SOUTH BOSTON, VA. (September 21, 2001) - Ricky Hendrick isn't the least bit interested in having history repeat itself when he takes the green flag in the NetZero 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at South Boston Speedway Friday, September...
SOUTH BOSTON, VA. (September 21, 2001) - Ricky Hendrick isn't the least bit interested in having history repeat itself when he takes the green flag in the NetZero 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at South Boston Speedway Friday, September 28.
"That's really what you expect at South Boston," said the 21-year old Charlotte, NC native in describing his Lap 61 crash and 42nd-place finish in last year's NASCAR Busch Series race at South Boston. "Wrecks are normal. The winner at South Boston is the first one to survive. There will be a lot of wrecks and they will be big. This race will be like no other. The leaders will lap the back of the field within the first four laps."
Hendrick is likely to be one of those doing the lapping. The driver of the No. 17 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet Silverado has turned in a stellar NCTS rookie season scoring 15 Top-10 finishes in 19 events. Included in that total is a win at Kansas City. Those finishes, along with Hendrick's racing experience on short tracks comparable to the .400-mile Virginia oval has Hendrick looking forward to the race at South Boston.
"This is a race just for the fans," said Hendrick, "South Boston is the smallest track we race on all season and there is going to be a lot of beating and banging. The fans will love it and the drivers will just hold on tight and try to keep the trucks in one piece. There will be a lot of wrecks and they will all have more than one truck involved. It's going to be a mess."
Lance McGrew, Hendrick's crew chief, knows the tough South Boston oval will be hard on equipment, so he's bringing a truck he won't have to worry about scratching or denting up a little or a lot.
"We expect our truck to be beat up pretty badly," said McGrew. "I don't think you are being realistic if you aren't planning on that. We chose a truck that we don't need for the rest of the year, but one that got some good experience last year. I don't think our performance will suffer and we can spare it if we have too. We've worked hard to prepare for this race and Ricky is ready. I like our chances."
In an effort to be totally prepared for the NetZero 250, Hendrick and his red, white and blue GMAC Chevy spent two days testing at Orange County Raceway, a .375-mile track in Rougemont, NC that is similar to the South Boston layout.
"South Boston is a lot like Orange County," said Hendrick. "Two days of testing there definitely helped us. Qualifying will be very important because we will want good track position. Once the race starts, we'll hold on tight and prepare to get beat up. This is the roughest race on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule this season. It will be great to watch." The green flag will fall on the NetZero 250 at 7 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time Friday, September 28. The race will be telecast live on ESPN2 and broadcast on MRN Radio worldwide.