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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