MADISON, IL (April 27, 2001) - Ricky Hendrick and his No. 17 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet Silverado are ready to go racing again after the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has taken nearly a one-month sabbatical since the last event at ...
MADISON, IL (April 27, 2001) - Ricky Hendrick and his No. 17 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet Silverado are ready to go racing again after the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has taken nearly a one-month sabbatical since the last event at Martinsville (VA) Speedway.
"I am anxious to get to Gateway," said Hendrick of the next event on the tour, the Dodge Ram 200 by Pepsi at Gateway International Raceway . "We've got a score to settle there. We didn't do very well at Gateway last year in the NASCAR Busch Series race and I know we can do better. We are having a very good Truck Series season and we're going to bring that hot streak to Gateway."
The month layoff was hardly a vacation for Hendrick's Team GMAC mates as they used the time to test several trucks in the wind tunnel. The results led to some subtle body changes to Hendrick's No. 17 Silverado that when tested again, yielded even better results than the team had hoped. A final on-track test at Atlanta Motor Speedway confirmed the positive results and has the team excited heading into the Gateway event.
"There has been no slacking off this month," stated Hendrick. "The guys have been to the wind tunnel and back to the shop making changes. They've been little changes, but important ones. In racing, it's all about the little things. Our GMAC Chevy should be very fast at Gateway."
Despite never competing at Gateway in the Truck division, Hendrick has a couple of distinct advantages heading into the Dodge Ram 200. One is his Hendrick Motorsports team is a two-truck operation, which is able to gather more test data than a one-truck unit. The other is Hendrick's teammate, Jack Sprague, a two-time NCTS titlest and the reigning champion in the Dodge Ram 200 at Gateway. Both are tremendous assets to 21-year old Hendrick.
"Jack has so much experience," Hendrick said. " He's like the father of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. He has the wisdom of what to do and what not to do on the track. He is going to be an invaluable resource all year long. He knows how to win at Gateway. This race was Team GMAC's first win in 2000. We would like to repeat that this year."
Hendrick has been on a hot streak this season posting four Top-10 finishes in as many races. The strong start has Hendrick third in the season championship chase and also leading the race for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year award. After short track races at Martinsville and Bakersfield (CA) where beating and banging was the rule, Hendrick is looking forward to racing on the 1.25-mile Gateway track where speed is king.
"I am really glad to be racing on a bigger track like Gateway." Hendrick stated. "You can do more and it's better racing. We are really grateful to have made it through the short track races with two Top-10 finishes. That's really an accomplishment. Now we can get down to some serious racing and up to some higher speeds."
The green flag will fall on the Ram Tough 200 Sunday, May 6 at 4 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time. The 160-lap event will be telecast live on ESPN and broadcast on MRN Radio worldwide.
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.