Bristol: GM Racing preview

Chevrolet Silverado drivers have won five of eight previous NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) Two-time NCTS champion Ron Hornaday has two wins at the fast half-mile high-banked track Bristol, TN - Team Chevy...

Chevrolet Silverado drivers have won five of eight previous NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS)

Two-time NCTS champion Ron Hornaday has two wins at the fast half-mile high-banked track

Bristol, TN - Team Chevy Silverado has set its sites on the high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS). Silverado drivers have won five of the eight NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) events held at the legendary one-half mile concrete oval.

It is a track where rookie drivers have scored their career-first NASCAR victory at the same time; veterans have added a win at BMS to already impressive resumes.

"Bristol is certainly one of our most exciting venues," said Dayne Pierantoni, GM Racing Silverado program manager. "It is the ultimate in short track racing under the lights. Our Chevrolet Silverados have been strong at the short tracks this year and we are really looking forward to the race at Bristol. Things happen so fast at this track that you never really know what to expect. Given the experience of our veterans Ron Hornaday, Dennis Setzer, and Mike Bliss I am sure we will be in the hunt. I also wouldn't rule out a breakthrough from one of our rookies. Aric Almirola has been good at the short tracks, Chad McCumbee has really stepped it up lately, and Kraig Kinser has been turning things around as well."

The high-speed, fast-action track is right up Chevy Silverado driver Ron Hornaday's, No. 33 Kevin Harvick, Inc. Silverado, alley or corner or race track. Which ever term you use, the historic oval fits the two-time NCTS champion to a Tee.

In six previous starts at BMS, Hornaday has two wins, two top-fives, four top-10 finishes and two poles. He finished 99.8% of the laps in those half-dozen races and led 388 laps of the 1,156 laps he competed.

This Wednesday night's Bristol race has even more significance for Hornaday and his Kevin Harvick, Inc. Silverado team - they are introduction their new sponsor. Allstates Employer Services (AES) has become the primary sponsor for the No. 33 Chevrolet for the remainder of 2006 and the full 2007 season.

"The thing about Bristol is being able to staying out of all the wrecks and being able to stay up front," Hornaday said. "Qualifying up front at this place is very important because if you are up front, then you have a better chance of missing most of the wrecks that happen toward the rear of the field. But, Bristol is so small that once you start getting into lap traffic, staying out of the wrecks is a little tougher. Getting up front and staying up front is going to be something that our Silverado team will be working towards this weekend, and maybe we can pull off a win, which would be huge with our new sponsor, Allstates Employer Services. Having them come on board with us has been a big boost to the morale of not only our Silverado team, but also everyone at KHI. We want to have a very good showing for them in their first race."

Dennis Setzer, No. 85 E85 FlexFuel Silverado, has finished 100% of the laps in four previous starts at Thunder Valley. He has two top-five finishes but as the "King" of NCTS short-track racing, has a trophy from BMS missing from his display case. After losing a tire early in the race last year and recovering to get a top-20 finish, Setzer and his Silverado team are looking for a better run this year.

"Bristol is a place where you have to have a truck that turns well in the center of the corners" Setzer stated. "You have to stay out of trouble, because the wrecks there usually collect a group of trucks. The race track is such an awesome place for the fans to watch a race, it is almost like racing inside a stadium, and there really isn't a bad seat in the place. The trucks have a pretty good turnout for the race, although it is on a Wednesday night, so I really want to get a good finish for our E85 Flex Fuel Silverado."

Kyle Busch will return to NCTS action behind the wheel of the No. 15 Bowen Family Homes/Manheim Auto Auctions Silverado fielded by Billy Ballew Motorsports. The 21-year old Las Vegas native has two NCTS starts in 2006 scoring his second consecutive win at Charlotte and a top-10 at Dover. He will have a busy Bristol weekend competing in the O'Reilly 200 as well as the NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races as well.

DRIVER: DENNIS SETZER
TEAM: No. 85 E85 FlexFuel Silverado - Morgan Dollar Motorsports

"Bristol is just a great race track that I look forward to heading to each year. Although we did not have the finish that we were looking for last year, I am really hoping that we can improve on our finish this year. Unfortunately, we had a tire come apart with about five laps to go and we slammed into the wall, and we somehow still managed to finish in the top-20. Bristol is a place where you have to have a truck that turns well in the center of the corners, and hopefully stay out of trouble, because the wrecks there usually collect a group of trucks. The race track is such an awesome place for the fans to watch a race, it is almost like racing inside a stadium, and there really isn't a bad seat in the place. The trucks have a pretty good turnout for the race, although it is on a Wednesday night, so I really want to get a good finish for our E85 Flex Fuel Silverado."

DRIVER: KRAIG KINSER
TEAM: No. 46 Ginn Clubs & Resorts Silverado - Morgan Dollar Motorsports

"I am pretty excited about going to Bristol. I have seen races there but haven't made a lap on the track. Our Ginn Clubs & Resorts Silverado team has been solid the last couple of races. We really want to capitalize on the momentum but from watching races at Bristol, there are so many things that are out of your control. We need to qualify well because track position is pretty critical there. Our goals are to stay out of trouble, finish all the laps, finish on the lead lap and get another solid finish under our belts."

