Chevrolet Team Silverado Ready for California Speedway Four Team Drivers Prepared To Build On Previous Success At The Fontana Ca Track FONTANA, CA - Chevrolet Team Silverado drivers Dennis Setzer, Jack Sprague, David Starr and Ron...
Chevrolet Team Silverado Ready for California Speedway
Four Team Drivers Prepared To Build On Previous Success At The Fontana Ca Track
FONTANA, CA - Chevrolet Team Silverado drivers Dennis Setzer, Jack Sprague, David Starr and Ron Hornaday have experienced great success in previous NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) races at California Speedway. Sprague, driver of the No. 16 Chevy Trucks Silverado, has two wins (1998 and 1999), a fourth place finish in 2000 and third place in 2004 for a total of four top-five finishes in six starts at the two-mile oval located in Fontana CA.
Setzer, No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado driver, has two top-five and four top-10 runs in his seven starts. Starr captured the 2002 pole in his No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado and has three top-five finishes in his seven starts.
Hornaday, tapped in 2005 to drive the No. 6 GM Goodwrench Silverado, has three starts, which have resulted in one top-five, and three top-10 finishes.
While Chevrolet has had a strong presence in each of the eight previous NCTS Fontana events, a trip to victory lane has been elusive for the Bowtie pickup truck brigade in recent years. With the level of NCTS competition at an all-time high, Team Silverado knows there is room for improvement and has done its homework.
"We tested extensively earlier this year at Fontana," said Dayne Pierantoni, program manager for Chevrolet Team Silverado in the NCTS. "We focused specifically on our aero package and engine program during the two-day test in late January. I think we proved at Daytona that we were strong and had made significant improvements to our Silverado trucks both in the ability to move through the air with a minimum of drag as well as greater horsepower to take us to the front of the field. As sometimes happens in a race at Daytona, several multi-truck incidents prohibited us from showing our strength at the end of the race.
"While the draft isn't nearly as critical at California compared to Daytona, it is important to have the aero on the trucks as efficient as possible because of the long backstretch and fast cornering speeds at Fontana. We were very satisfied with what we learned at the test and are looking for positive results this weekend."
The American Racing Wheels 200 is race the second event on the 25-race 2005 NCTS schedule. Racing for under the lights at California Speedway for the first time, the 100-lap, 200-mile event will take the green flag at 6:15 p.m. on Friday, February 25 with live flag-to-flag television coverage provided by SPEED. The race can also be heard on MRN Radio as well as XM Satellite Radio.
General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest vehicle manufacturer, employs about 325,000 people globally. Founded in 1908, GM has been the global automotive sales leader since 1931. GM today has manufacturing operations in 32 countries and its vehicles are sold in 192 countries. In 2003, GM sold nearly 8.6 million cars and trucks, about 15 percent of the global vehicle market. GM's global headquarters is at the GM Renaissance Center in Detroit. More information on GM and its products can be found on the company's consumer website at www.gm.com.
DRIVER: DENNIS SETZER
TEAM: No. 46 Morgan-Dollar Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado
ON RACING AT CALIFORNIA SPEEDWAY: ""We came out here in late January and tested our #46 Silverado and felt pretty good when we packed up and headed back to North Carolina. This place has been good to us over the past few years, but we know that the competition has gotten better and better, especially at a tough two-mile facility like this. You have to have a strong motor program to run good here and we feel like the RCR motors we have under the hood of our Chevrolet will give us the advantage we need to get to victory lane here at this type of speedway."
ON DAYTONA FINISH: Due to an engine change following qualifying, Setzer dropped to the back of the field following the parade laps prior to the start of Friday night's race after qualifying second. He was involved in a multi-truck incident on lap 96 and again on lap 99 after running in the front of the field the majority of the race.
"I am really disappointed, but this is what happens sometimes at Daytona. We really had a great truck. I don't know how many times we drove from the back to the front, but our little Silverado was pretty strong. On the first deal there with the No. 30 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. Then there was 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."
DRIVER: JACK SPRAGUE
TEAM: No. 16 Xpress Motorsports Chevy Trucks Silverado
ON DAYTONA FINISH: Sprague was involved in an eight-truck incident as the white flag flew on the 100-lap race - "Man, I tell ya, that was the smartest race we have ever run. We just rode around in our Chevy Trucks Silverado all night in the back with a group of trucks I knew we could draft well with when it was time to go to the front. We were all set to get the best finish we've ever had at Daytona. Chris (Showalter, crew chief) and this entire Chevy Trucks crew worked so hard and we had the best truck a driver could ask for here. Man I hate it for everyone on our team and all the people at Chevrolet that give us such great support for this program. We were headed to the front and had something for them there at the end."
