Loudon: GM Racing preview

Jack Sprague Set to Lead Chevrolet Team Silverado Charge at Loudon Dennis Setzer Takes Series Points Lead to New Hampshire International Speedway * Dennis Setzer holds a 49 point lead in the NCTS championship standings * Setzer is only...

Jack Sprague Set to Lead Chevrolet Team Silverado Charge at Loudon Dennis Setzer Takes Series Points Lead to New Hampshire International Speedway

* Dennis Setzer holds a 49 point lead in the NCTS championship standings

* Setzer is only four-time NCTS winner this season - Michigan, Milwaukee, Kentucky and IRP

* Chevrolet sits atop the NCTS manufacturer championship chase with 122 points and nine wins

* Ron Hornaday and Jack Sprague each have one victory in 2005 - Atlanta and Texas respectively

* Aric Almirola to make third NCTS start in No. 47 Silverado

Loudon, NH - Jack Sprague loves New Hampshire International Speedway (NHIS). The three-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) champion has three poles (1997, 2001 and 2004), one victory (2001), three second place finishes (1996, 1997 and 2004) and a total of six top-10 finishes in seven starts and the flat one-mile oval.

As darkness descended on New Hampshire International Speedway September 18, 2004 with the laps of the NCTS race winding down when the start suffered a lengthy delay due to weather, Sprague was running second in the No. 16 Chevy Trucks Silverado and gaining on the race leader. Sprague came over the radio and said to his crew that he knew he had the Right Truck to catch and pass the leader but as dark as it was getting, it was safer to be smart and get the good finish. The race ran its scheduled 200 laps but finished under caution due to the darkness. Sprague finished second.

When Chevrolet Team Silverado rolls into NHIS for this years' Sylvania 200 presented by Lowe's on September 17, Sprague is ready and focused to improve that finish by one spot. His fellow Silverado drivers have equal goals in mind.

Current NCTS point standings leader Dennis Setzer has an equally impressive record at the historical New Hampshire track. He captured the win in 1999 and has a total of four top-five and five top-10 finishes in six previous starts. Setzer finished sixth in the 2004 race from his 30th starting position.

Setzer and the No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado team know that with seven races remaining on the 2005 schedule, the NHIS race is critical in setting the foundation for a momentum run to the Homestead season finale and the championship.

David Starr, No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado, has had good luck at NHIS as well. His eighth place finish in 2004 gave the Texas native a total of one top-five and three top-10 finishes in four previous starts. Starr is fighting hard to maintain a strong presence in the top-10 point getters.

Two-time NCTS Ron Hornaday is returning to NHIS in the NCTS for the first time since 1999. With one win (1996) and two top-10 finishes in four starts, the driver of the No. 6 GM Goodwrench Silverado is well aware of what it takes to be successful at NHIS. Hornaday currently sits third in the points chase and knows what he and his team need to do to keep themselves within striking distance of the leaders in the championship chase.

Making his third NCTS in the No. 47 Silverado fielded by Morgan-Dollar Motorsports is Joe Gibbs Racing Diversity Development drive Aric Almirola. Almirola's last appearance in the NCTS was August 5 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, a flat track similar to the characteristics of NHIS.

Kyle Busch will pilot the No. 15 Silverado for the sixth time in 2005. The 20 year-old Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR Busch Series (NBS) and NEXTEL Cup Series (NNCS) driver has scored one pole, two victories, four top-five and four top-10 finishes thus far in 2005.

"We are looking for a good weekend this week at Loudon," said Dayne Pierantoni, GM Racing Silverado program manager. "Our teams are hungry following a couple of rough weeks. Last year Jack Sprague led the most laps but we didn't bring home the trophy. I think we will see a strong effort from our Silverados this week. New Hampshire is a technical track. The past results of our Team Silverado drivers are an indication of the equal importance of driver and truck. The combination of our Silverado handling characteristics and the talented driver lineup has been successful this season on the other flat tracks on the schedule and I think this weekend will be no exception.

"We are pleased to have Aric Almirola back in the No. 47 Silverado. He is a talented young driver and is coming off a strong finish at IRP. Kyle Busch is always a contender for the win when he runs the No. 15 Silverado. We are looking forward to this weekend and a good performance from our Team Silverado teams and drivers."

