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Hendrick reversal on Junior’s status very un-Hendrick like

By admin | October 22, 2012

By Richard Allen

If there has ever been an organization in NASCAR that excelled at crossing all the T’s and dotting all the I’s it is Hendrick Motorsports. But this past Sunday in Kansas, it looked as if the company that has accumulated more championship trophies than any other over the past couple of decades was lost in its own double-speak.

Prior to the start of the race, Rick Hendrick(or Mr. Hendrick as many in the media are fond of calling him) went before the microphones and television cameras to announce that driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr. had been cleared to race again in Martinsville. However, this proved not to be the case.

Later, Hendrick had to go back in front of the cameras and microphones to rescind his earlier statement. In fact, Earnhardt had not been officially cleared but rather has to complete a driving test and another set of evaluations before receiving clearance. That driving test was supposed to have occurred on Monday with the post-test evaluations scheduled for Tuesday.

Oddly, I had read on Twitter earlier in the week about the driving test on Monday(although I can’t remember the source). How is it that I and no doubt thousands of others had read that information yet the owner of the company did not know the procedure?

All this miscommunication makes me wonder how much the principles involved actually interact with one another. I understand that both Hendrick and Earnhardt are busy people but it seems reasonable to think that they would have at least had some sort of discussion regarding something so important as when the driver would return to the car, especially considering how important each is to the other.

The point of this rambling is not to suggest there is some sort of issue between Hendrick and Earnhardt(although that rumor has been around since the Eury firings at JR Motorsports) but instead to point out that it is highly unusual to witness a Hendrick mis-step, especially in the area of public and/or media relations. This is typically an area in which they excel beyond the level of all other teams.

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4 Responses to “Hendrick reversal on Junior’s status very un-Hendrick like”

  1. Russ Says:
    October 22nd, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    First you wonder why it was Hendrick making the announcement at all. Typically its the injured person who makes that announcement. Cant help but wonder if its a case of feeling that Jr. was calling it in so to speak and trying to force his hand.
    But only they know.

  2. Tony Geinzer Says:
    October 23rd, 2012 at 8:30 am

    I feel that Hendrick is losing his edge,Rich.

  3. jerseygirl Says:
    October 23rd, 2012 at 9:08 am

    That felt sort of odd to me, too. Usually the HMS group is so “together” and PC, that is almost Stepford wives-like.

    IMO and I’m not a doctor, but even though Martinsville has slower speeds, you can still get bumped around. I’d think with the trophy out of reach, why not err on the side of caution and stay out for the rest of the season? I sure wouldn’t want to come back at Texas - there have been lots of big time wrecks there.

  4. Sue Rarick Says:
    October 23rd, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Considering how everyone is “SHOCKED” that Hendrick made a mistake I guess Ticonderoga still puts those erasers on their pencils just for me. Obviously everyone else lives a mistake free life.