Hendrick, Team GMAC Shooting For Victory in NCTS Season Finale
FONTANA, CA. (Oct. 29, 2001) - As the curtain closes on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Ricky Hendrick knows there is still more he would like to do in the one remaining race at California Motor Speedway for the Auto Club 200 on Saturday.
"We want to win," said the pilot of the No. 17 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet Silverado. "We've never been to California Speedway, but I think we should be good. It's a two-mile track and we run well on those. The bigger the track the better. I like the speed. We are bringing the truck that we won with in Kansas. I know, I'm not the only one who wants to win this last race, but it would help take care of some unfinished business this season."
The win at Kansas gave Hendrick one of three goals he and his GMAC teammates set for themselves as the start of the 2001 NCTS season.
"We wanted three things at the start of this season," said the 21-year old Charlotte, NC native. "We wanted to win a race, win the Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award and finish in the Top-5 in the Championship points race. We won at Kansas and that was awesome. We are sixth in the championship points and second in the rookie race. We have one more race to meet our goals. I know we set them a little high, but we are going to do everything we can to make it happen."
Hendrick's goal-oriented drive suffered a setback last week in the Chevy Silverado 150 at Phoenix International Raceway when an early race accident not of his making put him behind the wall for repairs for 19 laps. Hendrick returned to the track to finish 28th, a major disappointment to the driver and the crew. Despite the bad luck, GMAC crew chief Lance McGrew is looking forward to the NCTS season finale at California Speedway.
"I think we will do just fine," said McGrew. "Ricky really likes the big tracks. I've been there with the Busch car a couple of times. Hendrick Motorsports has always run there so we will bring some good information with us. He adapts quickly to new tracks and that will work in our favor."
Whatever the outcome at California, Hendrick knows he and team have had an outstanding season.
"We've had a lot of up and downs," said Hendrick. "As a whole, as a new team and a new driver, it has been a really good year. We have been competing against guys and teams who have been doing this for years. The competition was tough and we have learned a lot. We've been able to run with them and I think that says a lot for us as a team. We have grown together and learned so much. We will regroup and get ready for next year."
The green flag will fall on the Auto Club 200 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time Saturday, November 3. The race will be telecast live on ESPN and broadcast worldwide on 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 150 million cars and trucks worldwide. Over the last 15 years, GMAC has greatly diversified into today's entity of GMAC Financial Services, with some 29,000 employees facilities in 40 countries. Its offerings 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, go to www.gmacfs.com.