Practice for Sylvania 200 presented by Lowe's September 17, 2005 at New Hampshire International Speedway is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. EDT on Friday, September 16 followed by the one-hour final practice at approximately 2:45 p.m. EDT. Qualifying will be held at 10:00 a.m. EDT on Saturday, September 17 and the trucks impounded until the scheduled race start at 3:15 p.m. EDT. Live television coverage of the 200-lap/ 211.6-mile-race will be provided by SPEED Channel with MRN and XM Satellite bringing the race live on the airwaves.

TEAM: No. 46 Morgan-Dollar Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado

QUOTES: "I really love New Hampshire International Speedway. It's a mile track but it's really a great short track to me. I like to think of it as a big Martinsville. To be good here you have to get off of turns two and four really good. The truck has to be set up a little free to be able to do that. Also, it takes a few laps in practice to figure out where the best grove getting off of the corner is. It seems to change each time we go back there.

"We need to come to a track like this to hopefully turn our luck back around. This track has been pretty good to me over the years and our Silverado team needs a good run to get ourselves pointed back in the right direction. "

TEAM: No. 16 Xpress Motorsports Chevy Trucks Silverado

QUOTES: "What can I say, I love New Hampshire International Speedway. It is a great place to race. It is a driver's track, very technical. Obviously, having a truck that has the handling the driver needs a truck that rolls well through the corners and gets a good drive out of turns two and four to get as much speed down the straight aways.

"I don't really know why these flat tracks like New Hampshire fit my driving style so well but I have a great time racing them. I have had some good luck at New Hampshire with a win, some second places and poles. I want to keep that record going.

"This Chevy Trucks Silverado team needs a good run. We have had awesome trucks this year, been the fastest in the field and then had some bad luck, something unusual go wrong that have ended our chances for wins. We need to reverse that trend this weekend.

TEAM: No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado

QUOTES: Going to New Hampshire is always fun. The countryside is beautiful and the fans are incredible. The track is very much a driver's track and it is unique. The corners are flat and the straights are really long. We have done well there in the past and expect to do so again this time out. We have three top-10 finishes there, including third in 2002 and are looking to put our Spears Chevy Silverado back on the podium.

"Doing well at this track requires a good handling truck, one that cuts good in the center and has good forward bite. Plus you need some strong steam. Our Spears Chevy and our Hutter engines definitely fit the bill and I think we will be good to go come race day.

"Taking the pole last week at Richmond definitely served to increase our determination for a win and we plan to carry that momentum right into New Hampshire."


TEAM: No. 6 Kevin Harvick, Inc. GM Goodwrench Silverado

QUOTES: "We have a little extra motivation this week after moving up to third in the points. We are still a long way out of the lead, but if we can finish out the season the way we think that we are capable of performing then it could get interesting. Last weekend at Richmond we expected to be better after having a good test there, but we left happy because we got all we could out of what we had. I think that we can build a little momentum from that as we head up North. New Hampshire is an interesting place because it resembles Milwaukee. Your set-ups can be similar, but the racing is not the same. The track has attempted to make it more of a two-groove race, but I think that the bottom is the place to run. We need to be good right off the truck this weekend and have a good practice. I am looking forward to getting back on the track and finishing strong as the season winds down."


TEAM: No. 47 Morgan Dollar Motorsports FedEx Kinko's Silverado

QUOTES: "I am looking forward to being back in the No. 47 FedEx Kinko's truck at New Hampshire. We had a great run at IRP and I am focused to back that up at Loudon. Randy Goss (crew chief) and the entire Morgan-Dollar Motorsports organization work hard and have given me excellent trucks to drive. Each time we work together, we get better and better at functioning as a team.

"We tested recently at Richmond and that went very well. I have never been to New Hampshire but with the time I had in the truck at IRP and again at Richmond, I feel comfortable with being ready to qualify and race.

"I can't thank Joe Gibbs Racing for the tremendous opportunity they have given me. It is awesome that FedEx Kinko's has agreed to support our effort in New Hampshire. I am ready to go racing and can hardly wait to get there."

TEAM: No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports ditech.com Silverado

QUOTES: "I am looking forward to running in the Craftsman Truck Series at New Hampshire. I have never run there in a truck so it's going to be a good learning experience for me. It will help me learn about the racetrack and what to expect for Sunday's race. Racing for Billy Ballew is so much fun and even though we had a tough night last week in Richmond, we are hoping for a much better performance and this team is totally capable of that."

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers David Starr , Kevin Harvick , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Jack Sprague , Dennis Setzer , Aric Almirola , Kyle Busch
Teams Hendrick Motorsports , Joe Gibbs Racing