RICHMOND, VA. (September 6, 2001) - Ricky Hendrick and his No. 17 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet Silverado notched a solid eighth-place finish in the Kroger 200 at Richmond International Raceway Thursday "What a night," Hendrick said of...
RICHMOND, VA. (September 6, 2001) - Ricky Hendrick and his No. 17 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet Silverado notched a solid eighth-place finish in the Kroger 200 at Richmond International Raceway Thursday
"What a night," Hendrick said of the finish. "Team GMAC worked hard all day, but we just couldn't hit it on the track. We flat spotted our tires three times and I felt like I was rolling around out there like Fred Flintstone."
Hendrick started 11th and spent most of the 200-lap event on the RIR .75-mile oval running comfortably in the Top-15. A strong sprint to the finish earned the 21-year-old driver valuable points toward the 2001 Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award.
"This track is not kind to rookies," said the Charlotte native. "All the rookies struggled tonight and this is a track that if you plan on having a career in racing, you have to learn to get around it. It was quite a challenge tonight and we still have a lot to learn."
Hendrick hovered just outside of the Top-10 before coming in for the final caution of the race when fellow rookie Matt Crafton collided with the wall on Lap 155. Team GMAC crew chief Lance McGrew then called for another stop for fresh tires, giving Hendrick's red-white and blue Team GMAC Silverado an edge over the final 40 circuits.
"Ricky, listen to me," radioed McGrew, "You've got four new tires and we made some adjustments. You are Superman, Buddy, go get them." Returning to the field in 14th position, Hendrick went to work over the final laps and delivered a strong eighth-place finish.
"It's so disappointing when you know you are better than you finish," said Hendrick. "We thought we were well prepared tonight, but all of us on Team GMAC know that there will be nights like this and we will struggle. We are grateful for another Top-10 finish, but we were hoping for more. We'll head to Texas and see what we've got."
The solid finish, which earned $8,700 in prize money, moved Hendrick within one point of the lead for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year race. Now sixth in the 2001 championship race, Hendrick is 153 markers out of the top spot with five races remaining.
Next up for Hendrick and the Team GMAC Chevy will be the Chevy Silverado 350 at Texas Motor Speedway. The Saturday, September 15 event will take the green flag at 4 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time and will be telecast live on ESPN. The race will also be broadcast on MRN Radio.