Atlanta II: GM Racing preview

*Silverado has won two of the four NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) races at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS) *Joe Nemechek will return to NCTS action behind the wheel of the No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado fielded by Morgan-Dollar ...

*Silverado has won two of the four NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) races at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS)

*Joe Nemechek will return to NCTS action behind the wheel of the No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado fielded by Morgan-Dollar Motorsports

*Jeremy Mayfield will be back behind the wheel of the No. 15 Quest Global Silverado fielded by Billy Ballew Motorsports

Hampton GA - From the slowest track on the NCTS schedule, Martinsville Speedway, to the fastest is the challenge ahead of Team Chevy Silverado this weekend. The EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200 at AMS will see a qualifying speed in excess of 181 m.p.h. and a race pace set with drivers holding the throttle to the floorboards every lap around the 1.54-mile banked tri-oval just south of Atlanta (GA).

This is the fifth time the pickup truck racers have appeared at the multi-grooved track where Chevy has won two of the four events held to date.

Two-time NCTS champion Ron Hornaday, Jr., No. 33 AES HR Solutions Silverado, picked up his first win for new team owners Kevin and DeLana Harvick in the spring 2005 race in one of the closest finishes in NCTS history, a mere .008 second.

Kyle Busch is the defending winner of this weekend's event in one of the wildest NCTS finishes fans have ever been privileged to witness. As the leaders were beating and banging only to ultimately wreck exiting turn four, Busch, although not missing the melee all together, snuck across the finish line first to claim the victory.

"There is no doubt that Atlanta is one of the most challenging for our Silverado teams," said Dayne Pierantoni, GM Racing program manager, NCTS. "Handling is critical because of the variety of grooves the track has for drivers to chose to race. Then there is the issue of the speed. Under green flag conditions, they run wide open so it is critical for the crew chiefs to be able to setup their Silverados as neutral as possible to give their driver every available opportunity to use the race track. It is an exciting race for the fans as well. We have seen some incredible finishes at Atlanta and we are looking to see our Silverado drivers in the thick of a great last lap battle again this weekend.

DRIVER: DENNIS SETZER
TEAM: No. 85 FlexFuel E85 Silverado - Morgan Dollar Motorsports
"I am really looking forward to heading back to Atlanta this weekend. We had a consistent run there in the spring, and we ended up finishing eleventh. Atlanta is a track that just carries so much speed all over the track, it is just unbelievable. The fans in the Atlanta area are great too, so that makes it great for the drivers. Atlanta is such a drivers' track, and I look for a very exciting race and hopefully we can pull off our first victory of the 2006 season."

DRIVER: JOE NEMECHEK
TEAM: No. 46 Team Chevy Silverado - Morgan Dollar Motorsports
"I can't wait to get back in the No. 46 truck. I had plenty of fun in the Morgan-Dollar truck a few weeks ago in Talladega. That was my first truck ride in a long time and had a very good run going until a late-race incident. Atlanta is another fast track and if we can stay clean I am looking to be in contention again."

DRIVER: RON HORNADAY
TEAM: No. 33 AES HR Solutions Silverado
"Atlanta has been a strong track for Chevrolet's in the past, and hopefully we can get another win for Chevrolet and AES HR Solutions and Kevin and DeLana (Harvick). We were mediocre here in the spring, finishing 20th, so hopefully we can have a good qualifying effort, good pit stops, and a strong showing during the race."

DRIVER: ARIC ALMIROLA
TEAM: No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado - Spears Motorsports
"Heading back to Atlanta will hopefully bring a strong run for our Spears Manufacturing Silverado. I have some more experience on the mile and a half tracks, from California to Texas to Charlotte, and I am more confident being able to return to a track that isn't another new one on the schedule. I am really hoping to gain some momentum for the remaining few races that are left in the 2006 schedule."

DRIVER: MATT CRAFTON
TEAM: No. 88 Menards/Energizer Silverado - ThorSport Racing
"Atlanta is definitely a race track that suits my driving style. I love the tracks where we can run wide-open, and where there are multiple grooves. The track is so fun to drive, and the fans are great also. Our Menards/Energizer Chevrolet team is looking to turn around our luck after a tough week in Martinsville. I am hoping to get some top-ten finishes and hopefully a win before the season is over."

DRIVER: MIKE BLISS
TEAM: No. 16 Xpress Motorsports Silverado
"Atlanta is a track I look forward to returning to. We had a great run in the spring race with a top-ten finish, so I am encouraged that we will have another strong run. Hopefully we won't have a repeat of one year ago, when we wrecked on the second lap. The guys have been working hard and we have had some strong runs, we just need to seal it up with a win."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Jeremy Mayfield , Joe Nemechek , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Kyle Busch