LOUDON, NH (July 21, 2001) - Ricky Hendrick ran in the Top-5 most of the day and held onto fourth in the final laps of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race in the New England 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway. "I'm glad this...
LOUDON, NH (July 21, 2001) - Ricky Hendrick ran in the Top-5 most of the day and held onto fourth in the final laps of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race in the New England 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway.
"I'm glad this one is over," said Hendrick. "It was really tough out there on the final laps, I felt like we were fighting against everyone there at the end, but (Ted) Musgrave was really giving me a run for the money. The GMAC Chevy was strong all day, running in the Top-5. I didn't want to lose that the very end."
Team GMAC crew chief Lance McGrew opted for an unusual strategy not taking on fresh tires on the final of three stops. Hendrick's No. 17 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet Silverado last took on fresh rubber on the 93rd circuit and, as the tires waned, Hendrick fought to hold his position. "Sometimes you take chances to get ahead," said Hendrick. "We hoped that with a fuel-only stop, we would gain position late in the race. We didn't gain any positions, but we didn't lose any either. It was a fight there at the end. I felt like I had no tires and it was hard to keep the GMAC Chevy underneath me. It was a real challenge today, but it all turned fine." Hendrick started 13th and quickly marched through the field breaking into the Top-5 by the 15th circuit. He then stayed in touch with the leaders eventually taking the point when his Hendrick Motorsports teammate and race leader pitted for fresh tires and fuel at the Lap-160 mark. Hendrick then paced the field for the next 14 laps before headed toward pit road for his final stop of the race. That left the door open for Sprague to score his second win of the season.
"Congratulations to Jack and Team NetZero," said Hendrick. "If we can't win, I always hope Jack does. The guys work so hard at the shop, they truly deserve a win every week. This was Jack's second win, so hopefully I'll have another win coming here soon."
Hendrick earned $16,175 for the fourth-place finish and remained fourth in the season championship chase, 62 markers out of first place. Hendrick remains the leader in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year race, nine points ahead of Travis Kvapil.
Team GMAC will take a week off before heading to Indianapolis Raceway Park for the Power Stroke 200 on Friday, August 3. The race will be telecast live on ESPN and broadcast on MRN worldwide.