind of where we’d like to be, but we’re not going over there to ride around. We’re going to put the best effort out there and run very competitively and finish the race. That’s a tall order, but I feel strongly that we can do it.”

Though the Hendrick Motorsports team won’t appear in the French competition this year, you can expect to see them in next year’s race.