Milwaukee: GM Racing preview

* Dennis Setzer is the defending winner of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) at The Milwaukee Mile * Chevrolet Silverado has captured the victory four times in the 11 NCTS events held at the legendary Wisconsin track * Silverado drivers...

* Dennis Setzer is the defending winner of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) at The Milwaukee Mile

* Chevrolet Silverado has captured the victory four times in the 11 NCTS events held at the legendary Wisconsin track

* Silverado drivers have sat on the pole five times

* Silverado drivers hold both the track NCTS qualifying record and the NCTS race record

* 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 - 122 of 275 (1995-Present)

West Allis, WI - When asked if he liked racing on flat race tracks such as Wisconsin's Milwaukee Mile, Raybestos Rookie Aric Almirola, No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado had an enthusiastic response: "I don't care. Banked, tri-oval, road courses, it doesn't matter. As long as I'm out there racing my Silverado in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS), I'm having fun."

Considering the Tampa, FL native has never been to the historic one-mile facility before, his answer is indicative how he is approaching the upcoming NCTS event. In addition to racing his Silverado Friday night, Almirola will have the added responsibility on Saturday of practicing and qualifying the No. 20 Rockwell Automation Monte Carlo SS for Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Denny Hamlin.

Last year's defending race winner Dennis Setzer, No. 85 E85 Flex Fuel Silverado, is ready for a repeat performance of his dominating 2005 victory. Setzer will also pull extra duty on Saturday practicing and qualifying the No. 5 Lowe's/Sta-Green Monte Carlo SS for Kyle Busch.

"Milwaukee was the site of my first-ever truck race," said the Newton NC native. "We've had some great success there over the years. We'd certainly like to dominate the race like we did last year, but our team really needs a good solid contending run right now. We're not going to be able to take the same truck that won last year because that truck hasn't been repaired from a wreck we had at St. Louis on the last lap. But we'll be putting a similar set-up underneath this truck and hopefully have some similar results to last year."

Veteran NCTS drivers Ron Hornaday, No. 33 Kevin Harvick, Inc. Silverado and Mike Bliss, No. 16 IWX Motor Freight Silverado, are looking forward to returning to Milwaukee and get back to the grassroots type race tracks they honed their racing skills on week in and week out. Both drivers will also remain to race on Saturday night's Busch race; Hornaday will be behind the wheel of the No. 33 Outdoor Channel Monte Carlo SS. Bliss jumps in the cockpit of the No. 34 Airform Monte Carlo SS subbing for Jeff Fuller who is recovering from minor injuries received in a crash at Kentucky Speedway.

"Milwaukee is a track that I love coming to every year," said two-time NCTS champion Hornaday. "Milwaukee is so flat that the drivers really have to work hard at this track. I have never finished outside of the top-ten in the five times that I have raced in Milwaukee, and I even won the race there in 1997.

"Milwaukee is everything but it's different," said 2002 NCTS champion Bliss. "You get tired of running these high-speed racetracks where aero is such a big factor. Milwaukee's the same thing too because aero is important. But it is a driver's track. It's a tough race track to try and get a hold of, just because it's flat, it takes a lot of concentration to hit your marks better. It is a place that is more like the grass roots tracks we all grew up racing on so that is part of it too. It is a great area and a fun track."

The one-day NCTS event Milwaukee Mile event will start with a one-hour practice session scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m. CDT followed at 12:30 p.m. by a 30-minute rookie-only practice. Final practice will commence at 1:00 p.m. CDT with qualifying on the schedule for 5:30 p.m. CDT.

The 200-lap/200-mile race is scheduled to start at 8:15 p.m. CDT with live television coverage provided by SPEED TV. MRN Radio and XM Satellite Radio will broadcast the action to live worldwide radio audiences.

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

"Milwaukee is the kind of place where you have to hit the chassis set-up right on. Turns one and two are a bit different than three and four. Your truck has to turn real well off of two with a late rotation to get a good run going down the backstretch. Turn four is a little easier because you can use the apron of the pit entrance coming off."

"Milwaukee was the site of my first-ever truck race and we've had some great success there over the years. We'd certainly like to dominate the race like we did last year, but our team really needs a good solid contending run right now. We're not going to be able to take the same truck that won last year because that truck hasn't been repaired from a wreck we had at St. Louis on the last lap. But we'll be putting a similar set-up underneath this truck and hopefully have some similar results to last year."

