Nashville: GM Racing preview

Chevrolet Team Silverado Heads to Nashville Superspeedway Dennis Setzer Holds 227 Point Lead in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Championship Point Standings * Dennis Setzer holds a 227 point lead in the NCTS championship standings * Setzer is...

Chevrolet Team Silverado Heads to Nashville Superspeedway

Dennis Setzer Holds 227 Point Lead in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Championship Point Standings

* Dennis Setzer holds a 227 point lead in the NCTS championship standings

* Setzer is only four-time NCTS winner thus far this season

* Chevrolet sits atop the NCTS manufacturer championship chase with 107 points and nine wins

* Ron Hornaday and Jack Sprague each have one victory in 2005 - Atlanta and Texas respectively

Nashville, TN - The next stop for Chevrolet Team Silverado is the 1.33-mile Nashville Superspeedway, one of only three concrete surface tracks on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule. The Toyota Tundra 200 is the 16th race of the 25-event 2005 NCTS season.

Racing on a concrete track versus the usual pavement surface poses unique challenges. With 14 degree banking in the corners, Nashville Superspeedway (NSS) is a very fast track; the 2004 pole speed was in excess of 160 mph with an average race speed of 124 mph. The high speeds coupled with the concrete surface make tire management a critical issue. Crew chiefs are faced with the difficulty of finding the exact balance of enough grip to keep their truck glued down to the race track and maximize all the horsepower, but not too much grip that the tires burn off in just a few laps.

Coming off his fourth victory of the season at Indianapolis Raceway Park, current NCTS points leader Dennis Setzer and his No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado team are looking to propel their momentum in to a first-time trip to victory lane at Nashville and add the coveted Gibson Guitar trophy to the trophy case. In four previous NSS appearances, the Newton, NC native has one top-five and three top-10 finishes.

Setzer sits atop the NCTS standings with a 227-point lead over second place.

"We have been good and we've been bad here at Nashville," said Setzer. "Our team came out two weeks ago and tested, and we were not very happy with the results. But I have a lot of faith in the guys here at the shop and we will bring our best piece.

"The track itself is very fast and hard to get a good handle on. It takes a lot of grip, horsepower and a little luck to be good here. We have never really been able to put all that together before. Our Silverado crew has been outstanding so far this year and we are looking forward to taking some momentum into Nashville."

Ron Hornaday, No. 6 GM Goodwrench Silverado, with one victory so far this season, currently sits fourth in the series standings. The two-time NCTS champion has not competed on NSS in a truck but has seven previous starts in the NASCAR Busch Series (NBS).

"Nashville is all about winning that guitar," said Hornaday. "I would love to have one along with my other trophies. I have struggled a little bit at Nashville in the past, but I am going to be there with a new team and we are looking for a win. We have struggled a little this year and Setzer is slowly making this a race for second place, but we think we have a good shot of going to victory lane this weekend."

Three-time NCTS champion Jack Sprague has four previous starts at NSS; two in the NCTS, where he finished 21st and 14th respectively and two in the NBS which resulted in one win and one second place finish. Sprague currently sits 12th in the NCTS championship standings and have one victory to his credit this season.

"I had great luck at the old track in the trucks," said Sprague. "And great runs at the new track in the Busch car. Last year our Chevy Trucks Silverado was so tight all day, we couldn't do enough to loosen it up and get it to turn. The balance in the truck is so important at Nashville because the track is abrasive and tire wear can be an issue if you don't get your truck just perfect.

"I am lucky enough to have two of the guitar trophies, but there is always room to add another one to the trophy case. We just want to run good from the green flag to the checkered and have some luck fall our way."

While still looking for their first trip to victory lane in 2005, David Starr and the No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado team know that NSS could be their ticket to that first win of the season. Starr finished second at NSS in 2004 behind race winner and series champion Bobby Hamilton (Dodge). Currently sitting 10th in the series standings, Starr and company want to continue working their way up the points ladder.

"I am looking forward to going back to Nashville," said Starr. "I would like another shot at winning that guitar trophy. We had a pretty decent shot at the win last year but on the restart with maybe seven laps to go, I spun my tires and Bobby (Hamilton) was able to take off. I like the track a lot. The fans are great and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series always puts on a great race there. It is just a really cool place to go.

"You have to hit your marks every lap and not overdrive the corners, but that is true at almost every track we race on. I can hardly wait to get there and do all we can to get this Spears Chevy Silverado in victory lane."

Veteran John Andretti will be back behind the wheel on the No. 15 Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau Billy Ballew Silverado. This will be Andretti's first look at NSS in any kind of race vehicle.

"I've never been to Nashville before," said Andretti. "Not even seen the track, but that's not anything unique. I hadn't been to Memphis before or IRP in 20 years, so I'll go learn some more. I'd obviously like to have a great run in the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau Chevrolet and look forward to competing at Nashville. It'll be nice to have an opportunity to go to a track I've been to before, should that ever occur, but I know the Billy Ballew Motorsports team is strong wherever we go, so I'm not too concerned."

The first practice for the Toyota Tundra 200 at Nashville Superspeedway is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. CDT on Friday, August 12 followed by the final practice at 4:15 p.m. CDT. Qualifying will be held at 11:00 a.m.CDT and the trucks impounded until the scheduled race start at 4:15 p.m. CDT. Live television coverage will be provided by SPEED Channel with MRN and XM Satellite bringing the race live on the air waves.

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers John Andretti , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Jack Sprague , Dennis Setzer