KANSAS CITY, MO. (July 1, 2001) - Ricky Hendrick would like nothing better than to score his first-ever NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win at Kansas Speedway. As the all-new Kansas track begins it's history, Hendrick and the No. 17 GMAC Financial...
KANSAS CITY, MO. (July 1, 2001) - Ricky Hendrick would like nothing better than to score his first-ever NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win at Kansas Speedway. As the all-new Kansas track begins it's history, Hendrick and the No. 17 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet Silverado continue making theirs with consistent Top-10 finishes.
"It's always an exciting challenge when NASCAR adds a new track to the series," said Hendrick. "I think it's going to be like Las Vegas and I love that track. It's smooth and it's fast. We have been doing so well this year with five Top-5's and ten Top-10's. That is great, but I hope there's more for us in Kansas."
Until last year, the Craftsman Trucks had been racing in Kansas since the inception of the series in 1995. The return to the new, 1.5-mile Kansas City track is expected to draw a huge crowd.
"How can you not love a track with a sell-out crowd?" Hendrick asked. "The race is already sold out so that tells me a lot about the fans. They love racing. We are running one of my favorite trucks, the T-Rex 4 and Team GMAC gets stronger every week. We just keep learning, sooner or later all that learning is going to pay off with a win."
Each driver will be on equal playing ground as they all hit the track together for the first time on the July 5 test day. While Hendrick is a rookie to the Craftsman Truck Series this season, the new Kansas track will make rookies out of the all the drivers in the 36-truck field.
"We are going to work really hard and fast to figure that track out," said crew chief Lance McGrew. "It's a track where we won't start out behind the eight-ball because of our lack of experience and that's a good thing. Ricky adapts quickly to new tracks, which will definitely help us. We will be running the 390 carburetor there so we will have to make body considerations. We know it won't be easy, but it will be everything we like in racing."
The only research Hendrick's GMAC team has been able to do on the Kansas track has been to watch an ARCA on television. It was the first event on the new Kansas track.
"I watched the ARCA race very closely," said Hendrick. "The track looks fast and smooth. That's what I really like. It will be one-and-a-half miles of speed. I was trying to pick something up, but you just don't know until you are on the racetrack yourself."
Hendrick is the son of three-time Winston Cup team owner, Rick Hendrick who runs Hendrick Motorsports and an impressive collection of car dealerships throughout the country.
"This win would be particularly special," said the junior Hendrick. "My father's biggest dealership is in Kansas City. We are hoping to get out there a day early and visit everyone. The dealerships help to keep us running on the racetrack and they are good people."
The green flag will fall on the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time Saturday, July 7. The race will be telecast live on ESPN and broadcast worldwide on MRN radio.