ON RACING AT CALIFORNIA SPEEDWAY: "Since the first NCTS race at California Speedway, I have loved that track. I have had pretty good luck there. It is a fun track to race. It is one of those places that we could come race more than once a season and I would be happy! It is a great track and the races are always good for the fans.
"Having back to back races this year rather than such a gap as last year is better for everyone. It is much easier to get a momentum going and keep it going when the races are closer together."
DRIVER: DAVID STARR
TEAM: No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado
ON RACING AT CALIFORNIA SPEEDWAY: "I'm really looking forward to getting to Fontana and California Speedway. It will be fun racing back to back weekends in the Silverado. In the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series over the past two or three years we had to wait after Daytona a month to five weeks to race again. Now we go right from Daytona out west where the racing is different. When we go out to California we can race the truck hard from the time they throw the green until they drop the checkered. We tested there not to long ago and we had the right truck in the Spears Manufacturing Chevrolet Silverado."
"We've had a lot of success over the past few years in Fontana. This year I'd like to win the race for Spears Manufacturing. Wayne & Connie Spears home is there in California and we've come close but I think it would be great to win the race for them this year."
ON DAYTONA FINISH: "Dave McCarty and the guys did a great job getting our race truck up front. We were working real hard there at the end with my teammate Dennis Setzer when it started getting crazy up front with less then ten laps to go. We wanted to hold on to the fifth place spot when the caution came out for another accident. I knew I was a sitting duck because green/white/checkers breed further cautions. With a few laps to go there was a crash right up front and I had no place to go."
DRIVER: RON HORNADAY
TEAM: No. 6 Kevin Harvick, Inc. GM Goodwrench Silverado
ON DAYTONA FINISH: Hornaday was involved in a multi-truck incident on lap 64. The crew made repairs and Hornaday returned to competition. "I can't wait to get back on the race track. Last week we ran so well and we were having so much fun, I hate that we were not competitive at the end. We learned a lot. We have a good truck, and a team that wants to win a championship. We are looking to build on our early race success from last week."
ON CALIFORNIA RACE: ""We are ready to get to California to prove what we can do. We have put that (Daytona) in the past and are looking at the big picture. The team has been working hard to have us prepared for this race. We are looking to gain positions in the points and taking the Chevrolet Silverado to victory lane.
"I really enjoy going to California Speedway because it is one of my home tracks. I would love to win in front of my home crowd. That would be very special to me. I have a big fan base in the Los Angeles area and I can't think of a more rewarding victory than to get it in front of them.
"When you are racing at Fontana there is a certain strategy that I like to use which I will not completely explain. The corners are long so if you have a big down-force you can keep speeds up and use that RCR horsepower to pull away down the straights. That is about all the info that I would like to share."
WALLY ROGERS CREW CHIEF ON CALIFORNIA RACE: "I think that we all saw how proficient this team is when they were in a crunch. I was proud of the guys, but now we have to figure out how to stay out of trouble on the track. Last Friday night showed that we are a team that you are going to have to pay attention to, and we plan on having an effective race and move up some spots in the points."
DRIVER: REGAN SMITH
TEAM: No. 19 Xpress Motorsports Silverado
ON DAYTONA FINISH: Smith was involved in a multi-truck incident on lap 48 with damage too severe to return to competition. "We had an awesome truck. My No. 19 Silverado was so stout. We were able to run up front with the leaders without any problems. We draft really well. We lost a lap on that yellow but weren't pushing too hard to get our lap back because you are pretty sure there are going to be more cautions and we should have been able to get back on the lead lap without any problems. There was a group of us that were in that lap down bunch but I am not sure exactly what happened but the track just got blocked with wrecking trucks and I had no where to go. So here we are in the garage.
ON CALIFORNIA RACE: "I am looking forward to shaking off Daytona and going to California this weekend. I haven't run the track before so I am going to have to depend on my teammate (Jack Sprague) to give me pointers on how to race a NASCAR Craftsman truck at this place. I ran a Busch car here once but those cars drive so differently than a truck, there isn't much to compare.
"We really want to have a good run in our Silverado. We need a sponsor for our Xpress Motorsports No. 19 team and are hoping that although the race didn't end as we wanted, we showed at Daytona we are a solid team capable of running up front. We want to do the same at Fontana with a really solid finish."
DRIVER: KERRY EARNHARDT
TEAM: No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Kraft Foods/Stater Bros. Silverado
ON DAYTONA FINISH: After winning his first career NASCAR pole, Earnhardt was involved in a multi-truck incident on lap 47 and was unable to continue. "Obviously, the way things ended at Daytona would have been nicer if we could have finished the race. I had a good run going there. I was just trying to stay out of trouble up there and just stay in the lead pack, but for some reason ended up running out of gas. That put us two laps down and we got one lap back before that caution and came in and got fuel and everything. We were just trying to get our lap back and having to race harder than we wanted to at the beginning of the race. We just got the air taken off of our rear spoiler and around I went."
