Martinsville: Dennis Setzer race report

Setzer Takes Bobby Hamilton Racing and Dodge Motorsports Back To Victory Lane In Dominating Fashion Martinsville, VA. (March 29, 2008) -- In a chassis designed by Bobby Hamilton Sr., Dennis Setzer scored his 18th NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series ...

Setzer Takes Bobby Hamilton Racing and Dodge Motorsports Back To Victory Lane In Dominating Fashion

Martinsville, VA. (March 29, 2008) -- In a chassis designed by Bobby Hamilton Sr., Dennis Setzer scored his 18th NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory in the No. 18 Dodge Ram in dominating fashion by leading 126 of the 250 laps Saturday afternoon at Martinsville Speedway during the Kroger 250. After 47 races, Bobby Hamilton Racing returned to victory lane for the first time since Hamilton Sr. won at Mansfield Motorsports Park in 2005. This was the first win for the organization since Hamilton's passing due to cancer last year.

"This win right here is for Bobby Hamilton only -- he is the man!" shouted crew chief Marcus Richmond after Setzer crossed the finish line.

The No. 18 Dodge Ram Martinville Race Recap

* After posting the 10th fastest lap in qualifying Saturday morning Setzer scored his second best starting position of the season.

* "It just a little tight in the center," radioed in Setzer, while running eighth, on lap 42 to his Crew Chief Marcus Richmond under the first caution. "But it is not bad at all." Setzer did not pit and restarted in the eighth position.

* The second caution waved several laps later for debris. "Did it get any better?" asked Richmond under the caution. "No change at all," said Setzer. He restarted in the sixth position on lap 60.

* By lap 65 Setzer was running laps as fast as the leaders and continued to pick off the competitors in front of him. "Keep doing what you are doing Dennis," coached Richmond as the laps ticked away.

* The fourth caution waved on lap 80 for a multi-truck pile up in turn three. "We are going to take fuel only under this caution," said Richmond. "The tire wear from other teams is not bad and if you save some fuel we can make it all the way." Setzer agreed with Richmond and hit pit road. The Dodge Ram Racing Team jumped into action packing the No. 18 Dodge full of fuel and sending Setzer on his way. He restarted in the seventh spot.

* By lap 110 Setzer was the fastest truck on the track while running in the second spot. "You are the fastest truck out there," coached Richmond. "Don't forget to conserve some fuel."

* On lap 129 the leader spun in turn four bringing out the sixth caution of the day. Setzer stayed out and inherited first place. "Keep doing what you are doing," said Richmond under the caution. "We are where we want to be now."

* Over the next 120 laps Setzer maintained the lead despite eight caution flags and two red flags which waved for action on the track. Setzer displayed his smooth driving skills as he restarted each time and pulled away from the second place competitor.

* The second to final caution waved on lap 249 for a spin in turn four setting up the field for a green-white-checkered finish. "Just do what you have been doing and you will be fine," coached Richmond from the pit box.

* Once again Setzer brought the field down to the green. By turn one he had pulled away from the second place competitor and was well on his way to victory.

* As Setzer came out of turn four to take the checkered flag a multi-truck wreck transpired behind him ending the race under final caution.

* Setzer scored his 18th NCTS victory while piloting the No. 18 Dodge Ram. It was the first victory for Bobby Hamilton Racing since Hamilton Sr. passed away in 2007.

"I ran second to Bobby Hamilton the year he won the championship (2004)," Setzer said in the media center after the race. "We raced really hard against each other, but off the track, we were the best of friends. I don't think we ever had a harsh word for one another. I respected him a lot and to take this team back to victory lane means a lot."

"Obviously the emotions are running high right now," said owner Lori Hamilton. "We all said after Bobby passed away if we couldn't do it with him then we would do it in honor of him. So, to win at Martinsville which is now our new home track in the fashion that Dennis did today is an amazing accomplishment for us and Dodge Motorsports. It says a lot for this program to move the entire shop in December and come out and win the fourth race out this season. This win is about our manufacturer Dodge, all those race fans, Bobby's friends and the employees that stood behind us last year and worked through a lot of hardships. Together we did it for one man -- Bobby Hamilton."

Matt Crafton finished second, Rick Crawford, Ken Schrader and Eric Darnell followed in the top five.

-credit: bhr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Ken Schrader , Dennis Setzer , Rick Crawford , Matt Crafton