Hendrick Headed Home To Charlotte For Busch Series Debut CHARLOTTE, NC. (May 20, 2001) - There is no place like home, especially if you are Charlotte, NC native Ricky Hendrick and you're heading to Lowes Motor Speedway for the CARQUEST Auto...
Hendrick Headed Home To Charlotte For Busch Series Debut
CHARLOTTE, NC. (May 20, 2001) - There is no place like home, especially if you are Charlotte, NC native Ricky Hendrick and you're heading to Lowes Motor Speedway for the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300.
After six Top-10 finishes in seven NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races this year, Hendrick will make his first NASCAR Busch Series start of the season at the 1.5-mile Charlotte area raceway. The son of NASCAR team owner, Rick Hendrick, Hendrick grew up racing around the Charlotte and can't wait to steer his No. 24 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet Monte Carlo under the green flag Saturday, May 26.
"It's always so exciting to race at Charlotte, " stated Hendrick. "I'm familiar there, very comfortable. Racing at Charlotte is great, there's really nothing like it. The excitement of all the other events that surround Speed Weeks adds to the fun."
Hendrick's first racing experience at Charlotte in the All Pro Auto Parts 300 last October proved to be a rewarding one. Competing against a strong field of NASCAR Busch Series regulars and a host of Winston Cup "Buschwackers", Hendrick qualified third and finished a very respectable 13th.
"That was a terrific weekend for the GMAC Monte Carlo," stated Hendrick, currently eighth in the 2001 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point standings. "We thought we could compete with the Busch guys and it was a real thrill to know we could also do that with the Cup crowd. I learned a lot just following those guys. Anytime you can be competitive against that kind of competition, that's saying something. To do that at Charlotte is really an accomplishment."
Hendrick hopes to be right in the middle of the battle again this season. According to the 21-year-old driver, a year's worth of experience behind the wheel and a rock solid effort by his Team GMAC mates has everyone looking forward to the Charlotte event.
"We are definitely expecting to do well," said Hendrick, who posted the third-quickest time in a practice at the track May 7-8. "We are ready to go back with a little different set-up and a whole lot more experience. The team has grown a lot stronger together and I have learned so much as a driver. Experience is such a factor in any race. I'm sure some of these guys could drive this track in their sleep. I'm definitely not to that point yet."
"We've got quite a different set-up from last year," agreed crew chief Lance McGrew. " NASCAR added an inch to the break of the nose which should affect the front down force. We took the No. 24 GMAC Chevy to the wind tunnel in Canada and we were pleased with the results. We've got a great car and we are hoping for a Top-5 finish."
Last year, Hendrick competed in abbreviated campaigns in both the NASCAR Craftsman Truck and NASCAR Busch Series. While taking a full swing at the 24-event Truck Series slate this season, Hendrick has plans to compete in five Busch races in 2001.
"We're gunning for the Craftsman Truck Series title and the Raybestos Rookie of the Year Awards," said Hendrick. "That's the priority for us. The Busch Series program is a good way for me to get additional experience on tracks like Charlotte."
The CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 will take the green flag at 1 p.m. Eastern Time, Saturday, May 26. The event will be telecast live on FOX and broadcast on PRN radio.
GMAC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Motors since 1919, is the financial arm of the corporation. Through an original mission to provide wholesale and retail financing to GM dealers and customers and then to offer a variety of automotive insurance services, GMAC had provided $1 trillion to finance nearly 150 million cars and trucks worldwide. Over the last 15 years, GMAC has greatly diversified into today entity of GMAC Financial Services, with some 29,000 employees at 700 facilities in 40 countries. Its offerings today also include residential and commercial mortgages; real estate and relocation services; special programs for members of the GM Family and GM Supplier community; and commercial financing. For more information on GMAC Financial Services products, log on to www.gmacfs.com.