Joseph Riddick Hendrick IV
Mr. Hendrick, 24, was born in Charlotte, NC, on April 2, 1980. Ricky, as he was referred to by most, was lost with family and teammates on October 24, 2004, in a plane crash en route to the NASCAR event in Martinsville, VA.
Ricky's strong smile and gentle spirit were his trademarks. In 1998, he graduated from Charlotte Country Day School with his family's affection for motor sports.Wins behind the wheel in Legends Cars and Late Model Stock race cars prepared him for a 2001 victory in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. After moving to the NASCAR Busch Series in 2002, a racing injury prompted him to search for a replacement driver. With the driver he selected and in his initial year as an owner, he won Hendrick Motorsports' first-ever championship in the Busch Series. Ricky and his late grandfather co-owned two of Hendrick Motorsports' pre-eminent race teams, while Ricky's father, Rick, prepared him for increased leadership in the organization.
With his mother Linda's influence and his strong Christian faith, Ricky believed deeply about helping those less fortunate. He never passed up an opportunity to give of himself to someone who needed help. Regardless of who was around him, each conversation with family ended with 'I love you.' He was above all a dear son and brother whose spirit lives on in all who knew him.
Any day spent with Ricky was an adventure. Time with him was like living on a higher level. He enjoyed big game fishing, SCUBA diving, hunting, water sports, motorcycles, and racing. At once the ultimate kid, and at the same time wise beyond his years, Ricky proved to be a successful businessman, orchestrating a complete turnaround of the local Honda dealership he purchased in 2003. He will be remembered for his abundant kindness and loyal friendship, but most of all his love of family and girlfriend, Emily Maynard.
Ricky is survived by his parents, Rick and Linda Hendrick of Charlotte; sister, Lynn; grandparents, Mary Hendrick and Helen Myrick; niece, Madeline Kate; cousin, Alesha; and brother-in-law, Marshall Carlson.
A memorial service for family and friends will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, October 28, at Central Church of God, 5301 Sardis Road, Charlotte, NC.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the Hendrick Foundation for Children, P.O. Box 240070, Charlotte, NC 28224 and to The Family Center, P.O. Box 35458, Charlotte, NC 28235.
Lowe Funeral Home is serving the Hendrick Family.
Published in Charlotte Observer on Oct. 27, 2004