Eye for talent, business savvy propel Hendrick to the top of his game

The accomplishments keep piling up for team owner Rick Hendrick. With eight Cup championships to his credit, he's among the most successful owners in NASCAR history, writes David Newton.

Updated: November 17, 2008, 10:49 AM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Rick Hendrick wasn't counting on another championship as he made his way toward pit road before Sunday's Sprint Cup finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

He wasn't counting on anything.

Too nervous.

"This reminds me of the time when Tom Cruise invited me to the Academy Awards," the owner of Hendrick Motorsports said. "They had a big party planned afterwards to celebrate. When he didn't win, it was more like a morgue than a party.

"I ...

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