The Hendrick engine program after Dorton

The Hendrick Engine Program after Dorton By: Bill King The late Randy Dorton remains the architect of horsepower at Hendrick Motorsports, and this impression will continue for years to come because of the organization he had molded. One of Rick...

The Hendrick Engine Program after Dorton
By: Bill King

The late Randy Dorton remains the architect of horsepower at Hendrick Motorsports, and this impression will continue for years to come because of the organization he had molded. One of Rick Hendrick's 20-year men, Dorton built the organization's engine program to the 90-person operation it is today.

Dorton's top lieutenants -- director of engine assembly Jeff Andrews and director of engine engineering Jim Wall -- are now dual pointmen for the Hendrick Engines.

Hendrick introduced Wall to the Media Tour Thursday by saying that when he talks to Wall he needs two people in the room to interpret. "Jim came over to my house 10 or 12 years ago when I had the flu," Hendrick related. "He said that if I'd buy him one of machines that does hip replacements he'd guarantee me he'd be able to duplicate cylinder heads and we'd pick up 30 to 40 horsepower.

"So I asked him how much one of those machines costs and he says a million dollars." Hendrick bought the machine for Wall, now a 19-year employee. Hendrick said that among the nine racecars the team tested at Daytona earlier this month, there was a two-horsepower spread from the stoutest to the softest.

Hendrick then introduced Andrews, who came to the team 13 years ago, by pointing out that Andrews had built the engine Rick Mears drove to his fourth Indy 500 win in 1991. "He runs the engine shop," said Hendrick, which includes long-range strategic planning, one of Dorton's many fortes.

"Nothing has changed," said Hendrick. "The same people that were in charge are still in charge."

If you can leave and the beat goes on, that's the best compliment a manager can wish for. Randy Dorton's engine shop is running just as he left it.

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Rick Mears , Bill King