By David Reininger - Motorsport.com Kansas City. Kan. (July 7, 2001) - Ricky Hendrick won the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 at the Kansas Speedway, earning his first career victory in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Hendrick, who became the first...
By David Reininger - Motorsport.com
Kansas City. Kan. (July 7, 2001) - Ricky Hendrick won the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 at the Kansas Speedway, earning his first career victory in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Hendrick, who became the first rookie to win a race since Kurt Busch took the victory in the season ending event at Fontana last year, also became the youngest winner in the history NASCAR truck series.
Hendrick crossed the finish line 2.841 seconds ahead of second place Ted Musgrave after enjoying a lead of over 5 seconds with 20 laps to go.
After starting second, Hendrick slipped back to fifth by the end of the first lap. He stayed in the top-five all day, watching as polesitter Dennis Setzer pulled away from the field with Jack Sprague in tow.
The single on track pass for the lead occurred as Setzer and Sprague completed lap 21, with Sprague edging ahead as the pair crossed the line. Sprague led for the next 33 laps until he ran out of gas. Luckily, Sprague was able to make it back to his pits for servicing.
Ted Musgrave inherited the led from Sprague, a position he held for one lap. As regularly scheduled pit stops took place under green, Setzer, Travis Kvapil, Brendan Gaughan and Jon Wood all took turns at the point.
Once the first round of pit stops were completed, Sprague continued to dominate the race, pulling out to a five second lead over his nearest competitor. With 38 laps to go, Sprague made his last pit stop, relinquishing the lead to his teammate and eventual winner Hendrick. Three laps after returning to the track, race officials reported smoke coming from Sprague's Net Zero Chevrolet.
A blown engine ended Sprague's day on lap 136. He was classified as finishing 23rd.
The second round of regularly scheduled pit stops, also made under green conditions, saw Hendrick assume the lead with 23 laps remaining. He was never pressured during his final run to the checkered flag.
Dennis Setzer finished third, followed by Jon Wood and Billy Bigley in fifth. Travis Kvapil, the last driver on the lead lap, finished sixth. Scott Riggs was seventh with Rick Crawford, Coy Gibbs and Nathan Haseleu rounding out the top-ten.