By Geoff Bodine
November 19, 2017
The No. 5 will turn its final confirmed laps for Hendrick Motorsports this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway with driver Kasey Kahne.
The number has been a part of the team since day one in 1984.
Naturally, for me, there’s some emotion there. As the first driver for Hendrick in the No. 5, I’m sad to know it won’t be on track next year for the team.
It always brings back memories when I see it on the track; a lot of good ones more than the not so good. It’s going to be strange without the No. 5 next year.
Hopefully Rick Hendrick will come up with another team and start that 5 back up and another driver will use the number.
It’s really cool to be associated with the number and its history in our sport.
The No. 5 was in the first ever NASCAR race in 1949. Owner-driver Felix Wilkes finished 27th. (I was 2 months old)
The car number was used over the years by drivers like Cotton Owens, Tiny Lund, Neil Bonnett and Morgan Shepherd before me.
I have no idea on why Rick chose the number, but I know it was reserved with NASCAR when I joined the team.
I may have known at one time, but I have no idea right now.
It is surprising that the number was available. I’ve reached out to Rick, because I am curious, so I will let you know when I have the answer.
FAVORITE MEMORY WITH THE NO. 5
Every win was the favorite, but for any driver, the first win is very memorable. For me, that was the first win for the team and myself at Martinsville in 1984.
And of course, the 1986 Daytona 500 stands out as well. It is so difficult to win in NASCAR, so every win is important.
The No. 5 has seemed to follow me around my different parts life.
I started racing at 5 years old. One of my go-karts was the No. 5.
In NASCAR, The No. 5 for HMS has been a part of the field in every race since 1984, or the last 1,128 races.
Nothing stays the same forever, but it’s just a number. In the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter.
This week, the focus is on the championship for all three series; I don’t believe people will be watching the race, saying this is the last time we will see the No. 5, because it won’t be the last time.
DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.
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