Dover: Round eight preview

Dennis Setzer to reach 200-start mark at Dover's Monster Mile DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 30, 2006) -- Only three competitors have competed in 200 or more NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races. Dennis Setzer (No. 85 FlexFuel E85 Chevrolet) will...

Dennis Setzer to reach 200-start mark at Dover's Monster Mile

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 30, 2006) -- Only three competitors have competed in 200 or more NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races.

Dennis Setzer (No. 85 FlexFuel E85 Chevrolet) will join the exclusive club when the Newton, N.C. veteran starts Friday's AAA Insurance 200 at Dover International Raceway.

Setzer, a three-time series runnerup, nearly won his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start, finishing second to Mike Skinner (No. 5 Toyota Tundra Toyota) on July 1, 1995 at The Milwaukee Mile. Still hoping to return to the NASCAR Busch Series, Setzer appeared sporadically with a number of teams before becoming a fulltime NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competitor in 1998.

Since then, he's appeared in 183 consecutive races winning 16 times. His career resume includes 70 finishes among the top five and 127 top 10s. The 46-year-old Setzer is second among series money winners with $4,371,681.

Setzer is the only series driver to win in eight consecutive seasons -- a record he hopes to extend in 2006. He'll defend the first of last year's four victories on June 9 at Texas Motor Speedway.

"I've been fortunate in my career to reach many different milestones," said Setzer, who ranks seventh in the current standings. "We've been able to win a lot of races over the years and be competitive.

"That is what is important to me: just to be competitive at this level of racing."

Setzer has driven for Morgan-Dollar Motorsports since 2001, giving the team its first victory at Memphis Motorsports Park. A three-year tenure with K Automotive saw Setzer produce Dodge's first series superspeedway victory at Texas Motor Speedway.

In 1999, he was voted the series' Most Popular Driver.

Setzer will likely finish his NASCAR career in a truck, not the plan when he climbed into the driver's seat nearly 11 years ago at Wisconsin State Fair Park.

"I never came to the series with the thought that I would race this many years, be involved with so many great teams or have this much success," said Setzer, who scored NASCAR Busch Series victories at hometown Hickory Motor Speedway and South Boston Speedway. Setzer is the only driver with victories in two NASCAR national touring series at South Boston.

While Setzer's heart lies with the short tracks -- he's acknowledged as one of the best in the series there -- he agrees the series has grown in stature and competitiveness by moving to superspeedways.

"I can't say that I have been real excited about trading short tracks for big tracks, being a short track guy, but I still enjoy competing here," said Setzer, whose 16 wins are split evenly between large and small ovals. He's one of three drivers to score multiple wins in Texas and also has won at Michigan International Speedway.

How much longer will fans have the opportunity to cheer for the series' latest "iron man?" Not forever, although Setzer doesn't see retirement on the near horizon.

"I don't see myself making 200 more starts, but I still love this series and plan on racing a few more years to come," he said.

-nascar-

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Mike Skinner , Dennis Setzer