Hendrick, Team GMAC Chevy Looking For NCTS Victory At NHIS LOUDON NH (July 16, 2001) - Just over halfway through the 2001 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season, Ricky Hendrick is exactly where he wants and expected to be. Hendrick, driver of the...
Hendrick, Team GMAC Chevy Looking For NCTS Victory At NHIS
LOUDON NH (July 16, 2001) - Just over halfway through the 2001 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season, Ricky Hendrick is exactly where he wants and expected to be. Hendrick, driver of the No. 17 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet, has won a race, leads the Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award standings, and is fourth in the hunt for the season championship. With all that going for him, Hendrick returns to a track where he loves to compete - the scenic 1.058-mile New Hampshire International Speedway.
"I like any track where I finish well," said Hendrick. "Seriously, Loudon is a great facility and the fans are great. It's a tough track. You have to have a lot of horsepower on the straights, but being able to turn well in the corners is the key to going fast at New Hampshire. The track configuration at New Hampshire is a lot like Homestead-Miami (FL) Speedway. We raced really well at Homestead. Earlier this season, we started second and finished fifth there. I'd like to think we can do the same thing, or better, at New Hampshire."
Hendrick ran a six-race select event NCTS schedule of events a year ago and one of those was the thatlook.com 200 at NHIS. A strong, seventh-place finish in that event has Hendrick and his GMAC team confident of another strong run this time around in the New England 200.
"I can't wait to race in Loudon," said Hendrick. "I really love that track and it would be a huge to win there. The track has so much history and that is part of the reason I love NASCAR so much. The sport is rich in history and this team is making it's own history. We've won on a mile and a half track, but we've never won on a flat track or a superspeedway. We've accomplished one goal - to win a race, now I'd like to win on a flat track and New Hampshire International Speedway is the perfect place."
The 21-year old Charlotte, NC native scored his first career NCTS win at the inaugural race in Kansas Speedway, July 7. While most young drivers would be satisfied with that achievement, Hendrick clearly wants more.
"The win was a real boost for the whole team, " said Hendrick. "We are so happy to have that first win. At the same time, it's business as usual. We have more races to run and a long way to go to the end of the season. We have to stay focused on the future. There is nothing like your first win. It truly was a reward to everyone who works so hard to keep this team up front."
Hendrick did just that in the most recent event on the tour, the Kroger 225 at Kentucky Speedway. For the fourth time this season, Hendrick qualified on the front row notching the second spot with a lap of 32.516 seconds (166.072 miles per hour). He then went on to finish sixth earning $18,000 in the process.
"I've never fought so hard for a sixth place finish," said Hendrick. "We had some tough breaks, but we made the most out of it. It seemed like it was going to be a really bad day, but if a sixth-place finish is bad, we'll take it."
Hendrick, will take the green flag in the New England 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway Saturday, July 21, at 12:30 p .m. Eastern Daylight Time. The event will be telecast live by ESPN and broadcast live on MRN Radio.
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.