Memphis: GM Racing preview

Dennis Setzer Leads Team Silverado to Memphis Has Momentum of Three Wins and Points Leader Heading to Tennessee Short Track MEMPHIS, TN - Dennis Setzer has a big smile on his face and for good reason. The driver of the No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado...

Dennis Setzer Leads Team Silverado to Memphis
Has Momentum of Three Wins and Points Leader Heading to Tennessee Short Track

MEMPHIS, TN - Dennis Setzer has a big smile on his face and for good reason. The driver of the No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado fielded by Morgan-Dollar Motorsports has won three of the last four NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races-Michigan, Milwaukee and Kentucky-and sits on top of the series point standings.

"This is obviously a great position for our team to be in right now," said Setzer. "But we need to keep our eye on the ball and focus on the race that is in front of us. That is the plan that is going to allow us to maximize the momentum we have going to Memphis. We had a good run there last year but it is a pretty tough little track so we need to be really on our game when we unload."

Setzer's finishing record at Memphis Motorsports Park speaks for its self. In six previous starts at the ¾ mile flat oval, the Newton, NC native has all top-five finishes including the first-ever win for Morgan-Dollar Motorsports in 2001.

"We have had some pretty good runs at Memphis in the past," Setzer concluded. "I always look forward to going there. Eric (Phillips, crew chief) has this No. 46 team really rolling. They are giving me great trucks and awesome pit stops. I am looking forward to keeping our streak of strong runs at Memphis going this weekend."

Chevrolet Silverado brand goes into Memphis holding the lead in the manufacturer championship points chase as well. With 13 of the 25 races run, Chevrolet holds the lead with 94 points and eight wins to Dodge's runner-up score of 75 points and four wins.

"I always look forward to the short track races," said Dayne Pierantoni, GM Racing Silverado program manager. "Our Silverado teams and drivers always run great at the short tracks. These tracks require a combination of both driver talent and superb chassis tuning by our teams. I think that we have the best of both worlds. "

Chevy Trucks Silverado driver Jack Sprague is looking to pick up momentum for the second half of the 2005 season. After capturing the win at Texas Motor Speedway in June, the three-time NCTS champion had a top-ten finish at Michigan, finished second to Setzer at Milwaukee, but suffered engine problems at Kansas and a blown tire resulting in hard contact with the wall at Kentucky scoring a 30th and 36th place finishes respectively. Now sitting 13th in the series point standings, Sprague is looking forward to a good run at Memphis.

"We have always run well at Memphis," said Sprague. "I really like the track. I have gotten a couple of pole there and gotten a win, so I feel like I have a good feel for how to drive the track. My Xpress Motorsports team has run good there in the past so I am confident going in we will have the Right Truck with a good setup going in to the weekend. Like every short track, track position is key, you have to stay out of trouble and be there at the end."

Two-time NCTS champion Ron Hornaday is also a fan of the Tennessee short track. Hornaday captured the victory in the first-ever NCTS held at Memphis in 1998. He scored one more top-ten finish before moving to full-time NASCAR Busch competition. In four NBS starts, the driver of the GM Goodwrench Silverado scored two top-five and three top-10 finishes.

"Memphis is one of my favorite stops on the NCTS schedule," said Hornaday. "I have run there twice in the trucks and have had good finishes both times. Any track that I have won at is always nice to go back to. My wife is a big Elvis fan so being in his hometown is a treat for her."

Hornaday heads to Memphis sitting fourth in the point standings with one victory, four top-five and six top-10 finishes so far in 2005.

David Starr and the No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado team know Memphis is the place to turn the tide on their 2005 season. Going into this weekend, Starr is currently 11th in NCTS points and is coming off a 10th place run at Kentucky.

"After a week off, I'm really ready to get back behind the wheel of our No.75 Spears Chevy Silverado," said Starr. "The way Memphis is designed makes it an extremely fun track. It is a short track with a tri-oval and that makes it incredibly challenging. You need a good handling truck and we have that in our Spears Chevrolet. The race action is fast and furious with lots of bumping and banging happening from start to finish.

