Rick Hendrick says he could envision an expanded effort in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship although said Hendrick Motorsports’ focus for now remains in NASCAR competition.
The 16-time NASCAR Cup Series championship-winning operation, which announced Thursday plans to field a NASCAR Next Gen car in next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans as a Garage 56 entry, has worked with Action Express Racing over the last two seasons to field a Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Michelin Endurance Cup races with Jimmie Johnson.
It has fueled rumors of a potential takeover of the Jim France and Bob Johnson-owned AXR squad, which have been denied by both parties on multiple occasions.
When asked by Sportscar365 if Hendrick Motorsports could have a larger presence in the future, Hendrick expressed his interest in sports car racing but indicated there are no immediate plans on the horizon beyond the Garage 56 entry.
The No. 48 Ally-sponsored Cadillac is contesting this weekend’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with Mike Rockenfeller, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez, with support from Hendrick Motorsports including its Vice President of Competition Chad Knaus.
“We really enjoy it,” Hendrick said. “Our company enjoys it. I can see us expanding and doing more of that.
“This is a big step for us [in entering Le Mans]. But I’ve really enjoyed the Cadillac program. It was good to see those guys win the championship [last year] and see what we can do here this weekend.”
Hendrick Motorsports previously competed in IMSA competition in the 1980s with the Corvette GTP.
“As I’ve said, I’ve been in sports car racing business but it’s been a long time ago,” he said.
“Our focus is still on the Cup [Series]. That’s where we compete and we want to continue to win races and championships.
“But I’m a big Corvette dealer. I love the sports cars. We’ll see how it develops. I have a passion for it.”