DRIVER: RON HORNADAY
TEAM: No. 33 Allstates Employer Services (AES) Silverado - Kevin Harvick, Inc.

"Bristol is such an awesome track to race at, I love going there every year. I have been fortunate enough to have won two Truck Series races there, and hope to make it three this week. It is such an awesome track for the fans to see a race at, and that makes it exciting for the drivers also. The thing about Bristol is being able to staying out of all the wrecks and being able to stay up front. Qualifying up front at this place is very important because if you are up front, then you have a better chance of missing most of the wrecks that happen toward the rear of the field. But, Bristol is so small that once you start getting into lap traffic, staying out of the wrecks is a little tougher. Getting up front and staying up front is going to be something that our Silverado team will be working towards this weekend, and maybe we can pull off a win, which would be huge."

DRIVER:  ARIC ALMIROLA

TEAM: No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado - Spears Motorsports

"I am really looking forward to it. Never driven on it, but watched as a since I was a little kid. I think it will be a track like no other. Everybody talks about Bristol, the fans, the teams and the drivers. I think Bristol fans are the best, they are very loyal and come back year after year, which says something for the racing there. It will be an exciting like every other NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race, a lot of action. I just want to keep my Silverado in position to be there at the end and get a good, solid finish. I get to run the NASCAR Busch Series car there to so by the time I time I leave Bristol; I should have enough beatin and bangin to go learn something. If I don't, I probably didn't do my job well enough. I am just excited to get there and race."

DRIVER:  MATT CRAFTON

TEAM: No. 88 Menards/Energizer Silverado - ThorSport Racing

"I love the place, it is my favorite track on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule. The high banks and the speed make for an awesome race, lots of action for us in the trucks and all the fans. It is always an exciting race. The key is to stay out of trouble so you can put yourself in position to win. It is easy to get caught up in someone else's mess because thing happen there in a split second. Our Menard's Silverado team has been so consistent this season and has come so close to getting our first win. Bristol is one of those places that every driver wants to have a "w" on their resume. It is full of so much history and tradition. The best in our sport have won there. It would mean a lot to me and everyone on our team to get our first trip to victory lane at Bristol."

DRIVER:  MIKE BLISS

TEAM: No. 16 Xpress Motorsports Silverado

"I am hopeful for a good run in Bristol. The Xpress Motorsports team won this race in 2002, so maybe Bristol is the place we can turn things around. Bristol is such a unique track, and is really unlike any other place that we race at. The high speeds, high banking, and the wrecks make for an interesting race for the fans and the drivers. The part that we are really going to have to work on is staying up front and staying out of trouble. Bristol is a place where anything can happen, so playing it smart and keeping our nose clean will help us get up front and be in the fight at the finish. This team has worked so hard, so a win would really give us some momentum heading in to the last part of the season."

DRIVER: KYLE BUSCH
TEAM: No. 15 Bowen Family Homes/Manheim Auto Auctions Silverado - Billy Ballew Motorsports

"I'm really looking forward to getting back in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series with Billy Ballew Motorsports. We ran okay there last year and had a top-five finish but I want to go back there and get a win in the truck series. It's fun for me, it's tough racing and Bristol will bring out all that. I have a cool "Rowdy" uniform and it's just about going out there and having some fun. I'm running all three series so hopefully we can make it three for three."

DRIVER:  KERRY EARNHARDT

TEAM: No. 13 National Pork Board Silverado - ThorSport Racing

"Coming off last week's run in Nashville; I am really excited to see how our run in Bristol will pan out. It is a track that I really like racing at, and we are guaranteed to have an exciting race for the drivers and the fans. I had my career-best finish last week in Nashville, and that has been a big boost for this whole ThorSport Racing Silverado team, and I know we are going to go into Bristol fully charged up and ready to try for another career-best finish. We will just have to concentrate on staying out of trouble, which can be especially tough at a place like Bristol. The speeds there are crazy for a track of that size, and things tend to get a little out of control very easily. Staying out of trouble and up front is going to be one of our goals for this weekend."

DRIVER: CHAD MCCUMBEE
TEAM: No. 08 Green Light Racing Silverado

"I am very optimistic for the team to leave Bristol with another great finish like we had in Nashville last week. Getting our first top-10 in Nashville was a big confidence boost for the team, and we are ready to go to Bristol. I love racing at short tracks, and Bristol is not like any other track that the trucks run on. Staying out of trouble and track position is going to be key, and we need to have another good qualifying effort to get us up front early.

"I am really proud of this whole group of guys that are working on our Silverado, and every week we just seem to be getting better with communicating what the truck is doing, and can get it fixed right. We are just working on running the best that we can and building momentum to take us through 2006."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Dennis Setzer , Mike Bliss , Kraig Kinser , Aric Almirola , Chad McCumbee , Kyle Busch