"Another thing that makes Memphis so much fun is the fans. They are really great and that makes a driver want to do even better. This event will mark my 5th start at this track. So far my best finish was 7th in 2003 and we hope to better that this weekend. We've been in a bit of a slump lately, but I think we are on the road to getting things turned around. We are a championship caliber team and everyone has been working overtime to get on top of things. It's part of racing and while we are disappointed in only being 11th in the point standings, it won't be long before we are back up where we should be."

Practice, qualifying and the O'Reilly 200 at Memphis Motorsports Park will all be held on Saturday starting at 9:00 AM CDT. Qualifying is scheduled for 3:30 PM CD and the 200-lap, 150-mile race scheduled to begin at 7:15 p.m. CDT on Saturday night. Live television coverage will be provided by SPEED Channel with MRN and XM Satellite bringing the race live on the air waves.

Pre-Event Notes and Quotes

DRIVER: DENNIS SETZER
TEAM: No. 46 Morgan-Dollar Motorsports Chevrolet Z71 Silverado

QUOTES. "Memphis is a tough place to get the chassis just right. I love to race at Memphis - it's an awesome track and just the right size for the Craftsman Truck Series. The track has a similar layout to Richmond, but not as much grip. You also set your truck up differently than you would at Richmond, to be better in different places. The race will be held at night time this year as opposed the daytime like we have run it in each year that we have been there before now. That should give the track more grip and make it faster as well."

DRIVER: JACK SPRAGUE
TEAM: No. 16 Xpress Motorsports Chevy Trucks Silverado

QUOTES: "We have always run well at Memphis. I really like the track. I have gotten a couple of pole there and gotten a win, so I feel like I have a good feel for how to drive the track. My Xpress Motorsports team has run good there in the past so I am confident going in we will have the Right Truck with a good setup going in to the weekend. Like every short track, track position is key, you have to stay out of trouble and be there at the end.

"We just need to get this monkey off our back. We run really well, get strong finishes then we get hit with bad luck. It is frustrating for everyone on our team because we know what we are capable of-winning races and contending for the championship."

DRIVER: DAVID STARR
TEAM: No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado

QUOTES: "After a week off, I'm really ready to get back behind the wheel of our No.75 Spears Chevy Silverado. The way Memphis is designed makes it an extremely fun track. It is a short track with a tri-oval and that makes it incredibly challenging. You need a good handling truck and we have that in our Spears Chevrolet. The race action is fast and furious with lots of bumping and banging happening from start to finish. Another thing that makes Memphis so much fun is the fans. They are really great and that makes a driver want to do even better.

"This event will mark my fifth start at this track. So far my best finish was seventh in 2003 and we hope to better that this weekend. We've been in a bit of a slump lately, but I think we are on the road to getting things turned around. We are a championship caliber team and everyone has been working overtime to get on top of things. It's part of racing and while we are disappointed in only being 11th in the point standings, it won't be long before we are back up where we should be. "We've now got Rick Carelli as our spotter and he brings a ton of experience and knowledge which I think will be a big help. With the work the guys have put in over the past few days, I think we will be good to go come race time."

DRIVER:  RON HORNADAY

TEAM: No. 6 Kevin Harvick, Inc. GM Goodwrench Silverado

QUOTES: "Memphis is one of my favorite stops on the NCTS schedule. I have run there twice in the trucks and have had good finishes both times. Any track that I have won at is always nice to go back to. My wife is a big Elvis fan so being in his hometown is a treat for her. Our GM Goodwrench team is in need of a strong finish and we feel like Memphis is a place where we can really start to make up some ground. Of course we can't control what the other teams are doing on the track, but if we can start getting things moving in the right direction this weekend, we will be in good shape when Homestead comes around."

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers David Starr , Kevin Harvick , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Jack Sprague , Dennis Setzer , Rick Carelli