HOMESTEAD, FL. (March 4, 2001) - Ricky Hendrick ran in the Top-5 most of the day and grabbed fifth position on the last lap as the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series returned to Homestead-Miami Speedway. Hendrick and his No. 17 GMAC Financial ...
HOMESTEAD, FL. (March 4, 2001) - Ricky Hendrick ran in the Top-5 most of the day and grabbed fifth position on the last lap as the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series returned to Homestead-Miami Speedway. Hendrick and his No. 17 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet Silverado started from the outside pole and hoped for their first win.
"We wanted more, " Hendrick said of the finish. "Team GMAC worked so hard this week. We ran second for most of the day and stayed in the Top-10 until our green flag pit stop. We came back, but we just couldn't get back up front. Still, fifth is a great finish, we just wanted more."
Throughout the race, crew chief Lance McGrew and the team made multiple adjustments to keep Hendrick running up front. A long green flag stretch late in the race forced Hendrick to pit under green on the 152nd circuit of the 167-Lap race when the much-needed caution never came. Hendrick was only six gallons shy from making the checkered flag.
"The truck was tight all day," said the 20-year old rookie. " We really didn't have the right setup. The cautions came early, but we needed them at the end. The guys worked hard on each pit stop with the adjustments, everyone was thinking, but it just wasn't our day to win. That's racing." Smart driving and patience paid off for Hendrick after the final fuel stop. Running 10th with seven laps to go, Hendrick first grabbed sixth and then stole fifth from Randy Tolsma on the final lap.
"I was giving it everything I had there at the end," Hendrick said. "We had to watch the tire management when we didn't get the caution and we knew we couldn't make it on fuel. After the last pit stop there was no reason to hold back. The guys told me to concentrate on my marks and I did. We gained four spots in six laps."
Hendrick, the top rookie in a class of 14 this year, is second in championship points chase after the first two races of the season. Hendrick is just five markers out of the top spot behind Scott Riggs. Team GMAC will next head to Bakersfield, CA for the Orchard Supply Hardware 250 March 17. The third race of the 24-event NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series tour will be telecast on ESPN2.