DAYTONA BEACH, FL. (Feb. 11, 2000) - Ricky Hendrick, piloting the GMAC Financial Services No. 71 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, started second and finished ninth in the Discount Auto Parts 200 ARCA ReMax Series event at Daytona International ...
DAYTONA BEACH, FL. (Feb. 11, 2000) - Ricky Hendrick, piloting the GMAC Financial Services No. 71 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, started second and finished ninth in the Discount Auto Parts 200 ARCA ReMax Series event at Daytona International Speedway Sunday. It was the 20-year-old driver's first-ever start at the famed 2.5-mile oval.
"I learned a lot about what not to do in the Truck race," said Hendrick, who will drive the No.17 GMAC Chevrolet Silverado in Friday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Daytona. "A Top-10 finish is great, but I really wanted more for the guys who worked so hard, my family and GMAC. We should have been in Victory Lane."
Hendrick ran with the leaders in the early going as the event featured three-wide racing. Hendrick's one and only pit stop occurred on Lap 24 taking on two right-side tires and a full tank of fuel. The crew of Hendrick's red white and blue Chevy, led by Rodney Combs, Jr. and Tony Furr, ripped off a blistering 12.8-second stop to keep the young driver near the front of the pack.
Hendrick took full advantage of the great service to take the lead on Lap 36. With Furr calling the shots to conserve fuel over the final 40 circuits of the 80-lap event, Hendrick was untouchable at the point for the next 32 trips around the track.
Hendrick was cheered on by a large contingent of fans including his parents, Rick and Linda Hendrick. It was an unusual experience for the veteran NASCAR Winston Cup car owner.
"I just couldn't believe it," said the elder Hendrick after the race. "My son was out front, leading at Daytona. That's really something."
Hendrick's bid for victory fell short on a Lap 68 restart when he was freight-trained in the draft.
"It was a rookie mistake," said Hendrick, whose car sported the No. 71 in tribute to the late Hendrick Motorsports legendary crew chief, Harry Hyde. "I spun the tires on the restart. I did my best John Force imitation and lit up the tires. I really had the best car and should have won the race. I hate it for the team because we should be over there in Victory Lane. It was still a great day for us. I learned a lot."
The Discount Auto Parts 200 will air Monday, February 12 at 11a.m. on Fox Sports. Hendrick's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Daytona debut Friday will take the green flag at 11 a.m. and will be telecast live on ESPN. -Many Smallwood