Hendrick, GMAC Chevy Notch 15th-Place Finish in Kentucky Busch Series Battle FORT MITCHELL, KY. (June 16, 2001) - Ricky Hendrick, making a rare NASCAR Busch Series appearance, steered his No. 24 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet Monte Carlo to a...
Hendrick, GMAC Chevy Notch 15th-Place Finish in Kentucky Busch Series Battle
FORT MITCHELL, KY. (June 16, 2001) - Ricky Hendrick, making a rare NASCAR Busch Series appearance, steered his No. 24 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet Monte Carlo to a hard fought 15th-place finish in the Outback Steakhouse 300 race at Kentucky Speedway Saturday.
"We are really happy with this finish," said Hendrick, a regular in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series this season. "We were all a little nervous with the way we've been running since we got here, but it was a good car for the race. We came here to learn and we definitely did that. The team worked really hard to get this GMAC Monte Carlo running well. The stands were packed and the fans were great. We'll be back for the Truck Series race next month. I'm excited to get back here. I think we'll be ready for them."
Hendrick's chances of winning the first-ever NBS race at the Kentucky track took a big hit on Lap 67 when he steered his red-white and blue GMAC Chevy into the pits for a green flag pit stop. Unfortunately, the yellow flag flew just as Hendrick made the hard left turn onto pit road putting him a lap down to the leaders.
"I hate that we went a lap down in the pits," said Hendrick. "We planned to pit, but the caution came out a few seconds too late. There really wasn't anything we could do about that. That's just part of racing. A lot of other teams got caught in the deal too and some of them went two laps down. I guess we were lucky. It's just a shame because halfway through the race the car was really dialed in and The GMAC Chevy got to run up front, but we were a lap down. I'm sure it looked good anyway."
Despite the bad luck, Hendrick pushed on marching his way back into the Top-10 by the midway point of the 200-lap event on the sparkling 1.5 mile Kentucky Motor Speedway layout.
"The outside line was really working for me," said Hendrick. "My crew chief (Lance McGrew) was telling me to run on the inside, but I was faster on the outside. We are all getting used to each other and that's part of it. We were here to learn, but we definitely had fun along the way. On the last caution before the final restart we were all joking and having a great time on the radio. My father (Rick Hendrick) even got into it. It was a good night."
The 15th-place finish earned the 21-year-old Charlotte, NC driver $18,775 in prize money and, more importantly, a priceless amount of experience that Hendrick's No. 17 Team GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet Silverado will bring to the Kentucky NCTS race next month.
Next up for Hendrick and Team GMAC will be a return to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for the Memphis 200 Saturday, June 23 at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The 10th event of 24 on the 2001 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule will be telecast live on ESPN and will be broadcast live on MRN Radio.