* 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 ...
* 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 267 (1995-2005)
Fontana, CA - The two-mile California Speedway is the next stop for Team Chevy Silverado. The February 24, 2006 event is the second event on the 25-race 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule.
The Racetickets.com 200 will be the 10th NCTS race at the Fontana, CA semi-banked, fast track that has been on the schedule since it opened in 1997.
"Our Silverado teams are ready to take on the challenge of California Speedway," said Dayne Pierantoni, GM Racing Silverado program manager. "We are glad to have the season opener at Daytona behind us. Although the final results didn't show it, our Silverado contingent had strong runs throughout the race. Veterans Mike Bliss, Ron Hornaday, Dennis Setzer and Matt Crafton ran in the top-10 throughout much of the race and our rookies - Kraig Kinser, Aric Almirola and Kyle Krisiloff made their presence known as well.
"California Speedway has traditionally been a good track for our Silverado drivers and teams. We are looking forward to a strong weekend to really get our season kicked off."
Dennis Setzer and his Morgan-Dollar Motorsports team will continue their campaign on behalf of the GM FlexFuel program and the promotion of ethanol capable GM vehicle lineup. Setzer is sporting a new number and paint scheme in 2006 driving the No. 85 Chevrolet E85 FlexFuel Silverado.
In an effort to expand the availability of ethanol, General Motors Corp. has struck an agreement with the state of California and Chevron Technology Ventures to bring the alternative fuel E85 to California consumers. The agreement marks a turning point for the future of E85, an ethanol-gasoline blend that could reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil.
"We've had vehicles on the road for some time now, but the infrastructure hasn't been there," said Elizabeth Lowery, GM's vice president, environment and energy. "We really need to build the infrastructure in California, and this is the first step."
California is a critical state in GM's effort to educate consumers to the advantages of FlexFuel. With support of the pilot project from California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, California EPA secretary Alan Lloyd said expanded use of E85, a fuel that is a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, could improve air quality, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and help achieve energy independence.
GM offers nine vehicles that can run on E85: the Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban, Silverado, Avalanche, Impala and Monte Carlo and the GMC Yukon, Yukon XL and Sierra. GM has sold more than 1.5 million flex-fuel vehicles that run on both gasoline and E85.
The California race is a homecoming for several Team Chevy Silverado drivers and teams. Two-time NCTS champion Ron Hornaday is a native of Palmdale California and cut his racing teeth at the short tracks in the area. Matt Crafton grew up in Tulare California and has a large contingent of family and friends coming to the race to cheer him on. Wayne and Connie Spears, owners of the No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado driven by Aric Almirola, are based in Sylmar California. Spears Manufacturing has been involved in the NCTS fielding a Silverado since the series' inception in 1995.
DRIVER: DENNIS SETZER
TEAM: No. 85 Chevrolet E85 FlexFuel Silverado - Morgan Dollar Motorsports
"California has been a good track for our team over the past few years. The track has lots of grip and is super-wide for passing. Its a fun track to drive and gives a driver high visibility at night.
"You have to set your truck up here to get off turn two without being tight, but you also don't want to be too loose getting into (turn) three. If you can find the right balance between those two, you'll be in good shape at California Speedway. Last year our team had a shot at a top-five finish late in the race, but we got caught up in a wreck that cut our tire down. The guys still rallied and we were able to come away with a top-ten finish. This year we are bringing the truck that we won Michigan with in 2005. It's a good truck and our best choice for this type of track. Michigan and California look a lot alike visually and as far as layout, but they race very differently. Michigan has less grip and the turns definitely don't drive the same. But we should be good here and get back to the front."
DRIVER: KRAIG KINSER
TEAM: No. 47 Centrix Silverado - Morgan Dollar Motorsports
"I am looking forward to racing at California Speedway. It will be another learning experience for me, I have never been to the track but my teammate, Dennis Setzer, has given me as much information as he can on the track and how to drive it.
"With the experience of Randy Goss (crew chief) and the entire No. 47 crew, I know I am going to have great equipment. We had a good run going in Daytona before we had trouble so I am confident about how well our Silverado will perform this weekend.
"The more seat time I have as a rookie, the better. It is good we are now into the swing of the season. I really am excited about this opportunity with Morgan Dollar Motorsports. It is a great organization with great people.
"Our goal for California is the same as Daytona - qualify for the race and then run a smooth consistent race running in the top-10 and get a good finish."
DRIVER: RON HORNADAY
TEAM: No. 33 Kevin Harvick, Inc. Silverado
"It's great to be going home and race in front of many friends and family that still live out West, and to have the opportunity to see many of my friends I went to high school with. One thing I miss now living in Mooresville, N.C., is the In-N-Out Burger we have out West; you just can't beat a good burger.
"This is my favorite truck, Wally's favorite truck and will be Chris Rice's favorite truck once we get out to California. The truck is just really fast and we've been trying to match all the KHI trucks to this one.
"Last year we led a few laps and finished in the top 10, so Chris Rice and I are really looking forward to improving at this race from our run at Daytona."
DRIVER: ARIC ALMIROLA
TEAM: No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado - Spears Motorsports
"I am pumped up about going to California Speedway. I am glad Daytona is behind us and we can get going on building our season.
"Last year the Spears team ran very well at California. We are going back with the same equipment they had there so I have a lot of confidence in my truck. I have never been there so the key will be getting up to speed as quickly as possible. The first lap on the track will be exciting and an eye-opener I am sure.
"Spears Manufacturing headquarters are not far from the track so I am looking forward to the opportunity to meet people from the company that support our program. Wayne and Connie Spears are exceptional people and I am privileged to have this opportunity with their team. They don't put pressure on me to do anything but have fun and learn each time I get in their truck. I would really like to have a good run for them in the hometown."
DRIVER: MATT CRAFTON
TEAM: No. 88 Menards Silverado - ThorSport Racing
"I grew up in Tulare, which is two hours from California Speedway, so it's always special to me to race there. It's kinda like coming home. I ran my first truck race ever for ThorSport Racing there...I have friends and family there, and they get to come out and support me, which is special. I'm really looking forward to it."
DRIVER: MIKE BLISS
TEAM: No. 16 Xpress Motorsports Silverado
"I like California Speedway. I have won both a pole and a race there in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. It is a fun track. Every year we go, it gets racier and racier. More room to pass and give the fans a good show. Racing at night is always great. It makes the action stand out under the lights. Coming from open wheel where we mostly race at night, it is like coming back to our roots.
"We had a good run going at Daytona before we got our air taken off and spun so I am looking forward to a great weekend in California with better results."
DRIVER: KERRY EARNHARDT
TEAM: No. 13 ThorSport Racing Silverado
"I'm excited about driving the No. 13 ThorSport Racing Chevrolet at California...hopefully we can run a safe and competitive race, and come away with something special."
DRIVER: KYLE KRISILOFF
TEAM: No. 15 ditech.com/Krud Kutter/National Land Liquidators - Billy Ballew Motorsports
"I'm excited to get to run at California Speedway. I like those types of tracks. I think we'll be really strong with our No. 15 ditech.com Chevrolet Silverado. It will be my first time in a truck at California, but I'm really looking forward to it. I have a learning curve to go through, but Ritchie Wauters puts together some great trucks. If we can run up front and finish it off with a top-10 finish, I think that would be a great turnaround from Daytona."