Jimmy Hensley Portland Preview

PORTLAND, OR (April 14, 2000) - Jimmy Hensley feels like he has some unfinished business at Portland International Raceway. "We went to Portland for the first time last year and we were running in the Top-10 near the end of the race,"...

PORTLAND, OR (April 14, 2000) - Jimmy Hensley feels like he has some unfinished business at Portland International Raceway. "We went to Portland for the first time last year and we were running in the Top-10 near the end of the race," said Hensley, driver of the #16 Team Rensi Chevrolet on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series circuit. "Then we had some motor problems and that pretty much killed our day. That's too bad. I really haven't run that bad on road courses the last couple of years, but I don't have a whole lot of great finishes to show for it." The eventual 23rd-place effort last year is one of those finishes Hensley alluded to. At Watkins Glen, NY a year ago, Hensley started 14th and finished 23rd again saddled with mechanical woes. In his only other road course event in 1999, Hensley soldiered to a 14th-place effort at Topeka, KS seeing a top run fade in the late going. For the 54-year-old short track veteran, road racing presents a number of new challenges. "I have to think more when I drive a road course than an oval track," stated Hensley. "If you mess up one corner, it might take you two or three more corners to get your rhythm back. You're doing a lot more work on a road course because you're changing gears and braking more. It's different." Also different for Hensley is the nine-turn, 1.93-mile Portland road course. Compared to other road circuits still or previously on the NCTS tour, the Portland track has a character all its own. "Sears Point and Watkins Glen have some pretty fast corners and a lot of elevation changes," said Hensley. "Portland is pretty level all the way around the racetrack, not much in the way of hills. You have a couple of corners that are pretty fast at Portland, but then you have some real sharp slow corners that are basically a first gear deal. You turn some pretty good numbers coming down the straight away and then you have to get whoa'd up in a hurry. Portland is a real challenge to drive." Despite the tougher task at hand and his recent string of bad luck on road courses, Hensley is pumped to take the green flag in the Oregon 225 at Portland International Raceway at 3 p.m. Eastern Time Saturday, April 22. "I'm really looking forward to going back to Portland this year," said Hensley. "Road racing has always been a challenge to me. It really doesn't matter what kind of track you're on, it's all about being the best you can be on that day, road course half-mile or two-mile oval track. We do the very best we can at Portland and hopefully it'll be what we want."

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Jimmy Hensley