FORT WORTH, TX (June 1, 2001) - Last year, Ricky Hendrick scored an impressive eighth-place finish in the 2000 Pronto Auto Parts 400 K NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. The effort has the driver of the No. 17 GMAC Financial Services...
FORT WORTH, TX (June 1, 2001) - Last year, Ricky Hendrick scored an impressive eighth-place finish in the 2000 Pronto Auto Parts 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.
"I love the track in Texas," Hendrick stated. "The facility is great, the fans are great and it is a smooth, fast track. It's a lot like my hometown track at Charlotte (NC). It's nice to have a familiar feeling when you are out there at the kind of speeds you're traveling at Texas.
"We expect to do even better than last year's finish," Hendrick continued. "We have a lot more experience as a team and I have a lot more experience as a driver. Given how well we ran at Texas last year, it's not out of the question to think we could win there in this year."
Hendrick has been on a roll since the drop of the green flag in the opening event at Daytona International Speedway where he notched a season-best second-place finish. Currently, Hendrick has scored seven Top-10 runs in the first eight races of the 2001 NCTS campaign and is sixth in the season championship chase. At the last event on the tour at Dover Downs International Speedway, Hendrick qualified third and finished third. Hendrick leads the race for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award.
As part of a new Hendrick Motorsports two-truck effort this season, Hendrick and teammate Jack Sprague hit the racetrack each weekend knowing they have some of the best equipment in the series. One of the leading candidate for the division's Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award, Hendrick knows he has to rise to the challenge each time his team backs the red, white and blue No. 17 GMAC flyer off the transporter.
"I've got great equipment, but it's still a learning process for myself as well as the team," Hendrick stated. "We've got a new team and we are all growing together. We have been working really hard and doing a lot of testing. It's a very competitive team and a very competitive situation. I've got great support from Lance and the team as well as from Jack, his crew chief, Dennis Connor, and the rest of their No. 24 NetZero Platinum/GMAC Chevy bunch. It's great to have those kinds of resources. It's a terrific situation for a young driver like me to be in."
While Hendrick's sights are set on winning the Raybestos Rookie title, he leaves no doubt he has bigger goals in mind this season.
"We want to win," Hendrick stated. "This Hendrick Motorsports Truck Series team is used to winning races and championships with Jack. We want to do that too. I believe it's realistic to think we can do that as well as finish in the Top-5 in the championship points at the end of the season. That's especially true considering all the solid qualifying and Top-10 runs we've had so far this season. I know my GMAC team is new to the series, but we have the kind of drive, experience and resources needed to win."