Doug Duchardt, who joined Hendrick Motorsports as an executive in 2005, has been elevated to the newly created position of executive vice president and general manager, effective immediately. He will report to team owner Rick Hendrick and company president Marshall Carlson.
In his expanded role, Duchardt, 49, will direct all racing operations for Hendrick Motorsports, which fields four cars in the elite NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He also will manage technical relationships—encompassing engine leases and chassis purchases—while serving as primary liaison between Hendrick Motorsports and NASCAR’s competition group.
Duchardt’s responsibilities now include oversight of all competition-related personnel and departments, including teams; engines; race car construction (chassis and bodies); research and development; human performance (pit crews); and engineering.
“Doug has led by example from his first day with us,” Hendrick said. “We’re in a competitive and ever-changing industry, and he brings a global view that will be critical to our long-term success. Doug shares the organization’s values, understands the importance of relationships and has helped promote a culture of teamwork and communication. We know those are things he will lean on and grow in the years to come.”
A native of Morton, Ill., Duchardt joined Hendrick Motorsports in February 2005 as vice president of development. In that position, he directed all engine, vehicle engineering, chassis and body operations. He also oversaw the company’s work on the last two generations of Sprint Cup Series race cars, including Hendrick Motorsports’ role as the lead development team for General Motors’ new Chevrolet SS.
During Duchardt’s tenure, Hendrick Motorsports has won 84 Sprint Cup races and five series titles.
Duchardt joined General Motors as a co-op student with Buick in 1983 and went on to graduate from Missouri University of Science and Technology in 1987 with a mechanical engineering degree. He earned a master’s degree in engineering from Purdue University in 1992 and received an honorary professional degree from Missouri S&T in 2009.
After nearly a decade in various roles with the manufacturer, Duchardt joined General Motors Racing in 1996. In June 2003, he was named director of North American motor sports initiatives, overseeing programs in NASCAR, Grand-Am, American Le Mans, NHRA, IndyCar and other series. During Duchardt’s leadership of GM Racing, the Chevy Monte Carlo garnered five Sprint Cup manufacturer championships.
Longtime Hendrick Motorsports executive Ken Howes will continue to serve as vice president of competition, a role he assumed in January 2005. He will report to Duchardt.