NASCAR Team Owner Rick Hendrick Says It Would Be “Impossible” For The Sport To Switch To Electric Vehicles

Rick Hendrick Chase Elliott
ATLANTA, GA - JULY 10: HMS team owner Rick Hendrick confers with Chase Elliott (#9 Hendrick Motorsports NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet) before the 53rd Annual Quaker State 400 NASCAR race on July 10, 2022 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Not so fast…

Of course electric cars seem to be all the rage these days. President Biden and his administration have made a big push towards electric vehicles, which would require two-thirds of all vehicles sold in the United States to be electric by 2032. And Tesla has seen their popularity grow as more and more consumers are jumping on the EV bandwagon.

NASCAR has even experimented with electric cars, testing a prototype earlier this year at the Los Angeles Coliseum ahead of the season-opening Busch Light Clash.

But at least one team owner isn’t convinced that the sport will ever go electric.

Rick Hendrick obviously knows a thing or two about cars. Not only has he owned Hendrick Motorsports for 40 years, but he also owns Hendrick Automotive Group, which is one of the largest chains of car dealerships in the country.

And it seems like Hendrick wants to pump the brakes on all this talk about going full electric.

During a recent interview with Robb Report, Hendrick said that consumers still haven’t proven to be ready to make the switch to an EV:

“The customer is going to dictate what you build. I’ve been in the automobile business for almost 50 years, and you can’t force customers to buy what they don’t want. We were too aggressive with the EV market…I think the EV market will be there one day, but we’re not ready for it.”

And he also discussed some of the problems his dealerships have faced trying to get consumers to buy electric vehicles:

“I’ve got dealerships in the Bay Area, and selling a Lexus EV versus a Lexus hybrid—we’ve got a waiting list for the hybrids and have to put big discounts on the EVs. Mercedes came out with all these [EV] models—I’m a Mercedes dealer and we had a horrible year.

And in some cases, with Audi and others, you had a $25,000 rebate to get a customer to buy a car and they still wouldn’t buy it. I mean, you just can’t force people to buy what they don’t want.”

For those reasons (and more), Hendrick is skeptical that NASCAR would make the jump to electric vehicles – if they ever do:

“I think our cars, the cars we race today, are built to be hybrid. So we can go hybrid. In IMSA [International Motor Sports Association], they’re running hybrids. I don’t see as much pressure on EVs because that’s just almost impossible to run in a [NASCAR] race unless you have a hybrid to charge it.”

Honestly, going to a NASCAR race just wouldn’t be the same with electric vehicles. The sound of the engines, the smell of the racing fuel…no thanks.

And imagine how long the pit stops would take if they had to sit there and wait for the cars to charge.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock