Team Chevy Silverado Back in Action at Gateway International Raceway Race five of the 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Season * Dennis Setzer, No. 85, E85 FlexFuel Silverado, finished second in 2005 at Gateway International Raceway * Holds...
Team Chevy Silverado Back in Action at Gateway International Raceway Race five of the 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Season
* Dennis Setzer, No. 85, E85 FlexFuel Silverado, finished second in 2005 at Gateway International Raceway
* Holds the record for the most top-10 finishes with six in eight starts, including three runner-up finishes
* Chevrolet Silverado has won six of the 11 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 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 - 120 of 270 (1995-Present)
Madison, IL - Dennis Setzer is anxious to get back in the cockpit of his No. 85 E85 FlexFuel Silverado after a three-week break in the schedule - he has unfinished business at Gateway International Raceway (GIR). After finishing second in 2005, added to two previous runner-up finishes in the eight NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) events held at the track just east of downtown St. Louis, MO, Setzer and his Morgan-Dollar Motorsports team are focused on taking a trip to victory lane in the upcoming Dodge Ram Tough 200.
GIR is a track unique unto itself challenging both drivers and crew chiefs. At 1.25 miles in length, there is no other track on any NASCAR circuit with a similar elliptical configuration. Although the length of the frontstretch and backstretch are virtually identical, 1,922 feet and 1,976 feet respectively, corners one and two are short and tight while turns three and four have a almost a slight dogleg coming in to and going off of them and are big and sweeping. There is 11 degrees of banking in turns one and two while only nine degrees in three and four. Finding a neutral handling setup that gives you the most advantage possible at both ends is a feat mastered by just a few.
Chevy Silverado has taken three trips to victory lane at GIR, the first in 1998, the inaugural NCTS event, by Rick Carelli. Carelli has retired from the cockpit but is still an active member of Team Chevy. He is the general manager Kevin Harvick, Inc. that fields the No. 33 Silverado driven by two-time NCTS champion Ron Hornaday, Jr. Hornaday has three previous starts at GIR, his best finish second in 1999.
Practice for the fifth event of the 2006 NCTS season is scheduled to begin on Saturday at 9:05 AM CDT followed with rookie practice at 10:30 AM for 30 minutes. Final practice will commence at 11:00 for one hour. Qualifying will begin at 4:00 PM with the 36-truck starting field impounded until the race. The 160-lap, 200-mile race is scheduled to start at 7:15 PM CDT. SPEED TV, MRN Radio and XM Satellite Radio will provide live coverage of all the action.
DRIVER: DENNIS SETZER
TEAM: No. 85 Chevrolet E85 FlexFuel Silverado - Morgan Dollar Motorsports
"You know, last year we had a bit of an advantage on the competition because of the gear and transmission rule. Prior to that, teams could set the truck up to shift gears and we never had. We always set our truck to roll through the corners and go fast without shifting. It's the same rule this year, and I believe the same tire as we've had. So, even though I don't think that we'll have a huge advantage on anyone, we're still a step ahead on our set-ups and the way that we attack this track. We're also bringing the same truck that ran second last year and it's the same truck that won a couple of times in 2005 too. I've always liked the track (Gateway Int'l Raceway) and have done a lot of testing here over the years. I really like turns one and two because they are high gear and involve a lot of braking. It reminds me of the corners at Martinsville. I really enjoy a track that involves a lot of braking."
DRIVER: KRAIG KINSER
TEAM: No. 46 Centrix Auto Finance Silverado - Morgan Dollar Motorsports
"Like most of the rookies, I have never seen Gateway International Raceway. I know where it is because I have raced my sprint car at the dirt tracks in the area, Granite City and Peavley. It is part of being a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Rookie; every race has challenges of not only the level of competition in the series and learning the track, but simple things like how to find the track, how to get from the garage to pit road and things like that. I have really been picking Dennis' (Setzer, Morgan Dollar Motorsports teammate) brain about the track. He has had some great finishes there so he obviously has the place figured out. Randy (Goss, crew chief) won a race and two poles there with Greg Biffle so he knows what it takes in the setup to get around there. I am looking forward to getting to the race track and back in the truck and see what we can learn."
DRIVER: RON HORNADAY
TEAM: No. 33 Kevin Harvick, Inc. Silverado
"The corners at Gateway are different and I had it all figured out back in the day before NASCAR enforced the gear rule. Turns 3 and 4 are like Phoenix, they are long and sweeping. But coming into Turns 1 and 2 you used to shift getting into Turn 1, coming off of Turn 2 and down the back stretch. The key to Gateway is handling. Between the Truck race at Martinsville and Gateway, there is three weeks off; I'm not sure what I'd be doing if I didn't get to drive the No. 33 Outdoor Channel car for Kevin and DeLana [Harvick]. Being able to race in two series has kept my head up and my mind off distractions. It's really great to be able to work with Wally [Rogers] and the guys on Busch car and be able to visit familiar tracks that I'll eventually race in the truck later this season."
DRIVER: ARIC ALMIROLA
TEAM: No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado - Spears Motorsports
"I can't wait to get back to the racetrack. The last few weeks off from racing has drove me crazy. I even made a trip down to Victory Lane Karting in Charlotte (N.C) to race a few laps in the go-karts against some of my friends. I've never been to St. Louis (Mo.), so hopefully I can make a trip to see the Arch while I'm there. I've been watching tapes that McCarty gave me and trying to learn as much as I can before I get there. From the tapes of Gateway (International Raceway), it looks like just a big short track, sort of like Loudon (New Hampshire International Speedway), where I got my career best finish of eighth in the Truck Series in 2005. It seems to me that the Spears Manufacturing truck has run well there in the past and they won there in 2004. This will start a long stretch of racing for me; once this weekend starts I'll have one weekend off in the next 30 weeks between truck racing and Busch racing. So as much as I complain about being bored the down time will be appreciated 30 weeks from now."
DRIVER: MATT CRAFTON
TEAM: No. 88 Menards Silverado - ThorSport Racing
"I look forward to racing at Gateway...I've always seemed to run well there. I'm excited to go racing again. It's nice to have a breather once in awhile, but I'm ready to go. Gateway is wide-open, but it's unique because it's flat on one end and banked on the other. You've got to find the right balance between the motor and the gear rule, since we can't shift anymore. Gateway kind of reminds me of PIR (Phoenix), characteristic-wise. It takes a good flat-track driver to do well at there. I want to continue to build the momentum we started with our 3rd-place finish at Martinsville. The guys on this race team are anxious to keep it going."
DRIVER: MIKE BLISS
TEAM: No. 16 Xpress Motorsports Silverado
"Gateway is a unique race track and I like unique tracks. There is no other track around like it, which makes it fun to drive. I have won the pole there once and this team has set on the pole twice and scored top-five finishes, so we need to combine the knowledge from those successes and have a good weekend."
DRIVER: KERRY EARNHARDT
TEAM: No. 13 ThorSport Racing Silverado
"I always look forward to racing at Gateway. You always know it's gonna be exciting for the fans. It's a different kind of layout at Gateway. It's more of a 'finesse-type' track...you have to be aggressive, but you have to be careful not to overdrive the truck in the turns. If you overdrive it in the turns, you won't get a good run down the straightaways. You have to be smooth. I feel like Lance (crew chief Hooper) and I can share a nice perspective at Gateway, because he raced here and is familiar with the track, also. We're hoping to take the No. 13 ThorSport Chevrolet to a top-ten finish at Gateway.