Texas Repeat Important To Setzer's Championship Hopes Statesville, NC - Dennis Setzer and his ...
Texas Repeat Important To Setzer's Championship Hopes
Statesville, NC - Dennis Setzer and his #46 Morgan-Dollar Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado race team know how important each finishing position in every race, is to their championship effort. Setzer finished second in the 2003 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series final standings, by a mere nine points. The final point spread was the equivalent of less than two positions in the top-five of any one NCTS race.
Setzer and his teammates have played last season over in their heads numerous times - where had they lost ten points or where could they have found those points. No team was better or more consistent than Setzer and his #46 Acxiom Silverado as the 2003 season wound down. In the final seven races, Setzer had five top-three finishes including one win.
However, if there was one race the team felt that they stumbled, it was at the fall event at Texas Motor Speedway.
"We just didn't run as well as we would have liked at the second Texas race last year," said Setzer. "We got a top-five there in the spring of 2003, but were never really in the hunt in the fall. The other contenders got a leg up on us there, and we can't let that happen again."
With just four races to go in the 2003 season, there were four drivers in the hunt for the championship. While Setzer finished eighth at Texas, the other championship contenders swept the top-three finishing positions. Setzer would go on to finish third, third, and seventh in the final three races in the 2003 season and nine points out of the championship.
Dennis and Morgan-Dollar Motorsports used the first race at Texas this year as retribution for last year's performance. Setzer won the O'Reilly Auto Parts 400K en route to his second win of the season. His June 11th victory over Ted Musgrave, made him just the second series competitor to score multiple wins at the 1.5 mile superspeedway. Ironically, the win came five years later to the day, of his first triumph at TMS. Also, Setzer had come in as the series point leader at the time - extending his lead with the victory.
Once again history is repeating itself as Setzer and his #46 Chevrolet Silverado teammates come into the Silverado 350 with a series championship on the line. And, once again it looks like the race for the title is down to four teams. Setzer rides just 56 points behind leader Bobby Hamilton with five races to go in the season. The current championship point gap between Setzer and Hamilton is the second-closest margin in series history with five races to go.
Although Setzer has never finished outside the top-ten at any of the five fall events, his best finish is third (1999), and his average finish is 6.4, in previous Silverado 350 races. Dennis has completed all 730 laps and 1,090 miles at fall NCTS races at Texas Motor Speedway.
"We are not bringing the truck that won the spring race, but the truck we are competing with is our best aerodynamic race truck," said Setzer. "We took it to Atlanta to a Chevrolet test last week and it was very fast. A lot of the things we learned in Atlanta will transfer to Texas this weekend too. Our team is hungry for a win and we would all like to especially win this one for Chevrolet Silverado because it is their title race."
Practice and qualifying for the Silverado 350 begins on Friday, October 15th. Live green flag coverage begins on the Speed Channel Saturday, March 13th at 2:00 pm EDT with radio coverage coming on MRN Affiliates and XM Satellite Radio at 1:30 p.m.