Fontana, CA (October 30, 2000): Jimmy Hensley, driver of the ...
Fontana, CA (October 30, 2000): Jimmy Hensley, driver of the #16 eLink Team Rensi Chevrolet, finished the 2000 NASCAR Craftsman Truck season 12th in points after a 10th place finish in the season finale at California Speedway. This year was Team Rensi's first run at the Series and finishing 12th out of 110 is quite an accomplishment for all involved. Jimmy wraps up the 2000 NCTS season with 1 top-five and 7 top-ten's at Team Rensi Motorsports. Career earnings for Jimmy consists of 2 wins, 4 poles, 26 top-5's and 63 top-10's with 128 career starts.
Thirty-nine trucks lined up to qualify for the Motorola 200 after a slight rain delay on Friday. Jimmy qualified the #16 eLink Chevy 24th for the 100-lap event. Meanwhile, Kurt Busch captured his fourth pole of his rookie season with a track record time of 40.589 and speed of 177.388. Later, Busch seized his 4th victory of the 2000 season at California Speedway while his teammate Greg Biffle won the 2000 NCTS Championship Standings.
The green flag dropped and Jimmy started to move the #16 eLink Chevy through the field picking up 6 positions by lap 10. Approaching halfway Jimmy conversed with Crew Chief Troy Selberg that he was tight from the center off while numerous drivers were starting to come down pit road for their scheduled pit stops. Jimmy was running in the top-five now and Selberg had not instructed him to pit. Selberg was waiting patiently for something to happen and fortunately it did on lap 43. The yellow flag waived for fluid on the 2-mile D-shaped track from the #41Dodge. The caution was beneficial to Team Rensi because it put those who previously pitted under the green flag one lap down. Only 10 drivers remained on the lead lap. After the second round of pit stops near lap 80, Hensley came into the pits in 9th for left side tires, a track bar adjustment and fuel. Team Rensi put him back on track in 9th position and thereafter he drove under the checkered flag 10th.
"We are happy to have a top-10 finish," stated Jimmy. "The #16 eLink Chevy seemed to be better in practice yesterday afternoon than it did today. We are fortunate the caution came out when it did or we may have been in a little bit of trouble because those guys behind me were moving in fast."
The time of race was 1 hour 23 minutes and 11 seconds. The margin of victory for Kurt Busch (#99 Exide Ford) over Andy Houston (#60 CAT Rental Stores Chevrolet) was 1.277 seconds. There were three cautions for 11 laps and 6 lead changes among 6 drivers (Kurt Busch lap 1, Andy Houston 2-35, Greg Biffle 36-42, Marty Houston 43-44, Joe Ruttman 45-51, Bryan Reffner 52-81, Busch 82-100).
Daytona International Speedway will kick off the year 2001 for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series on February 16. The #16 eLink Chevrolet will be back in action with driver Randy Tolsma, who finished 8th overall in the 2000 NCTS Points Standings with 1 win, 6 top-5's, 15 top-10's driving the #25 truck. Tune into ESPN or MRN for live coverage of this spectacular event. For more information on upcoming NCTS events, review the new schedule below or visit www.nascar.com. Portland International Raceway, Evergreen Speedway, Watkins Glen International and Michigan International Speedway have been removed from the schedule while Darlington Raceway, Kansas Speedway, South Boston Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway have been added.