Memphis; Jimmy Hensley ready for another top finish

MEMPHIS, TN (May 9, 2000) - In two trips to Memphis Motorsports Park, Jimmy Hensley has experienced both the highs and lows of competing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. "It's either been feast or famine for me at Memphis," said ...

MEMPHIS, TN (May 9, 2000) - In two trips to Memphis Motorsports Park, Jimmy Hensley has experienced both the highs and lows of competing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. "It's either been feast or famine for me at Memphis," said Hensley, driver of the #16 Team Rensi Chevrolet. "We've only run two races there, one a real good one and another not so good. My Team Rensi Chevy has been running and finishing great the last couple of races, so I'm hoping we can get back on the good side at Memphis this weekend." Driving the #43 Richard Petty Dodge, Hensley posted a third-place finish in the inaugural Memphis 200 NCTS event in 1998. Last year, Hensley's luck was anything but good qualifying 16th and finishing 30th after the engine in his Petty Dodge expired on Lap 168 of the 200-circuit event. "We had a great race at Memphis in 98," said Hensley. "It was the first time the trucks raced there and everyone was pretty excited about it. The fans packed the place and we gave them a good show. Last year, we had a lot of early season mechanical problems and one of those was at Memphis. It was pretty depressing because it really killed us in the points race for the whole season. Memphis is also my kind of track, the kind of place where I should be able to pick up points on the competition. It's a fast, three-quarter mile oval that puts a lot of the truck's performance on the driver's shoulders. I've always liked racing at that kind of place." Hensley is hoping for a return to his 1998 form when he takes the green flag in the Quaker State 200 at MMP this weekend. Part of that optimism is based on a NCTS season-best second-place finish last weekend in the Ram Tough 200 at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis. "The way I look at it, I won the race," said Hensley, who grabbed the runner-up spot behind winner Jack Sprague. "Nobody was going to have anything for Jack unless he had a problem. I figured the race was going to be for second between Randy (Tolsma) and myself. "For a while, I didn't think I'd be able to catch him, but then I started to really pick up time and close in on him," Hensley continued. "It looked to me like traffic hurt him a lot more that it did me. When he could run by himself he was good, but traffic slowed his truck down more that it did mine and we were able to catch him." The top St. Louis finish came on the heels of another Top-10 effort, this one a sixth at Portland International Raceway. After a rocky start to the season, Hensley's first-year Team Rensi unit is quickly rounding into form. With a veteran like Hensley behind the wheel, that could mean trouble for the rest of his NCTS competitors. I can't say enough about the Team Rensi guys," said Hensley, who owns 112 career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts. "These guys work hard every week and give me great equipment to drive. One of these days, maybe I can pay them back and take it to Victory Lane for them." The Quaker State 200 at Memphis Motorsports Park will take the green flag Saturday at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. The event will be telecast live on ESPN and will be broadcast worldwide by MRN radio.

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Jack Sprague , Richard Petty , Jimmy Hensley