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Rick Hendrick, Richard Childress are rivals, friends and Hall of Famers

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They witnessed history and were a part of it. Even through their battles on and off the track over the years, they remained friends and will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame together.

There really isn’t any other way for Rick Hendrick and Richard Childress to be honored at 8 p.m. ET Friday on NBCSN. They’ll join Mark Martin, Benny Parsons and Raymond Parks in the eighth Hall of Fame Class.

Both Childress and Hendrick have had at least one Hall of Fame member drive for their teams. Childress and Hendrick drivers have combined to win 18 of the last 31 Cup championships (12 by Hendrick drivers and six by Childress drivers).

From 1990-98, Childress and Hendrick to combined to win eight of nine championships. The lone exception was Alan Kulwicki’s 1992 title. That was the only time in that period that a Childress or Hendrick driver did not finish in the top two in the points.

For all that they’ve overcome and accomplished, both cite a shared moment — not a victory — as among their most memorable in the sport.

They were both a part of the storied meeting NASCAR’s Bill France Jr. held in 1989 with Geoff Bodine and Dale Earnhardt.

Bodine, who drove for Hendrick, and Earnhardt, who drove for Childress, had several on-track incidents and neither owner could curtail their driver’s aggression. France, who ran the sport at the time, called both drivers and car owners to Daytona Beach, Florida, for a meeting that gained notoriety when a similar scene played out in the movie “Days of Thunder.’’

“I remember Rick and I sitting in with Bill Jr. and Bodine and Earnhardt at Daytona after the melees that we had then and Rick and I made a pact,’’ Childress said. “These guys are drivers. You and I are aren’t drivers. We’ll do our best to keep them straightened out. We’ve had a great relationship and still do.’’

Said Hendrick: “I remember one day they tore the cars all to pieces, (Childress) and I walked down pit road and we were both shaking our heads. What I know about Richard Childress is if you treat him with respect, he’s going to treat you with respect. We got to be friends and we understood each other. We wanted to beat each other, that’s no different than me and Roger Penske.’’

Hendrick became a car owner in NASCAR in 1984, two years before Childress won his first series title with Earnhardt. That was the first of six titles the duo won in nine years.

“He and Dale Earnhardt, they were the standard,’’ Hendrick said of Childress. “When I first started, I didn’t think anybody would ever beat them. When Jeff (Gordon) came along and started running really well, he was challenging them. It kind of got to be a little bit of a deal between Jeff and Dale. It was very, very, very competitive, but Richard and I … (remained) good friends.’’

Hendrick’s drivers have won seven of the last 11 championships, including Johnson’s record-tying seventh crown last season.

“Today, they’re the goal we’re all shooting for,’’ Childress said of Hendrick.

Tonight, they both will be on the same stage with many others looking to be in their place some day.

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BRANDT returns for third year with JR Motorsports in Xfinity Series

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BRANDT Professional Agriculture will return as a sponsor for JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series, the team announced Wednesday.

The company will be a primary sponsor of Justin Allgaier‘s No. 7 Chevrolet in 19 races and an associate sponsor of Allgaier and his three teammates the rest of the season.

Brandt has sponsored Allgaier for eight years, including the last three with JR Motorsports.

Allgaier is a native of Riverton, Illinois, which is 15 miles from Springfield, Illinois, where the company is headquartered.

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Allgaier, 31, is coming off his second season that ended with him in the Championship 4. He earned two wins, 10 top five and 17 top-10 finishes. He also led a series-high 495 laps among Xfinity regulars.

He will be teammates with Elliott Sadler, Tyler Reddick and Michael Annett this year.

The Xfinity season begins Feb. 17 at Daytona International Speedway.

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NASCAR revamps Rookie of the Year points system in national series

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NASCAR has changed how it determines the Rookie of the Year in all three national series, it announced Thursday.

The new system, which will debut in a month at Daytona International Speedway, reflects the points system that decides the champion in each series, including the stage format in races.

A race win will earn a rookie candidate 40 points and five playoff points. A second-place finish will is worth 35 points and a third-place finish is 34 points, etc.

A rookie candidate who wins a stage will earn 10 points and one playoff point.

“The focus on our rising stars has never been stronger and simplifying the Sunoco Rookie of the Year system made perfect sense,” said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR’s senior vice president of racing operations in a press release. “Our fans track closely the progress of our young drivers and matching the Sunoco Rookie of the Year points structure with the championship points will help them follow this prestigious program and award more closely than ever before.”

Erik Jones was Rookie of the Year in the Cup Series last year. William Byron won the honor in the Xfinity Series and Chase Briscoe won it in the Camping World Truck Series.

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Watkins Glen, Michigan announce multi-year sponsor deals

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Watkins Glen International and Michigan International Speedway announced multi-year sponsorship deals for their Cup Series races Thursday.

WGI announced the Aug. 5 race at the road course will be sponsored by GoBowling.com. The 90-lap race will be called “Go Bowling at the Glen.”

This is not the first time the bowling brand has sponsored a Cup event. It sponsored the spring race at Kansas Speedway from 2016-17 and the August event at Pocono Raceway from 2013-14.

As part of the deal, Go Bowling will have two bowling lanes at the track for the race weekend.

Michigan has renewed its sponsorship deal with FireKeepers Casino Hotel for its June Cup race for “many years.”

The hotel in Battle Creek, Michigan, began its relationship with MIS by sponsoring pole day in 2014. It began sponsoring the June race in 2016.

TheFireKeepers Casino 400 is scheduled for June 10.

ISM Raceway (Phoenix) also announced the title sponsor for its March 11 Cup race.

The event will called the TicketGuardian 500.

TicketGuardian is a mobile ticketing insurance provider. When fans purchase tickets to events at ISM Raceway, they will be given the option to add TicketGuardian’s ticket protection coverage. This allows fans to have insurance on the tickets they’ve purchased in advance.

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Hendrick, Kelley Blue Book extend relationship through 2020

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Hendrick Motorsports and Kelley Blue Book have extended their sponsorship deal three years through 2020, the team announced Thursday.

The car pricing, research and valuation guide will be a primary sponsor on Chase Elliott‘s N0. 9 Chevrolet in two races each year.

This season it will be on the No. 9 for the Aug. 18 race at Bristol Motor Speedway and the November playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Kelley Blue Book has been partnered with Hendrick since 2014 when it had a one-race deal to sponsor Dale Earnhardt Jr.

It went to a two-race deal beginning in 2016.

MORE: Driving the No. 9 feels like going home for Chase Elliott

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