Phoenix: GM Racing preview

Silverado Teams and Drivers Ready to Continue Winning Ways at Phoenix * Silverado has won 10 of the 15 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) races at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) more than any other manufacturer * Ron Hornaday, Jr. leads...

Silverado Teams and Drivers Ready to Continue Winning Ways at Phoenix

* Silverado has won 10 of the 15 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) races at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) more than any other manufacturer

* Ron Hornaday, Jr. leads Team Chevy to PIR

* Won pole at inaugural NCTS race at PIR in 1995

* In 11 PIR NCTS starts, the two-time NCTS champion has two wins, seven top-five and 10 top-10 finishes

* His team owner Kevin Harvick has two PIR NCTS victories

* Kyle Busch returns to cockpit of No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Silverado

* Chevrolet Silverado has won six of the 11 NCTS Manufacturer's Championships

* Silverado drivers have won eight of the 11 possible NCTS' Driver Championships

* Silverado drivers have won more NCTS races (124 of 289 races) than any other manufacturer

Avondale, AZ - Phoenix International Raceway (PIR), often touted as the roots of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) is the next stop on the Team Chevy 2006 schedule.

Beginning at the inaugural 1995 race, Silverado has been the winningest nameplate in the NCTS. Ron Hornaday, Jr., No. 33 AES HR Solutions Silverado won the pole at the first event and Silverado was in victory lane with then-Silverado pilot Mike Skinner.

All total, Silverado has won 10 of the 15 races and seven poles, both more than any other manufacturer. In addition, Silverado drivers have claimed more top-five and more top-10 runs than drivers of any other make in the NCTS.

Hornaday, Jr. had gone on to claim two wins; seven top-five and 10 top-10 finishes in his 11 PIR NCTS starts. His team owner, Kevin Harvick has posted two wins at PIR giving Hornaday confidence in his setups and his chances for a solid run.

"Phoenix will be a very busy weekend for me," said Hornaday. "I am running the Truck and Busch race, which should be a blast. I get so excited when we race in Phoenix; I love the area and the race track is great. The trucks always put on a good show for the fans, and since we are racing under the lights again this year, it will be another exciting race, guaranteed. After finishing fifth in Texas last week, we are looking to get a win in Phoenix, man that would be a perfect way to finish out the season."

With two consecutive wins, Mike Bliss, No. 16 Xpress Motorsports Silverado at Atlanta and Clint Bowyer, No. 46 Jack Daniel's Silverado at Texas, for the Silverado brand, the upcoming PIR race has Chevy teams and drivers excited to return to the 1.0-mile oval in the desert just southwest of Phoenix.

Bliss is a seasoned veteran on the track in both NASCAR and open-wheel competition with numerous career wins in the famed Copper World Classic.

Kyle Busch, No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Silverado, already has a NASCAR Nextel Cup victory at the track but hasn't been able to translate that success into the truck race. For the third consecutive week, Busch will race all three NASCAR events.

"Our Silverado teams and drivers are excited to get to Phoenix," said Dayne Pierantoni, GM Racing NCTS program manager. "The momentum of our two consecutive victories has a positive affect on everyone involved in our program. In the past, PIR has been a good track for the Silverado. Our veteran drivers all have had success there and the younger drivers and rookies have adapted well to the track.

"Handling is critical because the track has two corners with a minimum of banking and then two that are virtually flat. Having your truck setup to make the transition from turn two to the dogleg on the backstretch and get in to turn three is crucial in getting around Phoenix. It is a pretty technical track so crew chiefs and engineers have an interesting weekend ahead of them."

Team Chevy Silverado Driver Quotes

DRIVER: DENNIS SETZER
TEAM: No. 85 Shell Rotella T Silverado - Morgan Dollar Motorsports

"Phoenix is just an awesome race track. It is really unlike anywhere else that we go, and the banking is very unique. Two of the turns have some banking, while the other two have very little or none. Last year was also the first year that we raced at PIR under the lights and it made for an exciting race. The track gets so much more grip at night, and last year there was some good side-by-side racing pretty much the whole race. We had a disappointing week last week in Texas, but hopefully we can rebound this week in Phoenix with a good run."

DRIVER: RON HORNADAY
TEAM: No. 33 AES HR Solutions Silverado- Kevin Harvick, Inc.

"Phoenix will be a very busy weekend for me. I am running the Truck and Busch race, which should be a blast. I get so excited when we race in Phoenix; I love the area and the race track is great. The trucks always put on a good show for the fans, and since we are racing under the lights again this year, it will be another exciting race, guaranteed. After finishing fifth in Texas last week, we are looking to get a win in Phoenix, man that would be a perfect way to finish out the season."

DRIVER: ARIC ALMIROLA
TEAM: No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado - Spears Motorsports

"I am looking for a good run in our Spears Manufacturing Silverado. We have been pretty good at the smaller tracks, and Phoenix is a great track. I am running the Busch race also, so it will be a jam-packed weekend. I like running both the Truck and Busch races, and the additional track time and extra laps will hopefully translate into good finishes in both of the races."

DRIVER: MIKE BLISS
TEAM: No. 16 Xpress Motorsports Silverado

"Phoenix is one of my favorite tracks to race at every year, and I really look forward to heading out there. It is really where the Truck Series started, so it feels good to go "home" again. I have raced lots of things at PIR, including Trucks and also in the Cooper World Classics, and I really like the tracks where we get back to the drivers using the throttle and the brake. Phoenix is just a neat track and area to head to, and hopefully we can get back in the groove and get a couple of good finishes before the season is over."

DRIVER:  SHANE HUFFMAN

TEAM: No. 40 Key Motorsports Silverado

"I'm not down at all on what the guys with Key Motorsports have given me to run. I know that things happen in this business that can destroy long-range plans, but I know the problems that the team has experienced the last few races were things out of the team's control. I'm excited to get back to a short track at Phoenix and I have feeling that we're going to rebound there."

DRIVER: CHAD MCCUMBEE
TEAM: No. 08 GPS Store.com/Garmin Silverado - Green Light Racing

"After having such an encouraging run in Atlanta and again in Texas, I am really pumped up and ready to go to Phoenix. It should be a great race for the Trucks, based on how the Cup and Busch races were earlier in the year. I am just so proud of all the guys and their dedication and hard work has really turned some heads and gotten the team some attention. Hopefully, we can keep that energy going in Phoenix and head to Homestead with some momentum."

DRIVER: KYLE BUSCH
TEAM: No. 51 Billy Ballew Motorsports Silverado

"I hope that the success we have had there in the Cup car will translate over to the truck. I am trying to get Alan (Gustafson, crew chief NNCS #5) to give me some shocks and some advice on what we need to do with our truck in Phoenix. I haven't been too successful yet, so I will see what I can figure out there. I like Phoenix, it is a great place. And the reason I like running the truck out there is that is basically where they came from- Bakersfield, California is where they came from, but Phoenix was one of the first races that they had, so it would be pretty cool to put my name with all the winners that have won there."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Mike Skinner , Kevin Harvick , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Mike Bliss , Clint Bowyer , Kyle Busch