Chevrolet Silverado clinched sixth NCTS Manufacturers' Championship
Chevy Bowtie has clinched the Manufacturers' Title in all three NASCAR major touring
It is the third time Chevy has won all three in the same year
Silverado has 10 wins in 2005 NCTS competition
Dennis Setzer, No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado, has four NCTS victories this season - Michigan, Milwaukee, Kentucky and IRP
Sits second in the 2005 NCTS championship chase, 58 points out of the lead
2002 NCTS champion Mike Bliss makes his fourth appearance in the No. 16 Chevy Trucks Silverado
Has five previous Homestead starts with one pole and two top-five finishes
Ron Hornaday, No 6 GM Goodwrench Silverado, has one victory thus far in 2005 - Atlanta (March)
Two-time NCTS champion has one win, three top-five and five top-10 finishes in five previous NCTS starts at Homestead
David Starr, No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado has two top-five and three top-10 finishes in three previous starts at Homestead
Kyle Busch and the No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports team are looking to capture their fourth win of the season in first NCTS start at Homestead
Homestead, FL - The final event of the 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season kicks off Thursday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Rolling in to the southern Florida track, the NCTS has competed on 21 different tracks in 18 states - from Florida to California and Arizona to New Hampshire.
Dennis Setzer, No 46 Chevrolet Silverado, sits 58 points out of the points lead in second position contending for his first-ever NCTS championship. Coming off a solid fifth-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway, Setzer and his Morgan Dollar Motorsports team know they are facing a challenge but after overcoming an early race spin and staging a great come-through-the-pack run to the front, Setzer knows anything is possible.
"Our team still has a shot at the championship and really all we can do is try and run as well as we can," Setzer stated. "To go forward in the standings our Silverado team must run well in the race, lead laps, and gain as many points as we can. That is the only thing that we have control over. Everyone knows that anything can really happen in the race to Ted or myself, but the one truck (#1 MOPAR truck) ran poorly at Texas and that's the last mile-and-a-half track we ran at. If they were to run like that again, and we run top-three then we could catch them."
"It's hard to believe that we are going into the final race at Homestead already," said Dayne Pierantoni, GM Racing Silverado program manager. "We still have a shot at the Drivers Championship with Dennis Setzer but he certainly has his work cut out for him this week. I've learned though that in this series you just never know until the checker falls.
"Our Silverado's have had a great season earning the Manufacturer's title and winning 10 races. I am really proud of our Chevrolet teams. We have had wins from 5 different trucks, which says a lot about the strength of our teams. I know each of them would like one more win so we will go on to Homestead and see what happens."
Three Silverado drivers currently occupy spots in the top-10 in the championship standings with Setzer. Ron Hornaday, No. GM Goodwrench Silverado is fourth in the standings. David Starr, No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado is seventh and Matt Crafton, No. 88 Menards Silverado is ninth in the order.
There have been no repeat NCTS winners at Miami-Homestead Speedway. In the nine previous truck races at the 1.5 mile track, there have been five first-time victories scored.
Since the inaugural NCTS event at Homestead in 1996, the configuration of the track has been re-worked on two different occasions. The most significant change was the first re-construction that took it from a flat quad oval, similar in shape to Indianapolis Motor Speedway with short straights between corners, to a slightly banked oval with continuous corners, eliminating the straights between turns. In the most recent revamp, the corners were widened and graduated banking added to create more room for side-by-side racing.
The first practice is scheduled to begin Friday, November 18, 2005 from 9:00 a.m. to 10.20 a.m. EST. Final practice will be held from 10:50 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. Qualifying will be held at 5:10 p.m. EST Friday and the final field of 36 trucks impounded until the scheduled race start at 8:15 p.m. EST Friday evening. Live television coverage of the 134-lap/ 200-mile race will be provided by SPEED Channel with MRN and XM Satellite bringing the race live on the airwaves.
TEAM SILVERADO DRIVER QUOTES
DRIVER: DENNIS SETZER
TEAM: No. 46 Morgan-Dollar Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado
QUOTES: "Our team still has a shot at the championship and really all we can do is try and run as well as we can. To go forward in the standings our Silverado team must run well in the race, lead laps, and gain as many points as we can. That is the only thing that we have control over. Everyone knows that anything can really happen in the race to Ted or myself, but the one truck (#1 MOPAR truck) ran poorly at Texas and that's the last mile-and-a-half track we ran at. If they were to run like that again, and we run top-three then we could catch them.
"The new track surface is about three years old now. The first year it was excellent, but last year it seemed to lose some grip. I think now that we are going to run this race under the lights, it's going to add a lot of grip to the track and the racing will be pretty exciting. This track has multi-level banking and makes for some exciting side-by-side racing. I think you will see quite a show put on for our finale'."
DRIVER: MIKE BLISS
TEAM: No. 16 Xpress Motorsports Chevy Trucks Silverado
QUOTES: "We were pretty happy with our run at Phoenix, I feel like I am getting back in the swing of truck series. It is just amazing how much the trucks and the competition has changed and grown since 2002. The last time I ran Homestead was for this team when we won the championship. We sat on the pole and finished fifth that day. But there have been changes made to the track since the last time I raced a truck there so it will be a whole new ball game. So we will follow the same game plan we did at Phoenix and focus on our race setup so we can back up our Phoenix finish with another good run to end the season."
DRIVER: DAVID STARR
TEAM: No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado
QUOTES: " Homestead is a great track and it is a super place to end the Series. The facility is incredible and the redesign they did on the track made it really good. There is lots of room and it is multi-grooved which makes for great racing. We took a third last time out and definitely want to end this year on a high note....first would be our preference and that is what we are going for. We tested our Spears Chevy Silverado there earlier and with the data we gained we should be good to go.
"This will be the race that determines this year's championship, and that makes everything even more exciting. The points are close and non-one can predict the outcome. It's going to be good.
"The key here is a good handling truck, lots of horsepower and a good aero package. You have to have all three to get in the top and we have the right combination. When the Green Flag waves, we will be ready to go."
DRIVER: RON HORNADAY
TEAM: No. 6 Kevin Harvick, Inc. GM Goodwrench Silverado
QUOTES: "Going to Miami this weekend will be bittersweet for our team. We had planned on this being the race that afterwards we would be hoisting up the championship trophy. It will still be exciting and we have to go out and perform. Third place is in our reach so we have something else to race for besides winning, but it should be all out for every truck. Everyone wants to win the last race of the season because you get to take that one with you. It is the last chance to celebrate as a team. We have some momentum from last week and we need to take advantage. GM Goodwrench has been very good to us and it would be nice to send them off a winner."
DRIVER: KYLE BUSCH
TEAM: No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports ditech.com/National Land Liquidations Silverado
QUOTES: "The truck series race in Homestead will be different than any other race we have run there. We tested the Cup car there a few weeks ago and the track itself is so smooth that you can run a bunch of different things to make the truck or car run lower to the ground. I can't wait to run the truck there because it's a track that I tend to favor. Its got high banks and is really fast so we hope to end the season with a good finish."