Mansfield: Dennis Setzer - NASCAR spotlight

Dennis Setzer isn't concerned about short-track victory drought DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 9, 2005) -- Acknowledged by his peers as being among the best short-track competitors, Dennis Setzer (No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado Chevrolet) has now gone...

Dennis Setzer isn't concerned about short-track victory drought

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 9, 2005) -- Acknowledged by his peers as being among the best short-track competitors, Dennis Setzer (No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado Chevrolet) has now gone nine starts without a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series short-track victory.

Setzer, however, isn't concerned about the year-and-a-half-drought as the series heads for Mansfield Motorsports Speedway and Sunday's UAW/GM Ohio 250.

"We were close to winning short-track races last year with our seconds at Mansfield and Martinsville so I think our short-track program is just as solid as it has ever been," said Setzer, who finished second to Jack Sprague (No. 16 Chevy Trucks Chevrolet) in last year's Mansfield race.

With seven short-track races on the 2005 schedule -- more than a quarter of the 25 events -- short tracks hardly can be overlooked. Only one champion -- Greg Biffle in 2000 -- has won the title without at least one short-track victory.

Thus, Setzer and his Morgan-Dollar team -- runner-up finishers for the championship in 2003 and '04 -- are more concerned about being competitive week-in and week-out than dominating on any particular kind of race track.

"We have always had a very strong short-track program so we have concentrated our testing on the bigger tracks where we are going to race," he said. "To be a championship contender, you have to be able to compete and win on every track configuration and we have made huge strides in our program in that regard."

Setzer, looking for his first win in 2005, scored two victories a year ago at Lowe's and Texas Motor speedways.

He averaged a finish of 9.1 on tracks of longer than one mile and -- with four top-four finishes -- averaged 7.2 on short tracks. Setzer was 33rd in April at Martinsville, the victim of an untimely cut tire.

Setzer looks forward to returning to Mansfield.

"It is a very technical track for a short track, very much a driver's track," he said. "It is hard to pass because the primary groove is pretty much in the middle of the corner so you have to really plan your passes by maximizing your corner entry and drive off the corner."

That would appear to give Setzer an advantage -- along with the top-three leaders in career short- track victories who will be competing in Sunday's race.

Ron Hornaday Jr. (No. 6 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet) counts 15 wins on short tracks followed by Mike Skinner (No. 5 Toyota Tundra Toyota) with 12 and Sprague's 11. Setzer is No. 4 on the list with Ted Musgrave (No. 1 Mopar Dodge) the sixth most prolific short-track winner with six victories also in the field.

Recent series history, however, shows a surprise winner isn't far out of the equation. Thirteen different drivers have posted short-track victories since August 2003, albeit only one -- Jamie McMurray, October 2004 at Martinsville -- a first-time winner.

Setzer, whose last short track win came in October 2003 at South Boston Speedway in Virginia, would like to be the one to end that streak. "We are ready to get down to winning in 2005 and Mansfield will be a good place to start," he said.

-nascar-

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Mike Skinner , Greg Biffle , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Ted Musgrave , Jack Sprague , Dennis Setzer , Jamie McMurray