ALTHOUGH RICK HENDRICK owns one of the most successful teams in NASCAR history--he has won five Cup titles--he was always nervous when his son, Ricky (right), slid behind the wheel to drive in the Busch Series. So when Ricky retired from racing in 2002 at age 22 because of a shoulder injury suffered in an accident, Hendrick was quietly relieved. He hoped that his son, who for the past two years headed a Busch team for Hendrick, would someday work his way to the top of the family empire.
On Sunday afternoon, though, Ricky was one of 10 people killed when a Beechcraft King Air 200, owned by Hendrick Motorsports and en route to the race, crashed seven miles west of the Martinsville airport. Hendrick's brother, John, and John's twin 22year-old daughters, Jennifer and Kimberly, also died in the crash. The sky was overcast at the time of the accident, but the cause of the crash was not known as SI went to press on Monday night.