Chevrolet Silverado Maintains Manufacturers Points Lead in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Dennis Setzer Still On Top Championship Points Chase Lebanon, TN --Team Silverado fought the valiant fight but none of the four Chevrolet teams and...
Chevrolet Silverado Maintains Manufacturers Points Lead in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
Dennis Setzer Still On Top Championship Points Chase
Lebanon, TN --Team Silverado fought the valiant fight but none of the four Chevrolet teams and drivers were able to overcome tire and handling problems to post a top-10 finish Saturday at Nashville Superspeedway.
Despite the day of disappointing finishes, Chevrolet maintains their lead in the battle for their sixth NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series manufacturer's title with 110 points and nine wins over Dodge's 91points and four wins.
Championship points leader Dennis Setzer started the 150-lap/ 200-mile race from the 16th spot on the grid and brought his No. 46 Chevrolet Z71 Silverado home in 14th position.
After working his way to the top-10 by the 20th lap of the race, Setzer continued to run strong until running over debris on lap 42 and having to make an unscheduled pit stop for a flat tire. The caution flew two laps later allowing Setzer to make up valuable track position.
Setzer made his way back to the top-10 through the midpoint of the race but was unable to hold his Chevrolet Silverado where he needed it on the track. The last restart of the race, Setzer couldn't get back up to speed as quickly as other trucks and had to settle for the 14th finishing position.
"We didn't qualify as well as we would have liked," said Setzer. "But based on how we had practiced, I felt confident we had a strong truck for the race. During the first green flag run, I could really drive up off the corner and throttle up underneath another truck to make a pass. We made some adjustments there on the first stop that took that advantage away. The last two tire runs; we could not complete a pass. Then we had some problems on the restarts there at the end of the race. Our Silverado was pretty good at points in the race, but we just missed something there in the end.
bWe had a good lead in the points coming in to Nashville. You have to expect that you are going to have a bad race or problem here or there. This race wasn't a good day for us. That's why you never have too comfortable of a lead. We'll just have to get our Silverado ready to go at Bristol in a couple of weeks."
Ron Hornaday, fourth in series championship standings-just 46 points out of second-entering the Nashville event, suffered a day of frustration equal to that of Setzer. Starting 20th, Hornaday brought the No. 6 GM Goodwrench Silverado to the finish line in 12th place. Hornaday remains fourth in the championship chase but is now 89 points out of second.
"This was just one of those races where we couldn't get it the way we needed it," said the two-time NCTS champion. "It was a frustrating afternoon for the GM Goodwrench team, but we made the best out of a tough situation. I thought that we would have run a little better, but that is just what happens sometimes. About halfway through we made some adjustments and got it going, but something caught on fire and smoked up the inside of my truck. I couldn't see and trucks started passing me on the bottom. That was end of our chances. We now have to start thinking about our next race and getting this No. 6 team back into victory lane."
After qualifying fourth, Jack Sprague and the No. 16 Chevy Trucks Silverado team seemed poised to be a contender early in the race. The only three-time NCTS champion ran in the top-five from the drop of the green flag until what should have been his final pit stop of the race on lap 114 under caution.
The team made adjustments to correct the tight conditions through the center of the corners and off that Sprague had experienced through the mid section of the race. When green flag racing resumed on lap 118, Sprague began dropping back in the field and told the crew something was wrong, either he had a tire going down or something broke because the truck wouldn't turn at all.
When the caution flew again on lap 137, the crew brought the Chevy Truck Silverado back down pit road to attempt to correct the problem, but when the race went green, the same problem continued. Sprague limped to the checkered in 21st position dropping from 12th to 14th in the standings.
"I do not know what happened there after that last yellow flag pit stop around lap 115 or so," said Sprague. "We made some adjustments to our Chevy Trucks Silverado to help me get off the corner a little better. We had been tight off pretty much the whole race so I needed help. Once the race went back to green, I thought we had a tire going down, because I couldn't turn it, then it would break loose and I about hit the wall. We came back in under the next yellow and put the first set of tires back on but that didn't help so I am thinking something must have broke-a bar, a shock something. Huge disappointment for our team, our truck was so fast in practice and we qualified good but it just went away on us for the last 25 laps or so and dropped from a top-three finish to where we were at the checkered."
David Starr and the No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado fought a loose truck the entire weekend. After qualifying for the 17th starting position, Starr dropped as far back as 22nd in the field while the Dave McCarty led crew continued to make adjustments to improve the handling. Starr was able to bring home the 17th finishing position. Starr maintained his 10th place position in the points chase.
"Just a huge disappointment for our Spears Chevy Silverado team," said Starr. "We were so loose all day and nothing we did seemed to help us at all. We did the best we could do but just disappointing that we couldn't get it better no matter what we did. Just go on to Bristol."
John Andretti was the top finishing Silverado bringing his No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevrolet home in 11th position. Matt Crafton in the No. 88 Menard's Silverado finished 13th giving Silverado four finishers in the top-15.
The next event on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule is the O'Reilly 200 by Valvoline Maxlife at Bristol Motor Speedway for a one-day show on Wednesday, August 24, 2005. The first practice is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. EDT on followed by the final practice at 1:00 p.m. EDT. Qualifying will be held at 5:30 p.m. EDT and the trucks impounded until the scheduled race start at 9:15 p.m. EDT. Live television coverage of the 200-lap/ 106.6-mile race will be provided by SPEED Channel with MRN and XM Satellite bringing the race live on the air waves.