Hendrick, GMAC Chevy Back On Track With Fifth-Place Finish At Pikes Peak FOUNTAIN, CO (May 20, 2001) The Jelly Belly 200 came down to two-lap shootout and Ricky Hendrick was right in the middle of it. When the dust cleared, Hendrick and his...
Hendrick, GMAC Chevy Back On Track With Fifth-Place Finish At Pikes Peak
FOUNTAIN, CO (May 20, 2001) The Jelly Belly 200 came down to two-lap shootout and Ricky Hendrick was right in the middle of it. When the dust cleared, Hendrick and his GMAC Financial Services Chevy had earned a hard-fought fifth-place finish.
"I've never raced so hard in my life, " said Hendrick. "We were third on that restart and got shuffled back on those last two laps. What hurts is that we were running third and were four tenths faster than everyone before that yellow flag flew. There are no friends on the last lap and we all know that."
Hendrick started ninth and stayed in the Top-10 the entire race posting some of the fastest times of the event. On his final pit stop, Hendrick's Team GMAC crew ripped through the four-tire, full fuel stop setting the stage for a run to the finish. Hendrick proved he was up to the task gaining two positions in four short circuits.
"It was a little tight at the very beginning," said the 21-year old rookie. "At the end on that last pit stop the guys got the GMAC Chevy just perfect. The four tires really helped out a lot. Once the tires came in, that's when we really showed how fast we were and we really had something for them there at the end."
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 162nd circuit of the 200-Lap race when the much-needed caution never came.
"We were much better today than our fifth-place finish showed," said Hendrick. "It's hard to ever be really happy unless we win. We were much better today than we were during happy hour yesterday. The guys worked really hard and made a lot of changes."
Hendrick finished as the top rookie in the race and is second for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors behind Travis Kvapil by a mere five points. Hendrick also moved up one spot in the championship points race to eighth position, 209 markers out of first place.
While the Craftsman Trucks take a weekend off, Team GMAC will race in the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 NASCAR Busch Series race Saturday May 26. They will return to the Craftsman Truck Series action in Dover, DE for the MBNA E-Commerce 200 at 4 p.m. Friday, June 1. The eighth race of the 24-event NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series tour will be broadcast live by MRN radio and telecast on a same-day, tape-delayed basis by ESPN.