Phoenix Jimmy Hensley Preview

PHOENIX, AZ. (March 13, 2000) - When it comes to experience, Jimmy Hensley is one of the most accomplished drivers on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series tour. The longtime NASCAR Winston Cup veteran also boasts 107 NCTS starts making him ...

PHOENIX, AZ. (March 13, 2000) - When it comes to experience, Jimmy Hensley is one of the most accomplished drivers on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series tour. The longtime NASCAR Winston Cup veteran also boasts 107 NCTS starts making him somewhat of an expert when it comes to finding the fast way around the Phoenix International Raceway one-mile oval, the next stop on the Craftsman Truck Series schedule. "You have to keep the truck down in the low groove to be fast at Phoenix," said Hensley. "The last couple of years, I've had trouble doing that. My truck just wants to get tight and push up off the corner, especially in Turn 2. It also washes out some in Turn 4. The track also slickens up and that makes it tough too. You don't want to start out tight because it will only get worse. I don't particularly like a loose set up, but at Phoenix you have to start out that way and hope you get to neutral when your truck starts to push a little bit. The key is to keep your truck turning." Last year, Hensley started 13th and finished seventh in the Chevy Trucks 150. That finish came behind the wheel of the Richard Petty-owned #43 Dodge. This time around, Hensley will steer the #16 Chevrolet Silverado fielded by Team Rensi. "We had some bad luck at Daytona getting caught up in that big wreck," said Hensley, who finished 29th in the season opener. "At Homestead, we started seventh and managed to finish 12th. We struggled a little bit, but you have to expect that early on. I think things are going to start coming together at Phoenix." So just what does it take to be fast at Phoenix? "It's a tough race track, hard to get a read on and hard to get dialed into," said Hensley. "If you get through Turns 1-2, you're probably going to be messed up on the other end. If Turns 3-4 are going well for you, you're struggling in Turns 1-2. You basically wind up compromising at both ends trying to get as neutral as you can." Hensley, who has also raced Winston Cup cars at Phoenix, indicated the Trucks will provide more than their share of excitement when this year's running of the Chevy Trucks 10 takes the green flag on Saturday. "There's not that much difference between running a Winston Cup car and a Craftsman Truck at Phoenix," said Hensley. "Of course, a Cup car is a little faster because of better aerodynamics. Still, the trucks get around there pretty well running 180 miles per hour on the back stretch. The trucks have pretty good horsepower, but the big difference between the two is going to be the aero package. The Cup and Busch Series cars are a lot sleeker. In the trucks, you're pushing a box through the air." Whatever the mount, Hensley is a big fan of the Phoenix track. "I always look forward to racing at Phoenix," said Hensley. "I seem to qualify well and we usually race pretty good. Our finishes don't reflect how good we've been there. We've just had bad luck with something breaking or getting tangled up with somebody. It's been the little things that have knocked us out. Maybe we can avoid that this time around."

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Richard Petty , Jimmy Hensley