Heartbreak in Memphis for Dennis Setzer Pit Road Misfortune Takes E85 FlexFuel Silverado Team Out of Contention for Win Millington, TN - Dennis Setzer looked to be well on his way to keeping his incredible top-five-only finishing streak at ...
Heartbreak in Memphis for Dennis Setzer
Pit Road Misfortune Takes E85 FlexFuel Silverado Team Out of Contention for Win
Millington, TN - Dennis Setzer looked to be well on his way to keeping his incredible top-five-only finishing streak at Memphis Motorsports Park alive. In fact, the driver of the No. 85 E85 FlexFuel Silverado had what appeared to be the makings of not only his Morgan-Dollar Motorsports team's first win of the 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) season but their first top-five finish as well.
Starting on the outside of row one, his season-best qualifying effort, the Newton, NC was never scored out of the top-three in the running order during the first 175 laps of the scheduled 200-laps/150-mile race. He led 51 laps with ease, saving his equipment, going easy on his brakes for the final 20-lap sprint to the checkered, which was sure to be a battle with eventual race winner Jack Sprague.
But the black cloud of racing luck that has hovered over the perennial championship contending driver and team, struck again when Setzer led the field down pit road under caution on lap 178 for the final pit stop of the race.
As Setzer, who held a six-plus second lead before the fifth caution of the race flew on lap 177, dove off the track to the attention of his Eric Phillips-led crew, the team in the pit box adjacent to the No. 85 put their sign board out to signal their driver. When they realized Setzer was coming, they attempted to drop the sign in order to not hinder the leader's pit stop.
However, as Setzer crossed to enter his pit box and slide to a stop, he ran over the sign. Both the board and the pole became wedged under the truck causing the No. 85 Silverado to slide off the jack when the crew came around to complete the left side tires and send Setzer back in to action. As a result of the misfortune, Setzer went from the lead to 14th in the running order when the race went green on lap 182.
"Man, I really hate it for Chevrolet and Silverado," said Setzer. "We had such a good truck and to lose the race in the way we did it was very disappointing to all of us. We have really hoped and expectedto do a lot better for them this year and this Memphis race could have been the turning point. But its been a tough year for us. We ran good and the truck was fast all night, but the deal in the pits was an unfortunate deal.
"I came in and the sign board for the 15 was down low and they dropped it down underneath my truck when I came by. When they went to jack my truck up, it was caught up there underneath the truck and when they tried to jack up the truck, it slipped off. It was a really unfortunate deal."
Although the finish didn't reflect it, Setzer was clearly the class of the field and had the truck to beat.
"It was good to have our most competitive race of the year and to be competitive," he concluded. "It has not been the year we hoped to give Chevrolet; we had hoped to do a lot better for them. We really appreciate their support and we are going to keep trying with this piece and get better. "
The next event on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule is on August 4th, 2006 at the O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis. The first practice is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. CDT on Friday, August 4th followed by the one-hour final practice at approximately 12:00 p.m. CDT. Qualifying will be held at 5:30 p.m. CDT on Friday, August 4th and the trucks will be impounded until the scheduled race start at 8:45 p.m. CDT. Live television coverage of the 200-lap/150-mile-race will be provided by SPEED Channel with MRN and XM Satellite bringing the race live on the airwaves.