Martinsville to host series open test

Setzer Hopes Test Session Gets Him Back On Track At Martinsville MARTINSVILLE, VA (Feb. 6, 2008) -- For the first time in several years, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will conduct a full-blown test session at Martinsville Speedway this...

Setzer Hopes Test Session Gets Him Back On Track At Martinsville

MARTINSVILLE, VA (Feb. 6, 2008) -- For the first time in several years, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will conduct a full-blown test session at Martinsville Speedway this spring and no one is happier than two-time Martinsville truck winner Dennis Setzer.

"This test is just huge for me," said Setzer, who won truck series races on the tight half-mile oval in 2002 and 2003 and also has captured two Martinsville Late Model Stock races.

"I've gotten off my game at Martinsville as far as being as competitive as I used to be. I think the track has changed a lot since it was repaved and new concrete put down in the corners."

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams will be testing in advance of the Kroger 250 on March 29, the day before the Goody's Cool Orange 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

Martinsville Speedway's racing surface was repaved in the summer of 2004 about the same time that NASCAR cut back testing in all of its major divisions to help trim costs to teams. When most all of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams roll into Martinsville on March 12 for a two-day session, it will be the first open test since the repaving project.

The two-day test will be open to the public at no charge. Gates will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

Setzer, now driving for Bobby Hamilton Racing-VA, which has relocated within a few miles of Martinsville Speedway, has always been a dominant force on the half-mile oval. But since the repaving, he says he has been searching for the magical touch he used to have.

"When you come up for a race, you only get two hours of practice and you have to get some qualifying runs in during that time, so you don't really have time to work on stuff," explained Setzer. "And the track has really changed a lot over the past few years."

Setzer found out exactly how much the track had changed when he entered and then won the Bailey's 300 Late Model Stock car race at Martinsville Speedway last fall.

"When we ran the late model race up there, we ran stuff under the car that I never dreamed of and we won the race," Setzer said of the victory in the most prestigious NASCAR Late Model event in the nation.

"That shows how much the track has changed. Now we gotta get up there and test and see if we can get back to where we were in the truck."

Setzer hopes he can provide his BHR-VA team some solid short-track input during the test session.

"When we test at some place like Daytona, we're working on drivability and direct speed. At Martinsville we work on drivability and speed, but speed may come from braking ability. I can come to Martinsville and directly see us getting faster working on the brakes," said Setzer.

-credit: ms

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Dennis Setzer