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

"I am looking forward to heading to Milwaukee, which is another track on the schedule this season that I have never raced on before. I am definitely going to be picking my teammates (Dennis Setzer) brain for some pointers and tips on getting around that place. It is so flat, and is a track that we will use a lot of brakes on, so that will take some getting used to also. I am just excited to be going to these new places and am looking to have a good run this weekend in Milwaukee.

I am hoping to continue to qualify well, and will be using the practice sessions to get acclimated to the flatness of this track. Our Centrix Auto Finance Silverado team is working hard to prepare great trucks, and I am excited that I get to drive them."

DRIVER:  RON HORNADAY

TEAM: No. 33 Kevin Harvick, Inc. Silverado

"Milwaukee is a track that I love coming to every year. I will be racing the Busch car also this weekend for Kevin and DeLana, so I will definitely be busy. Milwaukee is so flat that the drivers really have to work hard at this track. I have never finished outside of the top-ten in the five times that I have raced in Milwaukee, and I even won the race there in 1997. I remember that I took the lead from my good pal, Jack Sprague, with only a few laps to go, and we ended up winning the race, which was awesome. We led a bunch of laps and kind of dominated that race, so I am hopeful that we can do that again. I finished third in 1995 and 1996, and it is just a race track that I always look forward to coming to.

Our Kevin Harvick Inc. Silverado team has worked so hard this year, and winning in Mansfield was a great day, and I want to bring this team back to Victory Lane real soon. Milwaukee is just a good old short track, and I love to go short track racing!"

DRIVER:  ARIC ALMIROLA

TEAM: No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado - Spears Motorsports

On Milwaukee:
"From what I hear it's sort of like St. Louis. We had a good run in St. Louis so I think we'll be all right in Milwaukee. I love coming to all of these new race tracks and getting seat time, and learning new places. I used to watch these places on television last year, so I am thrilled to be racing at them now."

Are you participating in the NBS at Milwaukee?

"I'm practicing and qualifying Denny's (Hamlin) Busch car so that will be helpful. Should be a lot of fun too. I know I will get some more insight when I talk to Dennis (Setzer) since he put everybody to shame there last year. I imagine I'll go talk to him and see what his thoughts on the place are."

Do you like flat racetracks?

"I don't care. Banked, tri-oval, road courses, it doesn't matter. As long as I'm out there racing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series I'm having fun."

DRIVER:  MATT CRAFTON

TEAM: No. 88 Menards Silverado - ThorSport Racing

"I like racing at Milwaukee, and look forward to going there every year. Our ThorSport team has been working so hard, and our results at the race track have proven that. Milwaukee always provides the fans with a great race, and it is a fun, flat track to race on, and it makes the driver's job pretty tough. The track is so flat, and we are really going to have to use our practice sessions to put together a good plan as to what we are going to do during the race. We practice during the day, and race at night so we will have to take that into consideration also."

DRIVER:  KERRY EARNHARDT

TEAM: No. 13 National Pork Board Silverado - ThorSport Racing

"We are pretty excited about going to Milwaukee. Our program has really turned around the last couple weeks, and Lance Hooper (crew chief) has really done a lot to the truck and we have gotten them better. We are also working on some shock and spring stuff and we are getting things turned around, so I am really looking forward to going to Milwaukee. It is another short track, so I think that it is going to be a lot of fun, and hopefully our truck will be as good as it has been the last couple of weeks."

DRIVER:  MIKE BLISS

TEAM: No. 16 Xpress Motorsports Silverado

On Milwaukee:
"It will be fun to go back. I like Milwaukee. Sucks that Summerfest hasn't started yet. I like that race track, though. It's kind of fun; it gets away from all the hoopla of the bigger track and having Cup there and gets back to racing. In a truck at Milwaukee, you really race and race hard.

We have had some pretty good runs there in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series a win, a pole and quite a few top-five and top-10s and some decent runs in the Busch Series too.

What is the attraction on a flat track like Milwaukee?

It's everything but it's different. You get tired of running these high-speed racetracks where aero is such a big factor. Milwaukee's the same thing too because aero is important. But it is a driver's track. It's a tough race track to try and get a hold of. Same thing with Michigan, it's a whole different thing. But Milwaukee, just because it's flat, it takes a lot of concentration to hit your marks better. It is a place that is more like the grass roots tracks we all grew up racing on so that is part of it too. It is a great area and a fun track.

-gm racing

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Jeff Fuller , Kevin Harvick , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Dennis Setzer , Lance Hooper , Mike Bliss , Denny Hamlin , Aric Almirola , Kyle Busch , Monte Green