On a Quest for Love: Emily Maynard searching for Mr. Right

Emily Maynard this season’s Bachelorette on ABC
Photo – Craig Sjodin/ABC

By Michelle Lesener


Emily Maynard is a household name to those familiar with the ABC television shows “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette”. 


Emily Maynard first appeared on “The Bachelor”, competing to win the heart of Brad Womack during the 15th season of the show. She ended up winning his heart and the pair were engaged at the conclusion of the season. 


As with many of the couples connecting through the show, their relationship didn’t last, and they ended their engagement late last year. 


At the beginning of this year, it was announced that Emily would be the new Bachelorette, getting a second chance to find love through the reality show.


However, there is more to Emily than just a pretty face looking for love through a reality TV series. Before she became a household name on “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette,” she was known by many who follow NASCAR.


Emily Maynard is well known in NASCAR circles as the late Ricky Hendrick’s fiancee. Ricky is the son of Rick Hendrick, the team owner of Hendrick Motorsports, with drivers Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr and Kasey Kahne. Ricky Hendrick was embarking on his own racing career when the two became engaged.


Ricky and Emily met with their families living next door to each other while on vacation and they began dating in 1999. They were engaged to be married in May of 2004, just 5 months before Ricky’s untimely death in a plane crash, on the morning of October 24, 2004, in Martinsville, Virginia. 


Shortly after Ricky’s passing, Emily learned that she was pregnant with Ricky’s child. She gave birth to a daughter, Josephine Riddick “Ricki” Hendrick, in June of 2005. 

Emily and Ricki with Rick and Linda Hendrick
Photo – Instagram

Emily has remained extremely close with Rick and Linda Hendrick, having given them their only grandchild. They have been the ever-doting grandparents with little Ricki having a presence in their lives and in the Hendrick Motorsports organization as well. 


NASCAR fans have seen Emily and Ricki from time to time at the track and in Victory Lane with Rick Hendrick. Recently, Ricki was hanging out with Rick at Charlotte when Jimmie Johnson found Victory Lane during a team hometown event, the Sprint All-Star race. 


Since 2005, Emily has not been in a serious relationship until connecting with Brad Womack through “The Bachelor.”


Will Emily find someone that will love her and Ricki in the reality series, “The Bachelorette?”  


Tune in to ABC, Mondays at 8pm ET to watch Emily on her quest to find Mr. Right.

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