Ken Hendricks was the founder of the Urban Force Racing team featured here. He was a high school dropout who ultimately became a billionaire as the owner of ABC Supply and other companies. But what is most important is that Ken never forgot his roots and the needs of the community in which he lived. His generosity and love of his community and employees is well documented. Unfortunately, we suffered a terrible loss when a tragic accident took Ken from us on December 21, 2007.
Pete Raskovic, the team manager for UFR, and who along with Ken put together the idea of a racing program for at-risk kids, became not only the recipient of Ken's support, he became a friend. And as such, the loss of his friend took a deep toll on him as it did the countless others who either worked for, had the unique opportunity to pass Ken's way, or be touched by his generosity. This was a man who was truly loved because he loved his community and his many employees and customers.
Pete had this to say about Ken, "He was the founder of Urban Force Racing. Ken and I put the concept together in his office. It was our collective project, so he was not a "sponsor" but a part of the team. He would meet with the kids in the pits and speak with them about what was going on. It was all about the kids. Once he got them hooked on the racecar and school, he wanted to move them to the next level; being winners on the track."
This was a man who had vision like few others. A quick Google search will offer up the details of his accomplishments. He spent much of his life building a huge business from literally nothing. That success pales in comparison to the good he did in his own community, and UFR was just one of the projects he took a personal interest in.
We rarely see or hear the kind of heartfelt tributes that Ken's family received after his untimely death. Many messages were dedicated to the man who had risen to such great heights, not on the backs of others as is so common in this day and age, but while working along side his many associates and truly for their benefit as well.
Notes posted in the aftermath rang true the respect he had developed in his community, such as: "I worked for ABC for almost 13 years, and when I first started with the company I hadn't planned on staying. It was because of what I saw in both Ken and Diane that I did stay. Ken was the most grounded person I'd ever known, and showed in many ways the heart he had for his employees and his customers." and, "Ken always remembered where he came from, and always remembered his old friends when they were in need. He always gave a second chance to those who might not otherwise have gotten one. He will be truly missed in our community." Or this one, "I am proud to be an ABC employee for over 15 years and today we became a family in mourning. That is what Ken was about, his employees are all like one big family and there never will be anyone else like him."
On behalf of Pete and all of us here at Circle Track, we want to thank Ken, his family and the entire ABC Supply company for their support of this meaningful project and the many others like it. We hope that by joining with this team, we can provide a template for other philanthropists who might decide to share their good fortune for the benefit of others less fortunate.