ROCKINGHAM, NC (February 16, 2001) - Ricky Hendrick and his GMAC Chevrolet Monte Carlo are no strangers to North Carolina Speedway - the track known NASCAR fans everywhere as "The Rock". "I really like racing at Rockingham," said Hendrick, who...
ROCKINGHAM, NC (February 16, 2001) - Ricky Hendrick and his GMAC Chevrolet Monte Carlo are no strangers to North Carolina Speedway - the track known NASCAR fans everywhere as "The Rock".
"I really like racing at Rockingham," said Hendrick, who will make his third trip to tricky 1.017-mile North Carolina track Saturday for the 1-866-RBCTEAM.com 200 NASCAR Busch Series race. "Unfortunately, I've never finished a race there, but it is a great track. We are always running really well and we have always gotten wrecked with 20 laps to go. I really hope this year will be different."
After spending the 2001 season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, the 2002 campaign will be a first full season in the Busch Series for Hendrick. The 21-year old Charlotte native might be one of the youngest drivers in the division, but he has an appreciation of the place Rockingham occupies in the history of the series.
"Rockingham had been part of the Busch series since it's inception, "said Hendrick. "One of the best parts about NASCAR is that it is steeped in history and tradition. This track is old. A lot has happened there. To win at Rockingham in any NASCAR division is a real achievement for any driver and team. "Just finishing the race would be a huge improvement for us," continued Hendrick, who has 37th and 39th-place finishes to his credit in two previous Rockingham Busch Series starts. "Obviously, we are looking for more, a lot more. The last two times we raced at Rockingham, we were a part-time team. Now were totally committed to the Busch Series. I think our expectations are very realistic this year. We're new to the Busch Series and we are going to take it one race at a time."
Hendrick and Team GMAC tested at North Carolina Motor Speedway earlier this month and, despite the rain delays, got some very favorable results.
"With three days of rain we didn't get to do a whole lot during testing," said Hendrick. "We did find out enough to know we were good and gave the guys some things to work on back at the shop. Rockingham is hard on tires and we know we are really going to have to watch our tire management this weekend. It's part of the challenge and the fun of racing at Rockingham."
Hendrick and his No. 5 GMAC Financial Services team will take the green flag in the 1-866-RBCTEAM.com 200 Saturday, February 23 at 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The event will be telecast live on FOX and broadcast worldwide on more than 300 MRN Radio affiliated stations.