Sparta, KY - In the seven seasons that Team Chevy Silverado has made the annual trek to the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway (KS), Silverado drivers have adapted very well to the fast, asphalt oval. Ron Hornaday, Jr., No. 33 Camping World Silverado,...
Sparta, KY - In the seven seasons that Team Chevy Silverado has made the annual trek to the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway (KS), Silverado drivers have adapted very well to the fast, asphalt oval.
Ron Hornaday, Jr., No. 33 Camping World Silverado, made the trip to victory lane last year, just his second NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) race at KS.
"Kentucky is a great track for me," said the two-time NCTS champion. "There is just something about it that I really like. I won last year, and I am ready to go back there and do it again. The win at Kentucky last year was very special. It really signified a turn around in our program. To beat my competitors in that race was huge. It helped change our outlook and our program."
According to Hornaday's Kevin Harvick, Inc. crew chief, Rick Ren, KS Speedway has unique challenges that require just the right setup," "Kentucky is all about being able to negotiate turn three. Besides that, you just need to run the bottom of the track. All of the Cup drivers go to Kentucky to test. It is the only 1.5-mile track that is similar to the tracks on their schedule that they don't race at. Drivers like this track because it has banking, but I like this track because you can also test your aerodynamic packages there."
Dennis Setzer, No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado, has also experienced a tremendous amount of success at the Northern Kentucky track. With one win, four top-five finishes, four top-10 runs and a pole in seven starts, the Newton, NC native has clearly figured out his way around the track in a Silverado.
"Kentucky has really become a great track for the NCTS," said the 2005 KS race winner. "It takes a new speedway a few years to age and weather to become a good race track and Kentucky has come in to its own. There is plenty of room for side-by-side racing and under the lights the visibility is excellent. Since the beginning the facility itself has been first class.
"We had a tough race there last year with the contact that damaged us late in the race, but I feel like our Spears Silverado team has the right combination for this weekend."
Brendan Gaughan, No. 77 South Point Hotel Silverado, is looking forward to the KS weekend for a couple of reasons. With a very solid third-place finish in 2006, the Las Vegas native is excited to build on that Saturday night. In addition, the No. 77 Silverado will sport the decals of the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in Honor of his dad, Michael, being inducted in to the prestigious organization this weekend.
"My father is a member of the Pro Rodeo Cowboy Association," said Gaughan. "He's a stock contractor, a sponsor and a supporter of the Pro Rodeo. This weekend he is being inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. He has two passions in life outside of family and work - his race team and his horses. We are really honored that he is being inducted into the Hall of Fame. The whole team is really excited about it and has a surprise and to honor dad this weekend, we worked with the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame to be able to put a special decal on the truck this weekend at Kentucky. We're going to do everything we can to get him a win on a day that is special for him and my family."
Kraig Kinser, No. 47 Ginn Resorts Silverado, and his Morgan-Dollar Motorsports team have been steadily climbing in the finishing order. Kinser, like his fellow Silverado drivers, likes Kentucky Speedway and is eager to keep the team's momentum rolling.
"This will be my second trip to Kentucky," said Kinser. "I look forward to getting back there. Kentucky can be a bit of a tricky place to get used to, but we have a couple of practices to get the truck acclimated to the track. Last year, I spun on my second lap during qualifying, and then was involved in a wreck on lap one during the race. Hopefully this year we can turn things around and keep the momentum rolling with the encouraging runs that we have had the last few weeks."
Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender Willie Allen, No. 13 ThorSport Silverado, feels that the success his ThorSport team has had on 1.5-mile tracks this year is just the ticket they need for a great finish at KS.
"Some of our better qualifying efforts and finishes this year has come at 1.5 mile tracks," said Allen. "I am looking forward to heading to Kentucky. We had a pretty good run at Kansas and there are a lot of similarities between the two tracks. The entire team has been working really hard to get ready for this weekend. Our plan is to go out and qualify our Chevy Silverado up front and try and maintain good track position throughout the race and hope for a strong finish."
-credit: gm racing