Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer pays visit to Hendrick Motorsports

January 24, 2013|WDBJ7 Web Staff
Dan Sweeney/WDBJ7

CONCORD, N.C. — Day three of the NASCAR Media Tour in North Carolina marked one of the tour's most popular stops at Hendrick Motorsports. A familiar face made a pit stop this week to merge football and racing.

“We feel like we fumbled the ball in the closing minutes of the game and we wanna get back to the Super Bowl,” owner Rick Hendrick said.

Hendrick used a football analogy to describe his team's finish to the season last year.  Appropriately, Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer was at the shop earlier this week to give the Hendrick drivers and teams a pep talk.

“I loved his talk about loyalty, trust, honesty, and those are things that he feels like you have to have,” four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon said. “And I think that holds true in every form of life and sport and competitive nature. You have to have those things to have a quality team.”


“He just had a really good message about being yourself, and being honest to yourself, working hard and work ethic,” driver Kasey Kahne said. “It was great to listen to because of what he has done in football.  I have been to some Tech games and watched them on TV plenty of times as well, so it's impressive what he's done and to listen to someone like that who brings a lot of experience and things to the table. Everybody was pretty motivated and excited when it was all over.”

Hendrick added: “He talked about guys who may have played on the junior varsity that you never thought would develop and then you might see a guy just blossom and go to the NFL. He said everybody counts and everybody on the team has a spot.  You win as an organization and lose as an organization.”

Much like Beamer's Hokies, Hendrick's four teams faced plenty of adversity in the last year.  Each one made the Chase and the organization posted 10 wins, but uncharacteristic mistakes and breakdowns down the stretch cost Hendrick another Cup championship.

“You always learn from your mistakes, and Phoenix, blowing a tire, there were some things I could have done differently in the car to not overwork that tire,” five-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson said. “And then we had two quick mistakes at Homestead and were sitting there where we needed to be, so we'll learn from those mistakes and try not to repeat them.”

An avid race fan, Beamer has served as the starter for races in Bristol and Richmond in the past, and around ten Virginia Tech alums are employed by Hendrick's race teams. 

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