WEST ALLIS, WI. (June 30, 2001) - Ricky Hendrick overcame an ill-handling truck to post a 10th-place finish in the GNC Live Well 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at the Milwaukee Mile Saturday. "We were have been tight all...
WEST ALLIS, WI. (June 30, 2001) - Ricky Hendrick overcame an ill-handling truck to post a 10th-place finish in the GNC Live Well 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at the Milwaukee Mile Saturday.
"We were have been tight all weekend," said Hendrick of the handling properties of his No. 17 GMAC Chevrolet Silverado. "We have been fighting every step of the way and that is really frustrating. I wasn't charging the turn out there, but I couldn't keep it on the bottom. The harder I fought to turn the GMAC Chevy the more it didn't want to go. I was probably trying too hard. You're not really racing if you aren't out there giving it everything you've got. I just wish our finish reflected the effort of all the hard work that went into this race."
Hendrick started sixth after touring the flat, one-mile Milwaukee oval in a time 30.132 seconds (119.474 miles per hour). Hendrick rarely dipped out of the Top -10 and stayed out of the on-track trouble. That in itself was a victory considering Hendrick was battling his truck every lap of the race.
"The guys kept telling me to protect the bottom," Hendrick stated. "There just wasn't anything I could do. I couldn't turn down low, no matter what I did. I was getting so much advice, but the best advice in the world won't help a truck turn better. We kept the fenders on and stayed in one piece, but I felt every mile and fought it the whole way."
In the end, the effort translated to a 10th-place finish and $10,925 in prize money and a fifth-place position in the championship chase, 146 behind division leader Joe Ruttman.
"The team is doing all they can do," said Hendrick. "I know they are. I had to put David (Green) in the truck in practice yesterday so we all knew that it wasn't just me. I was running three-tenths of s second faster than David did, but that is no consolation. I know I still have a lot to learn as a driver. It's a learning year for us and we are learning more with every race.
Hendrick and his No. 17 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet Silverado team will continue their "education" when they take the green flag in the Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway July 7. The 12th of 24 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events this season will be telecast on ESPN and broadcast by MRN Radio at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.