NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick has been named 2016 Citizen of the Carolina’s, the highest and most prestigious award of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, according to The Charlotte Observer.
Hendrick, who also owns Hendrick Auto Group, will be honored at the Chamber’s December meeting for “significant contributions to Charlotte’s business community, his indelible influence within NASCAR and his tireless work with local charitable organizations,” the group said in a statement.
“Rick embodies the collaborative spirit that sets Charlotte apart from any other major city in the United States,” Chamber CEO and president Bob Morgan said.
Past winners of the Citizen of the Carolinas include University of North Carolina basketball coaching legend Dean Smith and Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson.
Since developing his first auto dealership in 1976, Hendrick, 66, has grown his company to employ over 10,000 and owns dealerships in 14 states, the largest privately-held dealership group in the U.S., The Observer noted.
He began Hendrick Motorsports, which now employs over 600 workers, in 1984.
Per The Observer: “Hendrick has done charitable work with local organizations like the Levine Children’s Hospital and Together We Feed Charlotte, the chamber said. In 2015, he served as the honorary chairperson for the annual Charlotte Observer Summer Camp Fund, which set a fund-raising record of $200,000.”