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Larry Hedrick Motorsports

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Hedrick Motorsports
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Owner(s) Name Larry Hedrick
Racing Series Winston Cup, Busch Series
Number of Championships 0
Number of Wins 0
Car Number(s) 41
Notable Driver(s) Dave Marcis, Dick Trickle, Ricky Craven
Notable Sponsor(s) Kodiak
Manufacturer Chevrolet
Shop Location Statesville, North Carolina
Year Opened 1990
Year Closed 2001

Larry Hedrick Motorsports is a former NASCAR team. It was owned by businessman Larry Hedrick and always fielded the #41 Chevrolet in both the Winston Cup and the Busch Series.

Beginnings Edit

LHM made its debut at the 1990 Busch 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Larry Pearson was the driver, qualifying 26th and finishing 14th. Manheim Auctions, who was the team's longtime associate sponsor, was the team's primary sponsor that night. Pearson ran three more races with the team that season, never finishing lower than 19th. The two teamed up again in 1991, running a limited schedule with Kellogg's and Jasper Engines & Transmissions sponsoring. This time, the tandem was not as successful, as they could only put together one top-twenty finish.

For 1992, Greg Sacks climbed on as the team's first full-time driver. Things started off well, as Sacks put together five top-fifteen finishes as well as a 7th place qualifying effort at the Transouth 500. Unfortunately, Sacks was injured in the summer Michigan race. His surprise replacement was long-time independent Dave Marcis, who put his racing team on hiatus while it tried to find sponsorship. In a seven-race stretch, Marcis' best finish was 18th at the Southern 500. After Marcis returned to his old team, Sacks returned at the AC Delco 500 for a 33rd place finish. Hut Stricklin finished out the last two races of the year.

Mid-90's Edit

In 1993, Manheim Auctions moved back to full-time sponsorship, and Phil Parsons was hired to drive. Parsons had a decent season, finishing 8th at Rockingham Motor Speedway, but was released in the final part of the year. Popular veteran Dick Trickle took his place, and had an outside-pole starting spot at the Slick 50 500, then followed it up with a fifth-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway. After Trickle left at the end of the year, LHM signed 1992 Busch Series champion Joe Nemechek to compete for Rookie of the Year, sponsored by Meineke, for 1994. It was a solid effort, as Nemechek had two consecutive top-five qualifying runs and finished 3rd at Pocono Raceway. When they were unable to clinch the rookie crown, Nemechek left to run his own team, and Hedrick signed another Busch Series veteran to compete for Cup rookie honors, Ricky Craven, as well as Kodiak as a sponsor. This time, the chemistry was more evident, as Craven had one top-five, four top-ten finishes and easily defeating Robert Pressley for Rookie of the year. Craven was rewarded with a share of ownership in the Hedrick operation, and responsed with two pole positions and five top-tens in 1996. Craven ran up near the top of the points standings very early in the season, but suffered a horrific crash at the Winston Select 500. Craven survived with no major injuries, but his performance slipped after that, and many attribute that to a lack of confidence following that wreck. At the end of the year however, Craven left for greener pastures with Hendrick Motorsports, and the team was forced to find a new driver.

Final Years Edit

Hoping that his trend of hiring former Busch Series vets would pay off again, Hedrick chose Steve Grissom to pilot the ride for 1997. At first, things started off well, with Grissom qualifying on the outside pole at the season-opening Daytona 500, and garnering six top-ten finishes. The momentum did not carry over into the next season, and Grissom was released after the fall Bristol race. David Green and Rick Wilson shared the driving duties for the balance of the season, with Green getting the nod to drive in 1999. Green struggled, missing two races, and finishing no higher than 18th. As the season came to a close, Green left for Tyler Jet Motorsports, and Trickle returned to the team. Unfortunately, he couldn't recapture the magic from before, as he DNQ'd for all but one of the races he attempted, and he was replaced by Derrike Cope for three races, until Gary Bradberry finished out the season.

With no driver for 2000 and Kodiak leaving the team, Hedrick decided to hire journeyman Rick Mast to drive. After a long search, LHM signed Big Daddy's BBQ Sauce as sponsor. The team struggled at first, but when Mast left for A.J. Foyt Racing, many questions began surrounding the orginization. It was soon revealed that Big Daddy's had neglected to pay their sponsorship fees. In addition, it turned out that the deal with Big Daddy's had not entitled the team to any money, but instead gave Hedrick 15 million shares of stock in the company. Hedrick tried to get a cash deal with New Holland as well as ordering Big Daddy's to pay their money, with neither working out.(The stocks were later proven to be worthless). During this time, Bradberry returned for a three-race deal, but the team took the rest of the year off because of the sponsorship problems. After no other sponsorship opportunites came up in 2001, Hedrick sold some of his cars to Hermie Sadler and the building to Michael Kranefuss and shut down the team.

External links Edit

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