Loudon: GM Racing preview

Loudon, NH - After a two and one half week break in the schedule, Team Chevy Silverado moves to the New Hampshire International Speedway (NHIS) for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) New Hampshire 200 on Saturday, September 16,...

Loudon, NH - After a two and one half week break in the schedule, Team Chevy Silverado moves to the New Hampshire International Speedway (NHIS) for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) New Hampshire 200 on Saturday, September 16, 2006.

Dubbed the "Magic Mile", NHIS has been on the NCTS schedule since 1996. With just 12 degrees of banking in the corners and 2 degrees on the straights, the track is unique unto itself. The front and back stretch are an identical 1,500 feet but the turns are each different making the handling of the Silverado race trucks critical.

"I think we will see a strong effort from our Silverados this week, said Dayne Pierantoni, GM Racing Silverado program manager. "New Hampshire is a technical track. The past results of our Team Silverado drivers are an indication of the equal importance of driver and truck. The combination of our Silverado handling characteristics and the talented driver lineup has been successful this season on the other flat tracks on the schedule and I think this weekend will be no exception. We are looking for a good weekend this week at Loudon,"

Dennis Setzer, No. 85 Shell Rotella T Silverado, has the record for most NCTS top-five finishes at NHIS including a win in 1999 and second-place in 2005. Two-time NCTS champion Ron Hornaday, Jr., No. 33 AES HR Solutions won the inaugural NCTS event with a dramatic last-lap, turn four pass. Both veterans are looking to return to their winning form at the one-mile track.

Morgan-Dollar Motorsports No. 46 SKF Silverado crew chief Eric Phillips will be working to return to the NHIS victory lane, this time with driver Clint Bowyer. NASCAR Nextel Cup Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender Bowyer has been tapped to drive the No. 46 at NHIS. Phillips was the winning crew chief for driver Travis Kvapil when the former NCTS champion won the 2004 race.

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 three NCTS starts in 2006 scoring his second consecutive win at Charlotte and top-10 finishes at Dover and Bristol.

Matt Crafton, No. 88 Menards/Energizer Silverado captured his first NCTS career pole last year at NHIS. Crafton has two top-10 finishes at NHIS in four previous starts.

DRIVER: DENNIS SETZER
TEAM: No. 85 Shell Rotella T Silverado - Morgan Dollar Motorsports

"I love New Hampshire. It is a very technical track, and I kind of think of it as a larger version of Martinsville. Our Shell Rotella T Silverado team has been doing a great job preparing trucks and we are hoping to turn our luck around and get a win this week in Loudon. I won a truck race in Loudon in 1999, and it is just a track that I really enjoy racing at. We just have to make sure we have a great truck that will get off turns two and four, and I think that we be a threat for the win."

DRIVER: CLINT BOWYER
TEAM: No. 46 SKF Silverado - Morgan Dollar Motorsports

ON DRIVING THE NO. 46 TRUCK AT NEW HAMPSHIRE ; "I am looking forward to it. We strong run there dominating the Busch race in the spring and ended up not getting the win in the end but it was a good run. We had a good run in the cup car as well. I am really looking forward to running there in a Chevy. I like running the Truck Series. Ran it at Martinsville and had a blast running with those guys and can't wait to do it again."

ON SUCCESS AT NEW HAMPSHIRE : "I just like flat tracks. It kind of reminds me of back home racing, you know the Saturday night special. It is fun. It is fun to be able to drive on short tracks like you grew up with. I just have a lot of fun racing them and am looking forward to going back."

ON HAVING ERIC PHILLIPS AS CREW CHIEF WHO WON THERE IN 2004 : "That is big, going with a good truck and crew chief. Anytime you can get in good equipment, to showcase your talent, that just makes your job that much easier. I am really looking forward to working with Eric and his guys and hopefully having a good run up there and maybe contend for the win."

DRIVER:  RON HORNADAY

TEAM: No. 33 AES HR Solutions Silverado

Tell us about the good ol' days of racing in the NASCAR Truck Series. We heard a rumor that you passed six trucks to win at Loudon in 1996, tell us what happened?

"Well, first of all it wasn't six trucks on the last lap. I remember this truck race like it was yesterday, what do you mean the good ol' days? This is how the race went.there were five laps to go and there was a restart. On the restart (Jack) Sprague and (Joe) Ruttman got into each other going into turn three. And I was able to get past the two of them to win. But before that (Mike) Skinner blew up about half-way through the race and it put me back on the lead lap. My Silverado was so tight racing there that I was shifting, if that tells you anything. At one point, Ernie Irvin got into me and put me into the wall, so my truck was pretty roughed up. But once Sprague and Ruttman got into each other I was able to get by them and win. I came down pit road and the entire team piled on the back of the truck bed and we drove down pit road to victory lane. I still have the sheet metal hanging in my garage! New Hampshire International Speedway is just a memorable place for me; in fact Loudon, N.H. was the first track I took my motor home to. I know the No. 33 AES team can win, we can dominate the race with the trucks that Wally (Rogers), Danny (Stockman) and the crew have been building for me at Kevin Harvick Inc."

DRIVER:  ARIC ALMIROLA

TEAM: No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado - Spears Motorsports

"I am looking forward to heading to Loudon. This will only be my second tome at Loudon, but I got some experience last year when I ran the Truck race, so this time around, the adjustment period should be less. After a disappointing race in Bristol, our Spears team is looking forward to turning out luck around with a good, solid finish at Loudon."

DRIVER:  MATT CRAFTON

TEAM: No. 88 Menards Silverado - ThorSport Racing

"I am pumped up and ready to get back to the race track. It really seems like it has been forever since Bristol, but Loudon is a place that is unique in its own right. Last year we were involved in a wreck but started on the pole. I am hoping we can sit on the pole again this year, and if we stay out of trouble, have good pit stops, we can have a good run. I would really like to get my first win, and it would be great if it came at Loudon."

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

"Loudon is a place that I get excited about visiting every year. The area is beautiful, and the track is awesome. I really want to have a good run in our ThorSport Silverado, and hopefully get back into having good runs like we had in Nashville. I know this team is capable of having great runs, and I just cannot say how hared these guys all work on our trucks. They deserve a win so bad, and I hope that I can give them good finishes and be a contender for the win. Having Matt Crafton to bounce ideas off of has been a really big help, and I think that we are all working together much better."

DRIVER:  MIKE BLISS

TEAM: No. 16 Xpress Motorsports Silverado

"Loudon is such a unique race track because it is such a technical track. It is really critical to have a truck that gets off turns two and four well, and having a driver that can adapt to the constantly changing groove at Loudon is important also. The #16 Xpress Motorsports Silverado finished second at Loudon in 2004, so I am confident that we will bring a good piece and will be a threat this weekend, hopefully getting the win."

DRIVER: CHAD MCCUMBEE
TEAM: No. 08 GPS Store/Garmin Silverado

"Loudon is a track that I have never raced at before, so I am sure it will take some time to get used to the grooves, and the track itself. I have heard other drivers compare Loudon to a bigger Milwaukee or Martinsville, and it has been the flatter tracks that we haven't done very well at, but the bigger tracks we seemed to have been excelling at. We have had some great tests at some short tracks, and had a great run going at Bristol, until Bristol finally got the best of us, unfortunately. I have noticed a big improvement as far as communication goes with our team. Having a new crew chief has allowed Bobby (Dotter, team manager) to ease up a bit and step into a team manager role, so it is good not to see him spread so thin. I am just really looking forward to getting back to the track after some time off, and getting a good run for out team."

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

"This is the second year I have raced the No. 15 truck for Billy Ballew Motorsports at New Hampshire. Last year we got a top-10 and I'm hoping all my luck I've had in the cup car will translate over into the truck. It's going to be good to log some more laps and have some fun at the same time. New Hampshire is a tough track to pass on, so we just hope for a good qualifying position and a chance to get up there and challenge for the win."

DRIVER: RYAN MOORE
TEAM: No. 40 Key Motorsports Silverado

"I am looking forward to the race in Loudon. It is one of my favorite tracks, and I am anxious to see just how I can do there in a truck. We need to have our stuff right up there, more so than where we have been. Sure it helps to know the race track and everything, but it's not going to help if we don't have the truck driving the way it needs to drive and with the right set-up. I have had a lot of success at Loudon before, and I think Barry (Dodson, crew chief) and I have a pretty good idea of what we need. If we can get out motor program to be at its best, we should be okay. Because many of the Craftsman Truck Series drivers have competed at Loudon so many times, I'm not going to have the kind of advantage that most people would think I have. But I do know the race track and what I can and can't do at that track, so if I have the equipment under me that I need, we should be fine."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Dennis Setzer , Matt Crafton , Clint Bowyer , Kyle Busch , Travis Kvapil