Mansfield: GM Racing preview

* Chevrolet Silverado has won six of the 11 NCTS Manufacturer's Championships * Silverado drivers have won eight of the 11 possible Series' Driver Championships * Silverado drivers have won more races than any other brand - 121 of ...

* Chevrolet Silverado has won six of the 11 NCTS Manufacturer's Championships

* Silverado drivers have won eight of the 11 possible Series' Driver Championships

* Silverado drivers have won more races than any other brand - 121 of 273 (1995-Present)

Mansfield, OH - Momentum is on the side of Team Chevy Silverado as they head for the City of Mansfield 250 at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway (MMS). Having five Silverado drivers score top-10 finishes including Kyle Busch's win last weekend at Charlotte, teams are ready to get in to the swing of racing nine consecutive weekends.

With his solid fifth-place finish at Charlotte under his belt, Ron Hornaday is ready to go back and pick up where he left off last year at Mansfield (Ohio) Motorsports Speedway. After winning the pole, Hornaday led the most laps only to have a late-race penalty drop him in the finishing order.

"We had an awesome run going last year," said two-time NCTS champion Hornaday. "But NASCAR said we were a little anxious on a restart late in the race so we didn't get a trip to victory lane. That just makes us more determined to go back and have an even better run this year. We had a great run at Charlotte, and really pumped everybody up and we are ready to get into the racing routine.

"The track owners have done a great job at Mansfield and the fans are awesome. It is fun for us to run races at tracks like Mansfield where the fans are really in to the NASCAR Truck Series. We are looking forward to running good there and being a contender in our Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet Silverado."

The 250-lap/125-mile race on the one-half mile 16-degree banked MMS is the seventh event on the 2006 25-race schedule for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS). It is the only time the Series visits the Buckeye State.

Matt Crafton, No. 88 Menards Silverado, and teammate Kerry Earnhardt, No. 13 ThorSport Silverado, will enjoy hometown favorite status. Headquarters for the ThorSport Racing team is nearby Sandusky, Ohio.

"I'm excited about racing at Mansfield," said Crafton. "It's ThorSport Racing's home track, and that's added incentive for me to do well there. You want to do well on your home track."

Kraig Kinser, No. 46 CENTIX Silverado, has a special treat is in store for all of the Morgan-Dollar Motorsports team members during the race weekend. Following Friday night's NCTS qualifying, Kinser is loading the crew members from both his No. 46 team and Dennis Setzer's No. 85 E85 FlexFuel Silverado team in vans and taking them to nearby Attica Speedway to watch his Dad, Steve Kinser, and the rest of the National Sprint Tour drivers go at it on the dirt.

"I am really looking forward to taking the guys to the race Friday night," Kinser said. "Many of the guys have never been to a Sprint Car race before, so that will be really fun to see how they like this type of racing. I know they will put on a good show, and it is always fun to watch my Dad race. Attica is a great track, and the race should be awesome."

An open practice day is on tap for Thursday, May 25 followed by race practice and qualifying on Friday, May 26 beginning at 11:30 a.m. EDT.

The race start is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. on Saturday. SPEED TV, MRN Radio and XM Satellite Radio will provide live broadcast coverage of the race.

Driver Quotes

DRIVER: DENNIS SETZER
TEAM: No. 85 E85 FlexFuel Silverado - Morgan Dollar Motorsports

"Last year I think we had some problems because we were limited to the amount of gear we could run at Mansfield. It was hard to pass because the groove of the track is right in the middle and you had to set up your pass really well to make it stick. This year, NASCAR has made some changes to allow us to run more gear, which should make the racing better, but now we have a new unknown in the harder tire. We'll know more after Thursday's test, but if the tires perform like the ones at Martinsville, tire wear won't be an issue. The issue will be trying to set your truck up better than the next guy, because most, if not all our notes from the last two races here will be out the window."

DRIVER: KRAIG KINSER
TEAM: No. 46 CENTIX Auto Finance Silverado - Morgan Dollar Motorsports

On going back to another short track: "I am really looking forward to heading to Mansfield. We are hoping to run ten times better than what we did at Martinsville, and having an open test day should really help us prepare for the race on Saturday afternoon. Randy (Goss, crew chief) and all of the guys have worked so hard on getting all the trucks ready and preparing great trucks for me to race."

Will you have a lot of friends and family at the race this weekend, being that it is closer to your hometown, Bloomington, IN? " You know, I am not really sure any family is planning on coming to the race this weekend, but it would really be neat if they were able to come and watch the race and support the team"

DRIVER:  RON HORNADAY

TEAM: No. 33 Kevin Harvick, Inc. Silverado

"We had an awesome run going last year. But NASCAR said we were a little anxious on a restart late in the race so we didn't get a trip to victory lane. That just makes us more determined to go back and have an even better run this year. We had a great run at Charlotte, and really pumped everybody up and we are ready to get into the racing routine.

"The track owners have done a great job at Mansfield and the fans are awesome. It is fun for us to run races at tracks like Mansfield where the fans are really in to the NASCAR Truck Series. We are looking forward to running good there and being a contender in our Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet Silverado."

DRIVER:  ARIC ALMIROLA

TEAM: No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado - Spears Motorsports

"I'm really looking forward to going anywhere with this race team right now! We're looking good and have ran consistent the last few races. We seem to get better and better each week; my crew chief Dave McCarty and I are starting to figure each other out and communicating better. I'm ready for Mansfield, they say that the fans go crazy up there and I'm really looking forward to racing in front of a sell out crowd in Ohio. I hope I can get some free time to go visit the prison where the movie 'Shawshank Redemption' was filmed. I'm hoping we can leave Mansfield with another top-10 finish in my Spears Manufacturing Silverado."

DRIVER:  MATT CRAFTON

TEAM: No. 88 Menards Silverado - ThorSport Racing

"I'm excited about racing at Mansfield; it's ThorSport Racing's home track, and that's added incentive for me to do well there. You want to do well on your home track. We finished 10th there in '04, and tested real well there last year. But we missed on the setup during the race. We had a top 10 truck last year, but cut a tire near the end of the race and fell out of contention. I'm real happy with the way things are going right now. Our guys continue to put good trucks underneath me, and we keep getting stronger. But we have to stop shooting ourselves in the foot on pit stops. We've made some mistakes that have really cost us, and we have to learn from those mistakes and not repeat them. I'm happy to be racing every week now, and hopefully we can keep our momentum going."

DRIVER:  MIKE BLISS

TEAM: No. 16 Xpress Motorsports Silverado

"I have never seen the track, so I don't know what to expect. Having the optional test day on Thursday will be a big help in getting up to speed rather than having just a couple of short practices. Our Xpress team won this race in 2004 and finished second last year so I am pretty confident that Dave (Fuge, crew chief and team owner) will have a good Silverado for me to drive this weekend. I am just excited to get back in the routine of racing every week. It is easier to stay focused on running well and winning."

DRIVER: KERRY EARNHARDT
TEAM: No. 13 ThorSport Racing Silverado

"I'm looking forward to racing at Mansfield...It's ThorSport Racing's home track, and a neat short-track environment with lots of beatin' and bangin' and nonstop action. It's the kind of racetrack we've all al raced on over the years. It's a great atmosphere for the drivers and the fans, and I'm looking forward to being a part of it. It's exciting to visit a track for the first time, but also a challenge. That can be a positive thing. It's important to qualify well there, because at a track like that it's easier for your race strategy if you're closer to the front."

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Dennis Setzer , Matt Crafton , Kerry Earnhardt , Steve Kinser , Kraig Kinser