A tornado ripped through the Kansas Speedway today, and its name is Silverado. In the capable hands of rookie driver Ricky Hendrick, Chevy Silverado won its third race of the season after sweeping the first three positions during qualifying...
A tornado ripped through the Kansas Speedway today, and its name is Silverado. In the capable hands of rookie driver Ricky Hendrick, Chevy Silverado won its third race of the season after sweeping the first three positions during qualifying (Dennis Setzer, Hendrick, Jack Sprague). It was a Chevrolet kind of day at Kansas Speedway, as Silverados led the most laps, 141 of the 167 laps comprising the 250-mile event, and placed first, third, fifth, sixth and ninth out of the top 10.
Hendrick, sitting atop the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings for most of the year, won his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race, padding his lead in rookie standings to 15 over Travis Kvapil, who finished sixth. Hendrick is also the youngest driver to win a series' event (at 21 years, three months and five days) and is the first rookie to win a truck race since Fontana, Calif., in 2000.
Chevrolet garnered its 83rd victory in 158 races since 1995 (53 percent), more than any other manufacturer, and on Friday, Chevrolet captured its 65th pole position in the series, also the most of any manufacturer.
Dennis Setzer, winner in Memphis this year, started on his second career pole position, but by lap 21, after a restart following two early-race caution-flag periods, Jack Sprague moved into what's become a very familiar position for him this year: taking early control of the race. With Sprague's teammate Hendrick in full chase behind him, it looked like it would be a 1-2 finish for Hendrick Motorsports until Sprague began to slow following a green-flag pit stop on lap 130. Sprague thought he was running out of gas, but it turned out to be a broken lifter, which put the two-time series champion out of contention and the race on lap 136.
Hendrick moved into the lead for six laps until a flurry of green-flag pit stops re-shuffled the standings. By lap 144, Hendrick was back in the lead, holding off Dodge driver Ted Musgrave to the finish. Hendrick's margin of victory was 2.841 seconds. Dennis Setzer followed in third. Only six trucks finished on the lead lap.
RICKY HENDRICK, NO. 17 GMAC SILVERADO (first; led 32 laps; third Hendrick Motorsports driver to win a truck race -- Hendrick, Jack Sprague, Terry Labonte): "It was one of those deals. We took off and for some reason at the back of my mind I liked the outside (started second on outside pole). I had a problem going into three all day long, spun the tires off the restart. Setzer got me, I tried to get him. Next thing I know I was sideways, lost four positions or so. The tires came in and I picked them off one by one. We only ran 30 minutes in happy hour and parked it. We knew this thing was good. Lap after lap (in happy hour) I could run a 30 (-second lap) whenever I wanted. We were pleased with that. The guys did a great job, made great calls. With 30 to go I just knew in the back of my mind that they would throw a caution. I don't know who spun, Willy (T.Ribbs) I think. He gathered it up and got going. We took off and had a six-second lead and won. I think we found something this weekend that can really help us in the future, which is a lot different from what Jack (Sprague) has been running." ON WINNING IN FRONT OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS: "That's what really stresses you, when you have a lot of friends and a lot of family here in Kansas City. I think my dad has the largest Chevrolet dealership here (he does). He's got a bunch of friends here, my brother-in-law was here. This was big, this was a big win." ON THE HEAT: "The guys, they got a good system going for me in the truck. It wasn't that bad. My behind and my foot were on fire. Other than that I was good. It was warm. The last 30 laps you focus on the race. This is a dream come true. This is awesome. This is probably the coolest thing that's happened to me in my life as something me doing for myself. It's pretty neat."
RICK HENDRICK SR. (dad and team owner): "I guess wins are nice, but when you see your son do something it's really special and very emotional. I remember the first Legends race he won, the first go-kart race he won and the first Late Model race he won. They were real special. I think the first one Linda (Ricky's Mom) was there and I was sick. I couldn't be at the track, I listened to it on the radio. (There was) a lot of emotion going through Linda and me. When you remember him sitting in your lap or Schrader's lap and now he's driving the car. He's like a mascot to a football team who ended up being a quarterback. It's hard to explain to the guys at the shop who see him grow up, work there and see him drive. It's really special for all our family. It's a special win today."
JACK SPRAGUE, NO. 24 NETZERO PLATINUM SILVERADO (led most laps, 80, broke left-side lifter, finished 23rd): "This is so great for Ricky and everyone at Hendrick Motorsports. I really thought we were going to win. The NetZero Platinum Silverado was totally hooked up and we had something go wrong in the motor. I think we broke a lifter and that killed our chances. If I couldn't win, I'm so happy Ricky did. It was just a matter of time before he was going to get a win. I think we dropped a cylinder. I get paid to drive that truck, I don't get paid to build the motors. I'm very disappointed. I'm doing all I can do. It just seems like we just can't get to the end of these things."
DENNIS SETZER, NO. 46 ACXIOM/COMPUTER ASSOCIATES SILVERADO (third, led 25 laps): "It's pretty good. We were able to get more consistency in the team; that's what we're shooting for. The guys on the crew made some great calls today. They did a great job in the pits. It could have been hotter in here. These guys take a lot of pains to take care of me this year. We will take third on a day that's OK. On a good day we need to win; on a bad day we need to be fifth or sixth. One time we went off the lead lap on the green-flag stops, a couple of trucks pitted early. The guys made a lot of good calls. We got our lap back, the cautions fell our way. It wasn't a perfect day, but it was a good day for us." ON HENDRICK'S WIN: "Ricky has been impressive all year. That's nothing new to us. He's got a lot to draw on with Jeff Gordon (on his dad's Winston Cup team), Rick Hendrick, Jack Sprague. They have a lot of notes from the Craftsman Truck Series (races). Nothing surprises me. He's done a great job."
BILLY BIGLEY, NO. 75 SPEARS MANUFACTURING SILVERADO (fifth, led one lap): "We had a really good truck. I got in the fence here Thursday on practice day. It kind of spooked me a little bit. I asked Dennis Setzer if we could run around with him in practice, so we drafted. I learned a lot, discovered myself. We got down a lap (in the race) there with the 50 truck, we just fought and fought and got our lap back. We never gave up."
TRAVIS KVAPIL, NO. 60 CAT RENTAL STORES SILVERADO (sixth, got two laps down, made them up at the end, finished on the lead lap, led three laps): "We were running real good. I think we had a top two or three truck. I was passing the 50 truck on the outside in turns three and four. The 43 truck was already way up against the wall. By the time we came off four there was no room for three of us to get through the corner. Me and the 43 truck got together and knocked my fender loose. Going down the straightaway I tried to hold my line, and the 88 truck got in front of me and got the other fender. We ran 10 laps, we got inside our fuel window and we came in and took fuel and four tires, pulled the fenders back out and made it to the end. It wasn't strategy, but it worked out OK."
1. Scott Riggs, Dodge 1872 2. Joe Ruttman, Dodge 1823 3. Jack Sprague, Chevy 1777 4. Ted Musgrave, Dodge 1775 5. Ricky Hendrick, Chevy 1766 6. Travis Kvapil, Chevy 1740 7. Terry Cook, Ford 1651 8. Rick Crawford, Ford 1585 9. Dennis Setzer, Chevy 1544 10. Coy Gibbs, Chevy 1488
1. Dodge 99 2. Chevrolet 79 3. Ford 50