Ron Hornaday and Dennis Setzer Crack Top-10 at California David Starr Top Run Ends With Wall Contact; Mike Bliss Subs for Injured Jack Sprague-Winning Effort Foiled by Fuel Mileage Issue FONTANA, CA -- Ron Hornaday brought the No. 6 GM ...
Ron Hornaday and Dennis Setzer Crack Top-10 at California
David Starr Top Run Ends With Wall Contact; Mike Bliss Subs for Injured Jack Sprague-Winning Effort Foiled by Fuel Mileage Issue
FONTANA, CA -- Ron Hornaday brought the No. 6 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Silverado to a solid eighth place finish in the 100-lap American Racing Wheels 200 at California Speedway. The Fontana, CA race was the second event in the 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season.
Steve Park, Dodge, captured his first-ever NCTS victory, becoming one of an elite group of drivers to win at least one race in each of NASCAR's three top national series.
"I had a really fun time out there tonight," said Hornaday. "Our Chevrolet Silverado was the truck to beat; we just had something go wrong on a pit stop. I raced the last 20 laps with no brakes. I am happy for Steve Park but that one should have been ours. I am proud of the GM Goodwrench team and look forward to Atlanta."
Dennis Setzer captured the 10th finishing position in the No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado.
"We had a top-three truck tonight," said Setzer. "But had overcome a couple of problems there in the pits, we got a flat when the No. 75 truck hit us there near the end of the race. We had to put some old tires on the truck that had a heat cycle in them and the truck was really loose those last few laps. We couldn't get off the corners like we needed to so we could get down the straights like we needed. I just couldn't hang on to it in the corners like I needed to because it was too loose and we couldn't get it back. I think we restarted nineteenth and got a top-10 out of this so that's not too bad. We haven't had any luck here at the start of this season, but we've got a great team and we will get back to the front where we know we can run."
David Starr in the No. 75 Spears Silverado was the class of the field from his outside front row starting position. Starr jumped into the lead, pacing the first 45 circuits and retaking the point for 12 laps on lap 50 following pit stop cycles through several caution flags.
On the 79th lap, Starr was involved in a three-truck incident on the backstretch making hard contact with the outsize retaining wall ending his race.
"We had the right truck tonight with our Spears Chevrolet Silverado," said Starr. "We were awesome right from the start. We got behind there about 60 laps into it. The No. 23 truck got a good run on me and got the inside of me and we ran side by side. Someone else came in and I don't know if they got into him or if he got loose and had to go up the racetrack. He pushed me up the racetrack and we lost four or five spots.
"We were charging our way back up to the front. Coming off turn two, I got underneath someone and my Silverado just broke loose. I should have spun it because I kind of tried to catch it, it caught and we ran into the fence and I took someone else in the aftermath. It's a shame we had a pretty good hotrod tonight and I thought we could have won the race."
Mike Bliss, subbing for the injured Jack Sprague in the No. 16 Chevy Trucks Silverado, moved from the back of the field following the driver exchange on lap six to take the lead on lap 64. Bliss led to lap 94 when he ran out of fuel. He brought the Chevy Trucks Silverado down pit road for a splash and go and went on to finished in 22nd, one lap down to the leaders. Sprague suffered a broken heel Wednesday at his Charlotte-area home cleaning the rain gutters.
"Man I wanted to win this race," said Bliss. "I was going to donate the winnings to getting Jack's gutters cleaned. The Chevy Trucks Silverado was great tonight. We got just a little tight when we were around other trucks but when I was in the lead and had the room to arc it the way I needed to, it was fine. We just had a little miss calculation on our fuel but we figured we might as well roll the dice and see where we landed. You just use more fuel in these trucks when you lead and came up short. I want to thank Chevrolet and Dave Fuge and everyone at Xpress Motorsports for the chance to drive the No. 16 tonight. I love the Trucks and I miss racing in this series."
"Chris (Showalter, crew chief) and these Chevy Truck guys had the right truck tonight," said Sprague. "The truck was awesome and I sure hated getting out of it. It hurt my foot but I could have done it 'cause it is easy for a driver to drive a truck that good. But Bliss is a wheelman and he gave it a heck of a run. I just couldn't risk damaging my foot more than it is because then I would be out for a long time and this team is a championship contender this season. I will be much better in Atlanta, I will get the gear I need for my foot so I can drive it and drive it hard."
Matt Crafton in the No. 88 Menards Chevrolet Silverado brought home an impressive sixth place finish.
"This is a great run for this Menards team. I think they know this team is for real now. We ran out of gas on that first run so we had to go to the very back and work our way up. That is what got us behind. A sixth place finish is pretty awesome. We were a little off on our tires or something. The first set was great and after that we were a little off and the thing got tight the rest of the night. This was awesome."
The next event for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will be the World Financial Group 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway just south of the Atlanta metro area on March 18, 2005. -gm racing-