Darlington: GM Racing preview

DRIVER: DENNIS SETZER TEAM: No. 46 Morgan-Dollar Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado NOTE: THICK IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP HUNT, SETZER HEADS TO DARLINGTON SECOND IN POINTS, JUST SEVEN POINTS OUT OF FIRST. ON DARLINGTON RACEWAY: "Our team ...

DRIVER: DENNIS SETZER
TEAM: No. 46 Morgan-Dollar Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado

NOTE: THICK IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP HUNT, SETZER HEADS TO DARLINGTON SECOND IN POINTS, JUST SEVEN POINTS OUT OF FIRST.

ON DARLINGTON RACEWAY: "Our team doesn't really have a lot of recent notes on this track because we only ran a few laps here last year before we lost an engine. Darlington was our only DNF of 2003 and only one of two races where we didn't finish in the top ten. But this has been a strange year for us. The tracks that we run good at have not been as good for us, and we have run good at places that have not been our best tracks.

"I have always liked coming to Darlington and have my fondest memories of my early career there. Matter of fact, David Pearson gave me some great advice about the track when I first came here, and now his son, Eddie works with us. Its going to be great to race under the lights with such a close points race and it should be great race for all the fans of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series."

DRIVER:  JACK SPRAGUE

TEAM: No. 16 IWX Racing Chevy Trucks Silverado

ON DARLINGTON RACEWAY: "Darlington has certainly earned its reputation as a tough racetrack. I sat on the pole the last time I raced a truck there in 2001 but ended up finishing 12th. Bobby Hamilton and I were battling for the win when it started raining so NASCAR parked the trucks on pit road with covers on them and my crew discovered I had a flat rear tire. We couldn't do anything about it under the red flag rules so when the track dried and they re-started the trucks, we were going around under yellow and I pitted because of the flat. We got one to go, went green for just a short time and it started pouring so that was the end of the race.

"It is a fun track but a tough place to get the right setup under the truck because turns one and two are completely different than three and four. It is so easy to take the side off your truck coming off two because it is a high-speed corner and the corner narrows down as you come out on to the back stretch. Now with the safer barriers, it is even narrower. You have to have the truck handle perfectly through one and two so you can have good exit speed off of two. Then you should be neutral enough to keep it off the wall in three and four."

DRIVER: DAVID STARR
TEAM: No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado

ON DARLINGTON RACEWAY: "I've been watching racing at Darlington since I was a kid and I really enjoy going there. It is so steeped in history and I love to go to the museum. It is, by far, the toughest track on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck circuit. You definitely have to dance with "the Lady in Black." Doing well requires being able to drive the track more so than racing the competition. If you don't do that, the track will bite you in a quick second. You are racing up against the wall so the soft walls they have recently put in place are going to present a new challenge this time out. Darlington is very challenging and it is definitely tough to pass. You have to be ready to instantly take advantage when the opportunity presents itself. The more experience you have on this track, the better you can do. I always try and pay attention to the guys that know the track.

"This will be my third race at Darlington and we took a 9th last year and a 6th in 2002. While we haven't set the world on fire by any means, we have managed to put our No.75 Spears Chevy Silverado in the top ten both times out. This year we plan to better that with a Podium finish."

DRIVER:  MATT CRAFTON

TEAM: No. 6 Kevin Harvick, Inc. GM Goodwrench Silverado

ON DARLINGTON RACEWAY: "It is definitely a tough track. At least I have a boss that has a lot of laps there and I hope to be able to lean on him quite a bit. I am hoping Kevin will be able to give me some insight to be able to get around that place. Because right now I think Kyle Petty had said before it would be a good place to fill-up to make a fishing pond out of it. That's kind of the way I feel about it right now, but I am sure once you learn how to get around pretty good it will be fun. I finished eighth in 2001, but I still wasn't real happy with it.

"It's a very narrow, fast racetrack that has a lot of history and is very prestigious to win. Keeping the truck off the wall is key when you go to Darlington. If you can keep the right side of the truck in tact for the whole day, you'll have a good day. It eats the tires really bad, too."

DRIVER: SHANE HMIEL
TEAM: No. 15 Trimspa Silverado

ON DARLINGTON RACEWAY: "I like Darlington because of its deep tradition in racing. Darlington is a narrow and tough track to handle even before they put in the safer barriers, which make it now even narrower. You have to be on your game to make your way around this track. This place beats up your tires and you have to make sure you don't use them up in the beginning of the run. You have to have a great handling race car because the track looses grip so fast. The better our truck is the easier it will be to get and stay up front.

"I think if we have two good runs up near the top three or so we can get the TRIMSPA Chevrolet into the top-10 in points in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. If we do make it, I think we'll end up around 8th or 9th in overall points for the year. The Billy Ballew Motorsports team has worked so hard this season and I'd like to bring a top-10 trophy home for them. Ritchie (Wauters) and every one of those guys on that team put 100% in to these trucks and it shows."

DRIVER: KELLY SUTTON
TEAM: No. 02 Team Copaxone Silverado

ON DARLINGTON RACEWAY: "There is so much history at Darlington, and I'm looking forward to racing there for the first time. The team has been working long hours since we got back from Phoenix, to get the truck ready. The first practice will be particularly important this week, so I can learn the best line through the steep banking in the turns and flat straightaways. We've had some great qualifying runs and also some strong finishes this season, but unfortunately, not always in the same race. The team is putting in 120%, so we can pull it all together, and end this season strong, starting with Darlington on Friday night."

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Kyle Petty , Kevin Harvick , David Pearson