GRAPEVINE, TX (September 11, 2001) - Earlier this year, Ricky Hendrick scored an impressive fifth-place finish in the O'Reilly 400 K NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. The effort has the driver of the No. 17 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet...
GRAPEVINE, TX (September 11, 2001) - Earlier this year, Ricky Hendrick scored an impressive fifth-place finish in the O'Reilly 400 K NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. The effort has the driver of the No. 17 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet Silverado looking forward to a return to the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway oval.
"We have never finished out of the Top-10 at Texas Motor Speedway," said Hendrick as he prepared for Saturday's Chevy Silverado 350 at TMS. "The facility is great and I love to race there, the fans love racing too and you can feel the excitement in the truck. It is my favorite kind of track to race on and that means it's fast."
The Charlotte, NC native is a rookie in the Truck Series, but his record does not convey freshman results. The Silverado 350 marks Hendrick's third run on the ultra-fast 1.5-mile Texas oval. Hendrick motored to an eighth-place finish in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 400 last year before notching the Top-5 effort earlier this season. Hendrick is confident that the recent changes to the track have only improved the state-of -the art facility.
"They have resurfaced the track since we were here in June," said the 21-year old driver. "My teammate Jack (Sprague) tested there and says the facility is better than ever. This was already one of my favorite tracks because of the speeds we run, but it sounds like it 's smoother and faster than ever."
The one -team, two-truck Hendrick Motorsports effort shares in-shop duties as well as the benefits of on-track testing. Crew chief Lance McGrew is eager to use the information gathered at last week's test.
"We like what we learned," stated McGrew. "The information we gained is positive and suits both drivers. This is the first full season Ricky and I have run together. We welcome the return to a track where we have run two races and finished extremely well. We'll bring the same truck we raced in June, but Ricky and I have a lot more experience as driver and crew chief and we have the confidence of being prepared. It's the kind of track that Ricky really like to race and expectations are high for Team GMAC."
Texas Motor Speedway is the second fastest speedway on the NCTS circuit. It is also the only track the Craftsman Truck Series visits twice in one season. Qualifying runs will exceed 180 miles per hour, something Hendrick is looking forward to.
"We've worked on some things that were causing us some trouble earlier in the season," said Hendrick, who scored his first career NCTS victory earlier this season at Kansas City. "We are bringing good equipment and we've won a race so we know what it takes. We are going to Texas looking to score our second win of the season."
The green flag will fall on the Silverado 350 at 4 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time Saturday, September 15. The race will be telecast live on ESPN2 and broadcast worldwide on MRN radio.