SETZER AND COMPTON GET SECOND CHANCE AT THE TITLE Late Monday afternoon the points race for the 1999 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series title got a lot closer. When all of the race teams pulled out of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday night Greg...
SETZER AND COMPTON GET SECOND CHANCE AT THE TITLE
Late Monday afternoon the points race for the 1999 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series title got a lot closer. When all of the race teams pulled out of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday night Greg Biffle had a 130-point lead over second place Jack Sprague. Following the race Biffle was penalized 120 championship points after an intake manifold was found to be illegal on his truck. The penalty has brought the top-four trucks within 95 points of the championship. Two of the top-four are Dodge Rams and they intend to put up a fight for the series championship.
Dennis Setzer, driver of the #1 Mopar Dodge, was 161-points behind Biffle following Friday night's race. But with the penalty assessed to Biffle, Setzer now sits only 41-points out of the lead. Stacy Compton, driver of the RC Dodge sits only 95-points behind the leader.
"We have the potential to win all three of the remaining races," said Compton. "We have got to win races, to win this championship. We should be good at Louisville, we finished fourth last season and we are going back in a Dodge, so we're confident."
"Jack (Sprague) is going to be tough, Dennis (Setzer) is going to be tough and you know (Greg) Biffle will put up a fight," added Compton. "The Dodge teams will be tough at Texas and California. Dennis won at Texas earlier this season and we've all got great aero packages and strong motors. We are only 95-points out of the championship and that is not a lot."
"Our outlook has certainly changed between the race on Friday and the ruling that came down on Monday," said Setzer. "We know that we have a shot at this championship and we know that we can't run this Mopar Dodge conservatively if we want to win."
In 1999, Dodge has already experienced a record-breaking season with four wins (Martinsville, Texas, Nashville and Loudon) and nine pole positions. Dodge's best season-ending result came in 1998 with Jimmy Hensley finishing in the sixth position.
"We have seen success in previous seasons with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series," said Bob Wildberger, Senior Manager, NASCAR Motorsports DaimlerChrysler. "But this is the first season that we feel like we have a legitimate chance at winning the series title. That title would mean a lot to everyone involved at Dodge Motorsports. That has been the goal of this program since our return to NASCAR in 1996. We have all worked many long hours to make this goal a reality and now we can see it within our reach."
RAM REVIEW Following The Orleans 250 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway...
* Dodge Motorsports claimed their ninth pole of the 1999 season with Stacy Compton in the RC Dodge sitting in the first position for the sixth time this year.
* Joe Ruttman started from the third position while Randy Renfrow, Dennis Setzer and Jimmy Hensley also made their way into the top ten for the start of the race.
* Randy Renfrow in the #41 TKO Motorsports Dodge was black-flagged by NASCAR after losing radio communication with his crew causing Renfrow to relinquish his fourth place starting position for a trip down pit road.
* Hensley and Setzer both took their turns up front with Setzer bringing the Mopar Dodge home in the fourth positon, highest among the Dodge teams. Compton finished in the sixth position and Hensley finished seventh.
* Joe Ruttman got tangled with another truck early in the race causing severe rear-end damage to the Dana Dodge. Ruttman finished 23rd.
* Randy Tolsma had the toughest luck of the Dodge teams when a shock broke on the Supergard Dodge during qualifying causing him to start 17th on the field. Then on lap four, he lost second and third gear in the race truck. Tolsma finished 16th.
RAMMIN' AHEAD... 10/15 Blue Bonnet 300 Texas Motor Speedway Fort Worth, Texas 10/30 NCTS Challenge California Speedway Los Angeles, Calif.
DODGE RAM FAST STATS After the Sept. 24 Orleans 250, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas. Dennis Setzer, #1 Mopar Dodge 1 pole, 3 wins, 10 top-five finishes, 17 top-10 finishes Started ninth in Las Vegas, finished fourth $404,930 total winnings in 22 NCTS starts Third in championship points
Randy Tolsma, #25 Supergard Dodge 1 pole, 0 wins, 1 top-five finish, 9 top-10 finishes Started 17th in Las Vegas, finished 16th. $194,270 total winnings in 22 NCTS starts 11th in championship points
Jimmy Hensley, #43 Dodge By Petty 1 win, 6 top-five finishes, 12 top-10 finishes Started 10th in Las Vegas, finished seventh $247,110 total winnings in 22 NCTS starts 10th in championship points
Stacy Compton, #86 RC Dodge 6 poles, 0 wins, 11 top-fives, 17 top-10 finishes Started first in Las Vegas, finished sixth $317,220 total winnings in 22 NCTS starts Fourth in championship points
Joe Ruttman, #18 Dana Dodge 0 wins, 2 top-five finishes, 6 top-10 finishes Started third in Las Vegas, finished 23rd. $130,995 total winnings in 16 NCTS starts 22nd in championship points