Denny Hamlin‘s paint scheme for the Sept. 3 Southern 500 on NBCSN will pay tribute to Ray Hendrick, AKA “Mr. Modified.”
Hamlin’s No. 11 Toyota is based on a No. 11 modified that Hendrick (no relation to Rick Hendrick) drove during a racing career that lasted more than 30 years.
Hendrick won five NASCAR Championships at South Boston Speedway, including four in the Modified Division and one in the Late Model Sportsman series. From 1963-1975 he won 20 races at Martinsville Speedway.
Hendrick also made 17 Cup Series starts. His first came at Darlington in the 1958 Southern 500, when he started 44th and finished 58th after losing an engine. His best Cup result was fifth twice, at Richmond in 1963 and at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia, in 1968.
In 1993, Hendrick was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association’s Hall of Fame and in 1998 was selected as one of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers.
Hendrick died in 1990 at 61 after a battle with cancer.