ON CALIFORINA RACE: "I know one thing, we have a great team here at Billy Ballew Motorsports and Ritchie (Wauters, crew chief) and the team are all working together just great. This weekend at California Speedway, I'm hoping we can show just what we're made of with a great finish. The truck we have this weekend led a bunch of laps at California last year before a cut tire put them in the wall. It was brand new then and now it's been fixed up to run even better. We don't have a sponsor after this race, but we're hoping a good finish will show someone out there we're worth the investment. This team is going places and it'd be a shame not to have anyone else along for the ride. We're going to try and duplicate our pole from last week in Daytona and then finish the race with a great showing. California is a big, fast track and that's the way I like to race."
RITCHIE WAUTERS, CREW CHIEF ON CALIFORNIA RACE: b^0x001cWe're heading back to California with the same truck we had out there last year. We qualified fourth and took the lead on lap three. From there, we led 45 of the first 55 laps before we cut a right front tire and went scraping along the wall. So, with that in mind and knowing what we had last year, we're looking forward to heading back out west. This truck (chassis 15) was brand new last year and we just fixed the right rail, put on a new front clip and new tail. I talked to some of the Chevrolet Silverado truck teams that tested in California and we have pretty much the same things on ours, too. Last year's winner was one of the few trucks that could keep up with ours once we got going and out in front. California is a big, fast track and having a Dale Earnhardt, Inc. engine helps us out, a lot. The thing I like about California is that you're not dependant on the draft to be able and pass other trucks. You can pass by yourself and make things happen and that's what we're going to do, too. We'll get Kerry comfortable in the truck out there and what we have to do now is start finishing races. We didn't finish the way we wanted in Daytona (35th), but we qualified on the pole and that says something right there about this team and driver. This Billy Ballew Motorsports team works hard to be the best and I know we can do that with everyone we have who is part of this team."
DRIVER: KELLY SUTTON
TEAM: No. 02 Team Copaxone Silverado
ON CALIFORNIA RACE: "After an awesome run at Daytona, we are looking forward to racing at California. I really like this track. We were running great last year until the truck lost the air on the back end coming out of four right at the end of the race. That was a heartbreaker, but I know we can run well there again. I think we are going to unload strong, and get better as the day goes on. The team has worked so hard for so long, and now we are starting to see the results on the track. I hope this will attract the attention of some associate sponsors, so we can continue to improve and get the 02 Chevy Silverado racing up front."
DRIVER: MATT CRAFTON
TEAM: No. 88 ThorSport Racing Menards Silverado
ON FINISH AT DAYTONA: After running near the front of the field most of the race, Crafton was involved in the multi-truck incident on lap 99."I was disappointed to run Daytona again and not finish, that makes five tries and no finish there. Maybe next time will be better. The truck was awesome all night; it was good enough to be running third on the white flag lap. I am still not sure what happened to us, I think it just snapped on me. I have watched the tape a few times and am still confused. Oh well, that's Daytona for you."
ON BEING BACK WITH THORSPORT RACING: "I have known most of my guys since I started in the truck series, I worked with most of them before. Its just like old times."
ON RACING AT HOME IN CALIFORNIA: "I am excited to Fontana. Its not really my home track, Mesa Marin is, but this close enough. All of my friends and family will be there to cheer me on. Can't wait to get out there and see how things go."
DRIVER: TRACY HINES
TEAM: No. 13 ThorSport Racing Silverado
ON CALIFORNIA RACE: "We are sure hoping for a better run this year. We didn't get any laps on the track last year because we blew up before practice and then the rear end broke before we took a lap in the race. My ThorSport team got it fixed and we went and got only 10 laps under out belt and then a spinning truck hit us and ended our day. What little I was on the track, I really liked it! We will have a temporary crew chief this weekend, Kevin Cram, but he is a good one. He has a ton of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series experience. We were sorry to see Lance (Hooper) move on because we were just getting our feet on the ground as a team but I understand in racing you have to take an opportunity that feels right when presented.
ON FINISH AT DAYTONA: After running near the front of the field most of the race, Hines had a tire blow with ten laps to go damaging the front end beyond repair. "Our ThorSport Silverado was awesome Friday night. We have been good all week. We were running smart, staying in sight of the leaders and really felt like we were a strong contender for the win. I am so disappointed for my guys, they worked so hard. But we made a statement that this team is going to be a solid runner all season. There was just nothing I could do when the tire let go. But I feel like it was a morale booster for us and a momentum builder for California. We just need to get some good solid runs under our belt."