Ricky Hendrick Phoenix preview

PHOENIX, AZ (Oct. 19, 2001) - With just two races remaining in the 2001 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season, Ricky Hendrick and Team GMAC have still have big goals to accomplish entering the Chevy Silverado 150 at Phoenix International ...

PHOENIX, AZ (Oct. 19, 2001) - With just two races remaining in the 2001 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season, Ricky Hendrick and Team GMAC have still have big goals to accomplish entering the Chevy Silverado 150 at Phoenix International Raceway. "I've never raced at Phoenix," said the driver of the No. 17 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet. "I've heard it's like a bigger Concord (NC) Motorsports Park and I have a lot of laps around that there. We will have two hours of practice to go in there and figure the place out. We've been doing that a lot this year, but with only two races left in the season, each race becomes more important then the last." Team GMAC Crew chief Lance McGrew has the benefit of a NASCAR Busch Series win at Phoenix with Jeff Gordon behind the wheel and hopes to use that knowledge as a springboard towards Hendrick's second NCTS win of the season. Combined with the experience of teammate and two-time champion Jack Sprague, Hendrick will head to the one-mile Phoenix oval with a solid notebook and plenty of experience in his corner. "Handling is going to be the key at Phoenix," said McGrew. "We've got to set it up to run on the bottom. This is Ricky's kind of track and I'm sure he will find the quick way around Phoenix with out a problem. It's a lot like Concord where Ricky cut his teeth racing, so I think we'll be fine." "It will be exciting to race with both Cup and Busch," said Hendrick of the PIR NASCAR tripleheader weekend. "It will draw a great crowd and it's always fun to race in front of a lot of people, but we have a lot of work to do. There's a lot on the line in these last two races. We could really use another win." Team GMAC posted a strong sixth-place finish in the last stop on the NCTS tour at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The Top-10 run earned Hendrick $10,500 in prize money and kept the 21-year-old driver securely in sixth position, just 63 markers out of the Top-5 in the season championship chase. Hendrick is also second in the NCTS Raybestos Rookie of the Year race. "We aren't quite where we want to be," said Hendrick. "We have some ground to make up before the end of the season. Hopefully, Phoenix will be the place to do it. The competition has been really tough this year, and we are here to learn. We would still like to win the Rookie battle. We need to be the top finishing rookie in both of these final races. Like I said, we have a lot of work to do." Hendrick and Team GMAC, will take the green flag in the Chevy Silverado 150 at Phoenix International Raceway Friday, October 26, at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The event will be telecast live by ESPN and broadcast live on MRN Radio.

-HM-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Ricky Hendrick , Jack Sprague