SETZER CLAIMS TOYOTA TUNDRA MILWAUKEE 200 NASCAR RACE AT THE MILWAUKEE MILE MILWAUKEE (June 24, 2005) -- It may have taken Dennis Setzer ten years to finally put it all together at The Milwaukee Mile, but he finally did it in a huge way, ...
SETZER CLAIMS TOYOTA TUNDRA MILWAUKEE 200 NASCAR RACE AT THE MILWAUKEE MILE
MILWAUKEE (June 24, 2005) -- It may have taken Dennis Setzer ten years to finally put it all together at The Milwaukee Mile, but he finally did it in a huge way, dominating the Toyota Tundra Milwaukee 200 NASCAR Craftsmen Truck Series race Friday night June 24th to score his second series win of the season.
Setzer became the 10th series winner in 11 events held at The Milwaukee Mile.
"It was a long time coming but...finally!" exclaimed Setzer whose previous best Milwaukee finish was a second place in the inaugural series event at America's Legendary Oval in 1995. "We almost won one here ten years ago, which opened some doors for us as far as getting good rides, so it's special to win here."
And win he did, leading a whopping 152 of the event's 200 laps in record time, as he left a mere four trucks on the lead lap at the conclusion. It took a scant 1 hour, 49.11 minutes from start to finish for the North Carolina veteran. Once Setzer took the lead on lap 44, it was obvious to the crowd of 26, 571 that he had the truck to beat as he quickly pulled away from Jack Sprague, Ted Musgrave, Ron Hornaday and the rest of the field.
"We just started out great and stayed the same all night," Setzer continued. "I couldn't ask for a race to turn out any better."
Sprague was the only driver to really keep Setzer honest, starting from the pole position and leading the opening 43 laps. Sprague then trailed Setzer throughout the remainder of the race before finally having to settle for second place 3.993 seconds behind the leader.
"Dennis (Setzer) had us covered tonight and he was just better than us," Sprague explained. "On fresh tires I could catch him a little bit, but he had us beat. He had us and everyone else covered tonight. We did what we could do."
"We pretty much annihilated everyone else," Sprague followed up, chuckling. "If Dennis wasn't here I would have looked pretty good, but he was here. It was pretty evident we had the best trucks tonight."
Defending Toyota Tundra Milwaukee 200 race winner Musgrave is the only driver to have won more than one NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event. The former local driver from Franklin, Wis. driver ran a solid, yet distant third.
"We varied our set-up from a year ago and it took awhile to get the truck close to where it was last year," the Wisconsin native stated afterwards. "Sometimes you think you can do better than the last time and then you don't but after all the recent disappointments we've had, it's good to finally do something right. It's just that someone else really did something right."
"We might have caught Sprague towards the end there with a little luck, but we didn't have anything for Dennis," Musgrave continued. "In the end, I was just happy to get the race over with and take third."
Hornaday's fourth place finish in owner Kevin Harvick's truck extended his amazing string of top-10 finishes at The Milwaukee Mile to eleven consecutive races. The defending Busch Series race winner at The 'Mile has now completed all six NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races and all five Busch Series races he's run at the historic speedway no worse than tenth. His run tonight, however, was more of a contest of perseverance.
"I couldn't even see the guys up front," claimed Hornaday. "I had a few good laps and got going but the traffic out there slowed us down a half second a lap. We did everything we could."
"We were running Ted (Musgrave) down for a while but then I overshot the corner and screwed up the tires," Hornaday went on. "We could have used a couple more cautions for adjustments but I'm sure so could have a lot of other guys. All in all to come out of here with a top four finish isn't bad."
Brendan Gaughan, the 2003 Milwaukee truck winner, finished in the fifth position while defending series champion Bobby Hamilton, Steve Park, and Rick Crawford took the checkered flag in the sixth through eighth spots, respectively. Sun Prarie, WI rookie driver Todd Kluever turned in a strong performance as the top finishing first-year driver in ninth, and '02 Milwaukee champ Terry Cook rounded out the top ten.
Surprisingly, the race, which was run under threatening skies, was only slowed by the caution flag a single time for a total of four laps, producing a fast-paced average speed of 109.907 mph.
Setzer's victory vaulted him into the series points lead by 35 markers over Hamilton while Musgrave sits in third place, 44 points out of the lead. Hornaday's performance moved him into the fourth spot in the point standings while Ricky Craven fell to fifth after finishing 21st.
For tickets to all the exciting events happening at The Milwaukee Mile, including tomorrow night's SBC 250 NASCAR Busch Series race, visit www.milwaukeemile.com.