* Setzer's championship lead is largest since the 2000 season NEWS & NOTES Setzer holds point lead of historic proportions ... Setzer is 158 points ahead of closest rival Ted Musgrave (No. 1 Mopar Dodge) entering the 15th race of 2005. The...
* Setzer's championship lead is largest since the 2000 season
NEWS & NOTES
Setzer holds point lead of historic proportions ... Setzer is 158 points ahead of closest rival Ted Musgrave (No. 1 Mopar Dodge) entering the 15th race of 2005. The last time there was a lead greater than 158 points in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series was the last race of the 2000 season, following California Speedway on Oct. 28, 2000. Greg Biffle's lead was 230 points over Kurt Busch, 110 races ago. The largest lead in the series came the same season -- following Dover International Speedway's September event -- when Biffle led Mike Wallace by 290 points.
ETC. ... Defending race winner Chad Chaffin (No. 60 Wyler.com Toyota) will become the series' 28th $1 million career-winner by starting Friday's race. Chaffin has current winnings of $997,839. Chaffin's last-lap pass of Johnny Sauter (No. 43 Menards Chevrolet) was among the most dramatic finishes in series history. ... The 2004 IRP finish was the second in three races in which the winner led only the final lap. ... The IRP winner has started no worse than fifth and from among the top three on eight occasions. ... Johnny Benson's (No. 23 Toyota Certified Used Cars Toyota) first of four second-place finishes -- his series bests -- came at Indianapolis Raceway Park in 1995. ... The Power Stroke Diesel 200 is the fourth of seven short-track races on this year's schedule. There have been three different winners. ... The 1998 race featured the most leaders, eight and most lead changes, 11. The series' closest finish at the track -- Biffle beating Stacy Compton by .261-second -- came in 1999. ... U.S. Auto Club 2004 National Midget champion Bobby East, 20, will make his NASCAR Craftsman Truck debut this week in the No. 33 Roush Racing Ford. ... Co-owner Don Arnold has departed Germain Racing to concentrate fulltime on his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup team. Germain Racing fields the No. 9 AISIN Toyota of Raybestos rookie contender Shige Hattori and the No. 30 Allman Brothers Band Toyota of Todd Bodine.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
IRP has been kind to Terry Cook ... Indianapolis Raceway Park would seem a perfect place for Terry Cook (No. 10 Ford Power Stroke Diesel Ford) to end a 72-race winless streak. Cook's last of five series wins was recorded Aug. 2, 2002 at IRP, a race he won from the Bud Pole after leading 178 laps. Cook finished second in 2001 and ninth in 2003.
Hamilton, Roush are two-time IRP winners ... Four owners have won twice at IRP with Bobby Hamilton and Jack Roush looking to add a third victory in 2005. Hamilton's No. 18 Dodge, then driven by Chaffin, is the defending race winner. Chase Montgomery is Hamilton's driver this season. Ruttman won in the No. 18 truck in 2000. Roush's victories came in 1999 and 2003 with Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards, respectively.
"I love short tracks, there's nothing neater than running at a short track and getting it on." -- Jimmy Spencer, No. 2 Team ASE Racing Dodge, who'll make his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck start at IRP this week.
"[IRP] is a track where you have to think ahead about who and what is in front of you because passing isn't easy and you have to set them up before you can get around them." -- Jack Sprague, two-time Power Stroke Diesel 200 winner and last year's Bud Pole qualifier.
"I know how to run at IRP and have had good success there in the past. You can be aggressive there and use the nose and fenders to make a hole. Everyone is pushing and shoving for position and that is when I am the most comfortable." -- 1997 Power Stroke Diesel 200 winner Ron Hornaday Jr.
"You're only as good as your last race. It's weird really -- when you've had a bad race or some bad luck keeps you from getting a good finish and believe me, we've had our share of those, you say that to yourself as a 'pick-me-up.' Now, on the other side, that saying is meant to bring you back to earth and keep you focused." -- Brandon Whitt, No. 38 McMillin Homes/Cure Autism Now Toyota, winner of the most recent series race on July 23 at Memphis Motorsports Park.
10 YEARS TOUGH
The 1998 schedule of 25 races saw NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competitors competing twice during the same week on two occasions. The July 30 Power Stroke Diesel 200 was run on Thursday night followed by an event at New Hampshire International Speedway on Sunday, Aug. 2. Teams did another "double" in September -- on Thursday night at Richmond International Raceway and Sunday afternoon at Memphis Motorsports Park.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
There have been two repeat winners of the Power Stroke Diesel 200 -- Mike Skinner in 1995-96 and Jack Sprague in 1998 and 2001. A different driver has won the race in six consecutive years dating to Greg Biffle's victory in 1999. An IRP victory has been on the season champion's record just twice -- Skinner (1995) and Sprague (2001).
Next Event: Power Stroke Diesel 200. (Race No. 15 of 25)
Where: Indianapolis Raceway Park.
When: 8:45 p.m. ET, Friday, Aug. 5.
Track layout: .686-mile paved oval.
Race length: 200 laps/137.2 miles.
Posted awards: $498,400.
TV: SPEED Channel, 8:45 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2004 winner: Chad Chaffin.
2004 polesitter: Jack Sprague.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday -- Practice 10-11:30 a.m. and 12-1 p.m. Qualifying 5 p.m. Trucks impounded after qualifying.
Top 10 drivers: 1. Dennis Setzer 2,089. 2. Ted Musgrave 1,931. 3. Bobby Hamilton 1,926. 4. Ron Hornaday Jr. 1,841. 5. Jimmy Spencer 1,814. 6. Ricky Craven 1,803. 7. David Reutimann 1,799. 8. Terry Cook 1,778. 9. Matt Crafton 1,758. 10. David Starr 1,752.