Hendrick Ties Season-Best Finish
- Jun 11, 2002
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (June 11, 2002)—Ricky Hendrick tied his best NASCAR Busch Series finish of the 2002 season with a 15th-place effort in the Inside Traxx 300 at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway on Saturday.
“Overall, we had a really good night,” said the driver of the No. 5 GMAC Financial Sevices Chevrolet Monte Carlo. “We were a little hit or miss out there. Some laps we were really good and others we just couldn`t hit it.
“Track position is key here and we were doing our best to guard it. This was my first run on this track this season while all the other drivers made their second visit here. It didn’t feel like we were at a disadvantage. We go out there and race as hard as we can every race.”
Hendrick started the race from the 11th position after qualifying at a speed of 159.312 mph. The team was pleased with the effort and it marked an improvement over the last several qualifying runs.
“We qualified better than we have been, ” said Hendrick. “This team is working hard on communication and it is starting to pay off. We know we have great equipment and we are a young team in a new series learning to work together. I am learning what I need to say to get what I need on the track and it is really coming together.
“We hope we are changing this bad luck and we are getting this team back up the charts where we belong.”
The only dark spot on Hendrick’s solid run came when rear tire carrier Jeff McKinney was injured going over the wall during a pit stop. McKinney suffered soft tissue ligament damage on his right lower leg and was taken in an ambulance to the infield care center. He was later released and left the racetrack on crutches.
Hendrick earned $17,205 for the 15th-place effort and moved up two spots in the championship points battle to 29th position.
Hendrick’s teammate, Jack Sprague, won the race, marking the first Busch Series victory for Hendrick Motorsports in 2002.
“I am so happy for Jack and the two-car Hendrick Motorsports effort,” said Hendrick. “Jack was good since they unloaded and these guys work so hard and really deserve a win. They have been really close several times this year and I am glad they got there only 15 races into the season. Going to victory lane is awesome and I hope we can get Team GMAC in there too.”
Team GMAC will next roll off under the lights at Kentucky Speedway on June 15 at 8 p.m. EDT in the Kroger 300 presented by Oreo. The event will be the 16th of 34 NASCAR Busch Series races this season and will be telecast live on FX and broadcast as it happens on MRN Radio.