Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hendrick Motorsports Story An Interesting Mix


The good folks at the NASCAR Media Group were kind enough to send along an advance copy of their latest release. Together: The Hendrick Motorsports Story is a DVD that contains a major slice of NASCAR history.

In this case, the NMG production team is not looking back and documenting a personality already gone from the sport. Rick Hendrick and his teams are smack dab in the middle of the Chase for the Championship once again.

What makes this project so interesting is that Hendrick himself opened the door for interviews with his family members. The NMG cameras offer fascinating profiles of those in the family who are not normally in the public eye. Each seems to have invested in this project for very personal reasons.

As fans may expect, the current crop of Hendrick Motorsports drivers are involved but that certainly is not the centerpiece of the story. Many other NASCAR personalities also took the time to discuss their personal experiences with Hendrick. That provides a really fascinating peek into the broad reach of this one man and his NASCAR connections.

For some fans, the name Tim Richmond is going to be new. This former NASCAR star was nothing short of a sensation upon his arrival and nothing short of a mystery upon his departure from the sport. NMG has wonderful footage of Richmond that serves to remind veteran fans of the colorful personality and wonderful sense of humor that Richmond displayed during his driving days. Tragically, AIDS is a word we now know all too well.

Footage of Hendrick in his other role as an auto dealer helps viewers to understand how his message of personal interaction and teamwork was derived. Despite his legal struggles and personal health issues, Hendrick continues to deliver the very same message that has served him well for decades. It's all about people.

Some things transcend sports and serve as the most poignant reminders of the fragility of life. The difficult subject of the tragic Hendrick Motorsports plane crash that claimed so many lives is framed around the very personal remembrances of those lost.

This willingness of the remaining Hendrick family members to step-up in this very public way is truly inspiring. There is nothing for them to gain other than offering their own words and feelings on a topic very close to their hearts.

NASCAR racing is a world where many owners and sponsors have come and gone. It is fitting that the results of Hendrick's methods are on display in this project from the early days racing Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Richard Childress through the present battles with Joe Gibbs and Jack Roush.

Tom Cruise blends surprisingly well into the background as he provides the narration. Early video snippets of Cruise and the Hendrick family during the Days of Thunder filming only serve to reinforce the wide variety of experiences that have made up the twenty-five years of the Hendrick family's NASCAR dealings.

The full-length DVD will certainly be a very different viewing experience than the one-hour airing of Together scheduled for ABC this Sunday at 1:30PM ET. The DVD contains a finished full-length movie of over ninety minutes.

Thanks again to NMG for this screening. Together is a project that many fans will no doubt want to see. The long-form DVD is available at HendrickMotorsports.com for a reasonable price.

TDP will offer a post for comments on the ABC program on Sunday. For other comments or questions about this video project, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thank you.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I fully intend to watch Sunday and Buy the DVD when it comes out. I can't wait to see this. I'm a Waltrip fan, but i have alot of respect for the history of the sport and i know that HMS is a big part of that history. Thanks for doing a blog on it.

Anonymous said...

Rick Hendrick has been so successful for so long that a lot of fans think he just buys his victories and trophies. You should watch this and see that he started with almost NOTHING in racing and built everything he has not by writing a fat check, but by earning it the old fashioned way: blood, sweat and tears.

I see a lot of fans hating the Hendrick organization because of their success and their clean-cut image. But when you watch this film, you are reminded that Hendrick is the quinessential NASCAR personality, as much a racer who earned his stripes as any other major figure going into the Hall of Fame this season. He didn't buy victory, he built it. From the ground up. This is a must-watch for the 24 and 48 haters. Every team should work so hard and be so good.

Anonymous said...

(PS I've also seen an advance copy, I work at a sports magazine)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
GinaV24 said...

I put this on pre-order as soon as I saw it. My brother, niece and I were in the stands at Martinsville the day the Hendrick plane went down. We were all upset when the news was announced at the end of the race. I think of it every time we go to Martinsville, no matter how beautiful a day it is, I can only imagine how difficult it is for Rick and his family to do the same.

I can't wait to see it. I've been a Jeff Gordon fan since way back when he was racing in sprinters and it will be nice to see the history of HMS documented this way. Together is the right title.

glenc1 said...

I will definitely like to see the program, but I wouldn't buy the DVD (that's what rentals are for). I'm glad Cruise 'blends in to the background', cause I really don't care for him. Sounds like he did a good job though.

Off topic, I know, but if any of you fans get to Charlotte, HMS is worth a trip. There was a lot of cool memorabilia (and even a Tim Richmond display.) You can look through a viewing window into part of the shop, though not much was happening when we were there. And I don't even root for an HMS driver.

Photojosh said...

Regardless of team/driver alligences, I would think any documentary of a long time (and successful) owner in NASCAR would be interesting for a racing fan.

That anyone would avoid watching this because they aren't a 24/48 fan confuses me. I would think any real NASCAR fan would find something like this fascinating.

But I haven't seen the DVD yet obviously, so what do I know?

Anonymous said...

NASCAR Media Groups involvement tells me one thing. Nobody is going to see the whole story of Rick Hendrick. It'll only be what they want us fans to see.

I'd rather see something that has the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of the organization than see something that only shows one side of it. I've been a fan for almost 5 decades and would much rather have the whole story than just the glam side of things. After all, that's all the man behind the curtain wants us to see anyways.

Anonymous said...

Photojosh--I guess the term 'real race fan' would be subject to interpretation. I know a woman whose husband had ice water dumped on him at Pocono because he was rooting for Jeff Gordon...there are some people out there who just don't think rationally about things. And they probably still haven't gotten past Rick's transgressions, even though we know of a lot of generous things he's done for others. I do expect they'll have to bring it up...but I doubt they'll dwell on it.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Why was my post deleted? All i asked was if the video included anything about his Pro stock racing days.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thanks for the comments. As I mentioned in the review, NMG opened this project up much wider than the projects in the past.

Anon, there is no drag racing in this video.

Hold the hateful comments, they have no place on this forum.

JD

6p010535e43b89970c said...

Sorry, but I will not watch the "special" nor will I buy the DVD ...

I have never been a fan of Rick Hendrick or HMS ... even before his legal transgressions ...

And I've been a fan of NASCAR since the late 1970s ...

Anonymous said...

I'm not a big fan of Hendricks, but I'll probably watch the show.

I'm sure the Jimmie and Jeff fans will buy the DVD - what a great deal for them!