GLADEVILLE, TN (Aug. 10, 2001) - Heading into the Federated Auto Parts 200 at the all-new Nashville Superspeedway, Ricky Hendrick and his No. 17 GMAC Financial Services team had high hopes of winning. "The GMAC Chevy had it all ...
GLADEVILLE, TN (Aug. 10, 2001) - Heading into the Federated Auto Parts 200 at the all-new Nashville Superspeedway, Ricky Hendrick and his No. 17 GMAC Financial Services team had high hopes of winning.
"The GMAC Chevy had it all tonight," said Hendrick, who settled for an 11th-place finish instead of a victory. "We clearly did not have the right set up, we led a lap but we finished 11th. We had some difficulty with communication. This is a team sport and we are in this for the long haul. Of course we are disappointed - we lost a lot tonight - but we have eight more races to go and I promise you, we will give it everything we've got."
Hendrick started from ninth position after posting a lop of 31.395-seconds (152.852 miles per hour) in qualifying Thursday. At the drop of the green flag, Hendrick quickly began his march through the field to hold steady in the Top-5 after 20 circuits. An early caution on Lap 30 brought the leaders in to pit while Hendrick remained on the track. That move cycled him to the top spot and gave Hendrick five bonus championship points.
Back under green, Hendrick was shuffled back to fourth and stayed in touch with the leaders until finally pitting on Lap 65 under green flag conditions.
"In hindsight we probably should have pitted with everyone else," said Hendrick. "But, hindsight is always 20/20. It could have worked out to be in our favor if the cautions had fallen our way, but they didn't. We got off sequence with the pit strategy and it just never worked out for us after that."
Hendrick's second stop occurred on Lap-117 and returned Hendrick to the track in 16th position. Now two laps down to the leaders, there weren't enough laps in the race to move back into the Top-10.
The disappointing evening also delivered a blow in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award battle as Hendrick dropped to second in the chase to Travis Kvapil.
"Tonight was important to us for a lot of reasons," said Hendrick, "We lost the the spot in the Rookie race. One of out goals this year is to win that. We work really hard every race, but we really want to get back on top."
Hendrick earned $7,625 in prize money and remained fifth in the championship points battle, 130 points out of the top spot.
"We just had a bad night tonight," said Hendrick. "It's one of those deals where we didn't have it set up right. I think we really could have done more tonight. It's always disappointing when you know that you could have done better."
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will return to Chicago Motor Speedway for the second running of the Sears Craftsman 175 at 4 p.m. Saturday, August 18th. The race will be telecast live on ESPN. MRN Radio will also broadcast the 17th of 24 NCTS events this season.