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NASCAR's Rick Hendrick says documentary has wide appeal

October 9, 2009 |  3:21 pm

Rick Hendrick says a new movie about his life and the fortunes -- good and bad -- of his NASCAR team should appeal to anyone, regardless of whether they're fans of stock-car racing.

Hendrick “Together: The Hendrick Motorsports Story” is a documentary being released in honor of Hendrick’s 25th anniversary in NASCAR. It's a feature-length film that chronicles how he forged the most successful team in NASCAR.

It also takes an emotional look at major setbacks in Hendrick’s life, including his bout with leukemia and a 2004 plane crash that killed 10 people, including his 24-year-old son Ricky and brother John.

The movie is about “family, faith and friends,” Hendrick said at a screening of the movie Wednesday night in Hollywood. “Here’s a group of people who had all the reasons to tear it up, fall apart, to not go on, to make excuses. I mean we lost this and we lost that. The movie will be something that a non-Hendrick fan that’s not in racing will look at and say, ‘This touched me.’ “

NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Jeff Gordon, a four-time champion and member of Hendrick’s team, said, “I knew it was going to be a tear-jerker because it just had so much emotion in it.” While Hendrick Motorsports often is identified as NASCAR's super-team, Gordon said, "I don’t think people realize how hard this family worked and he worked to get to where he is and be successful."

The film, narrated by Tom Cruise, is scheduled for DVD release Oct. 31, and a condensed one-hour version will be shown Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Pacific time on ABC ahead of the Pepsi  500 NASCAR Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.

-- Jim Peltz

Photo: NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas / US Presswire