Setzer Can't Overcome All the Adversity at Daytona Daytona Beach, FL -- Dennis Setzer and his No. 46 Silverado race team could not overcome all the pitfalls they encountered at the first race of the season in Daytona. A start at the back of the...
Setzer Can't Overcome All the Adversity at Daytona
Daytona Beach, FL -- Dennis Setzer and his No. 46 Silverado race team could not overcome all the pitfalls they encountered at the first race of the season in Daytona. A start at the back of the field, a ride through the grass, a controversial NASCAR penalty, two crashes, and two injured crew members. That was enough adversity for a whole season packed into one race, but that is what makes Daytona the race that it is.
Setzer qualified his Chevrolet Silverado on the outside front row for Friday night's race. However, due to an engine change after the second practice session, Dennis would have to start at the tail end of the field due to a NASCAR rule pertaining to engine changes.
At the start of the event, Dennis quickly showed just how strong his #46 Silverado was by moving from 34th to 20th by lap seven. Setzer continued his march to the front by moving into the top-ten by lap 18, top-five by lap 28 and taking the overall lead by lap 30.
During a caution flag at lap 34, crew chief Eric Phillips decided to make the first pit stop for tires and fuel. It was a good stop and Setzer was back out in the front pack for the restart.
The caution came out again for a multi-truck crash on lap 68. Dennis was running near the front when the accident began to unfold in front of him. He took evasive action and headed down pit road to miss the wreck. Several trucks followed him down pit road and back out on the track to take the caution flag.
NASCAR informed the No. 46 crew that there would be a caution for not slowing down enough - when Setzer took pit road to avoid the accident. The crew was very upset at what they felt was a very bad and unfair call.
When the penalty was relayed to the team, (to fall to the end of the longest line) Phillips decided to make what he thought would be his last pit stop of the night. During the stop, a truck pitting behind the No. 46 team's stall slid through its pit, and into two crew members. Rear tire changer Joe Stockov and catch can man, Eddie Pearson were the two crew members that the No. 29 truck ran into. Stockov was knocked to the ground while Eddie was pinned between the two trucks. Both Stockov and Pearson sustained bruising on their legs. Pearson was taken to the infield care center for treatment, while Stockov stayed in the pits.
Setzer returned to the race track for the restart. Once again he would have to come from the rear of the field - and that is just what he did. By lap 94 of 100, Dennis had moved to the fourth position and was contending for the lead. However, he was sandwiched between two other trucks on the inside lane. Several trucks got together, including the No. 46 Silverado and Dennis and the No. 30 truck slid off the track and into the infield on the backstretch. The 30 truck got in the air and upside down, while Setzer kept it straight and was able to get back on the race track.
Under the ensuing caution, the team decided to come in for tires to make sure they had not collected any debris for the final restart. Setzer would restart 18th, and was moving through the field under the green/white/checkered finish. He took the white flag just as numerous trucks in the lead draft were caught up in a major crash. Dennis drove into the smoke at full speed and thought he had cleared most of the wrecked trucks until he hit the No. 4 truck broadside.
Dennis radioed to the team to tell them "we hit a ton". Setzer was unable to drive the truck around and was taken to the infield care center for observation and released. Casey Atwood, driving the No. 4 Dodge, was shaken but unhurt.
"I am really disappointed, but this is what happens sometimes at Daytona. We really had a great truck tonight. I don't know how many times we drove from the back to the front, but our little Silverado was pretty strong," said Setzer.
"On the first deal there with the thirty truck, someone got into the back of me and I got into him. I think he backed off when I got into him and we both spun. Our Silverado was still good enough to finish well in this race after going through the grass there. (Crew Chief) Eric Phillips and I decided not to gamble and we came in and changed tires in case we picked up some debris."
"On the deal there at the end, I felt that I had cleared most of the wrecked trucks, but there was a lot of smoke. I saw a truck in the middle of the track at the last minute and tried to get slowed up, but I got hit again in the back and we hit the four cars a ton. I am glad Casey (Atwood) is all right, because it was a hard hit. My truck is torn up pretty bad and I know his was too. It's a shame because this has been a really good truck at this place overthe past two years. We just haven't gotten the finishes that the truck or the team is capable of at this track."
Look for Dennis Setzer and his #46 Team Silverado to get back to the front at California Speedway. Live green flag begins on the Speed Channel Friday, February 25th at 4:30 pm EST with radio coverage coming on MRN Affiliates and XM Satellite radio at 4:30 p.m.