Hendrick, Gmac Chevy Shooting For Two NCTS Wins In A Row At Kentucky FORT MITCHELL, KY (July 9, 2001) - Ricky Hendrick was looking forward to the Kroger 225 at Kentucky Speedway thinking he might be able to win the NASCAR Craftsman Truck ...
Hendrick, Gmac Chevy Shooting For Two NCTS Wins In A Row At Kentucky
FORT MITCHELL, KY (July 9, 2001) - Ricky Hendrick was looking forward to the Kroger 225 at Kentucky Speedway thinking he might be able to win the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race there July 14. After scoring his first-ever NCTS victory at Kansas Speedway last weekend, Hendrick no longer thinks he can win - he knows he's capable of driving his GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet into Victory Lane at Kentucky.
"Winning at Kansas is a huge boost for everyone associated with this GMAC Chevy program," said Hendrick. "We all thought we could win, but to actually do it is a big confidence builder for everyone. They say getting that first win is the hardest and we certainly have struggled at times trying to get there. I know it's going to be tough to win again because the Truck Series is so competitive, but if anyone can do it, it's this Hendrick Motorsports bunch."
Hendrick, son of NASCAR Winston Cup team owner, Rick Hendrick, took the lead on Lap 144 and never looked back in winning the inaugural O'Reilly 200 at Kansas Speedway. The victory came in just his 18th career series start. The 21-year-old Charlotte, NC native also became the youngest driver in the history of the series to visit Victory Lane and is the third driver to steer a Hendrick Motorsports entry to an NCTS win joining Terry Labonte and Jack Sprague in that category. The Hendrick organization now owns 22 Truck Series wins.
"There is nothing like your fist win," Hendrick stated. " GMAC, Hendrick Motorsports and these guys are the most amazing group. I would be nothing without them. We were blessed today and everything came together. This is the best thing that has ever happened to me in my life."
Hendrick hopes to keep that winning edge at the 1.5-mile Kentucky track this weekend. While the Kroger 225 will be his first Truck Series appearance at the track, Hendrick might have an advantage after competing in the NASCAR Busch Series event there earlier this season.
"We did it for the experience in the Truck Series," said Hendrick of the Kentucky NBS June 16 event where he started 21st and finished 15th. "The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has raced in Kentucky once and now I have raced in Kentucky once. It will nice to be on equal playing ground. I have as much experience there as the other drivers do. The more races I run, the more I realize how important seat time and experience are. "
Hendrick, the leading NCTS Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender, has finished in the Top-10 in all but one series events this season. He is currently fifth in the division points, just 106 markers out of the top spot. That has Hendrick looking forward to racing at Kentucky, especially considering the track is known for its big crowds.
"The Kentucky Speedway facility is beautiful and they were sold out for the Busch race," said Hendrick. "Hopefully, we can pack the house for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race like we did last year. Having a big crowd is always cool. The track itself is a real challenge. Getting off the turns will be real important. That's important everywhere, but very important there. There is nothing easy about Kentucky Speedway. One thing is for sure - we'll give the fans a great show."
Whatever the results at Kentucky this weekend, Hendrick knows he and his team are on the right track.
"Winning in Kansas City was phenomenal," said Hendrick. "Winning is why we work so hard. We are halfway through the season and exactly where we wanted to be. We are in the Top-5 in points, we are the top rookie, and now we have won a race. I truly couldn't ask for anything more in my first season. Winning one race has only fueled the fire. We want more and we want another win in Kentucky. We have experience there and we want to win."
Hendrick and his No. 17 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet Silverado team will take the green flag in the Kroger 225 at Kentucky Speedway at 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Saturday, July 14. The 13th of 24 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events this season will be telecast live on ESPN and broadcast by MRN Radio.
GMAC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Motors since 1919, is the financial arm of the corporation. Through an original mission to provide wholesale and retail financing to GM dealers and customers and then to offer a variety of automotive insurance services, GMAC had provided $1 trillion to finance nearly 150 million cars and trucks worldwide. Over the last 15 years, GMAC has greatly diversified into today entity of GMAC Financial Services, with some 29,000 employees at 700 facilities in 40 countries. Its offerings today also include residential and commercial mortgages; real estate and relocation services; special programs for members of the GM Family and GM Supplier community; and commercial financing. For more information on GMAC Financial Services products, log on to www.gmacfs.com.