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Rick Hendrick on road to recovery

Posted on: November 28, 2011 12:46 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 12:48 pm
By Pete Pistone

Rick Hendrick explained last month’s harrowing incident when a Hendrick Motorsports plane skidded off a runway in Key West, Florida during a media teleconference Monday morning.

Hendrick and his wife Linda as well as two pilots on board survived the accident, which left the team owner with four broken ribs and a broken shoulder.

“You don’t remember everything exactly how it happened. Just for a second or two, that’s about all you’ve got you sense something was wrong,” Hendrick recalled. “But then it happened so quick, it goes so fast that you don’t have time to hardly react.”

The Hendricks are recovering at their home after initially spending more than a week in a North Carolina medical facility.

“Trying to sleep and move and getting therapy takes most of the day,” Hendrick said of the recovery process. “My wife is doing good. She busted her leg up, but I’m not a spring chicken anymore. I don’t bounce back quite as quick.

“We’re doing good. I’m just going to probably take it easy for a few more weeks and continue to do my therapy. I am able to sleep now at night, where I slept in a chair for three weeks. That’s no fun.”

The Gulfstream G150 lost its brakes upon landing in the October 31 accident and Hendrick explained what took place inside the cabin.

“My belt was on, and something came loose in the seat itself,” Hendrick said. “I hit the bulkhead and my wife. My chest and head went into the seat in front of me and that’s where I got my ribs and I had a concussion.”

The plane was co-owned by Hendrick driver Jimmie Johnson and the National Transportation Board is still conducting an investigation to uncover more details.

“We were very fortunate,” Hendrick said. “We’re glad that it wasn’t any worse than it was. We’re healing up. We don’t have any of the answers yet on exactly what happened there, but there’s a lot of smart people involved and we’ll get that figured out pretty soon, I hope.”

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