Pardon Me Mr President

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Earlier this season, Rick Hendrick went to NASCAR’s bosses and asked for a pardon. He wanted them to take back the fines and points deductions they had levied on his team for using an allegedly illegal intake manifold.

He was denied.

Hendrick isn’t a total loser in the pardoning process, though, as he gained a much bigger one late Friday.

Hendrick - a registered Republican who runs Hendrick Motorsports with drivers such as Jeff Gordon, Terry Labonte and Jerry Nadeau - was granted a full pardon by President Clinton for his alleged actions concerning unfair business practices.

Hendrick - who pleaded guilty to mail fraud in 1997, was fined $250,000 and sentenced to 12 months of home confinement - regains the civil rights that are taken away from someone convicted of a felony. The pardon does not change the record of the conviction nor indicate innocence.

At the time of his sentence for giving a Honda executive a $20,000 cash payment, technically considered mail fraud, Hendrick was not only battling the confinement to his Charlotte home, but there he would also be faced with dealing with a life-threatening form of leukemia.

Hendrick, 51, has been off of the chemotherapy since last year and the leukemia is in remission.

Hendrick’s pardon was one of 59 that President Clinton granted on Friday.

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