Michigan: GM Racing preview

Chevrolet Team Silverado Drivers Visit to Ft. Wayne GM Assembly Plant Sets Stage for Michigan Race Weekend Bobby Labonte to Pilot No. 47 Silverado; Kevin Harvick Will Drive No. 92 Silverado; Kyle Busch Back in No. 15 Silverado Brooklyn, MI -...

Chevrolet Team Silverado Drivers Visit to Ft. Wayne GM Assembly Plant Sets Stage for Michigan Race Weekend

Bobby Labonte to Pilot No. 47 Silverado; Kevin Harvick Will Drive No. 92 Silverado; Kyle Busch Back in No. 15 Silverado

Brooklyn, MI - Chevrolet Team Silverado drivers Dennis Setzer, Jack Sprague, David Starr and Ron Hornaday will kick off the upcoming Michigan International Speedway (MIS) race weekend Thursday, June 16, with a visit to the Ft. Wayne (Indiana) GM Silverado Assembly Plant. The drivers will meet and sign autographs for as many of the plant's 2,500 plus employees and then be treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the complete Silverado assembly line.

"I am excited about visiting the Silverado assembly plant," said Sprague. "It is always great to have the opportunity to meet GM assembly plant employees but this will be awesome to meet the people who build the Silverado trucks and really support our efforts in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series."

Sprague heads to his home state of Michigan the most recent winner in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS). Sprague took his No. 16 Chevy Trucks Silverado to victory lane at Texas Motor Speedway capturing his first 2005 victory and the 25th of his NCTS career. A native of Spring Lake, MI, Sprague is second on the all-time NCTS win list, just two short of Hornaday's 27 total victories.

"I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders," Sprague said. "The win in Texas was a team effort and much deserved by everyone on the Chevy Trucks Silverado team. We have been so close last season and this season. Friday night we were able to put everything together and go to victory lane.

Sprague's three previous MIS NCTS stats include a top-five finish, 13th place finish and a blown engine in 2004.

"Racing at Michigan International Speedway is always a great experience for me," remarked Sprague. "The track is near my hometown so we will have family and friends coming in for the race. It is a chance for my family and I to see people we don't get much opportunity to see during the year.

"It is also a great opportunity to see many of the people from Chevrolet's base of operation in Detroit. It gives us a chance to thank them for the support they give us in Team Silverado and hopefully, get a win for them right in their own backyard.

"We had a decent top-10 run going last year when we lost the engine with just eight laps to go. The momentum from our win at Texas is a good basis to start the weekend. We need to keep it going by having a strong run and possibly take another trip to the winner's circle."

Setzer will have Bobby Labonte as his Morgan-Dollar Motorsports teammate at MIS. Labonte will make his third appearance of 2005 in the No. 47 Chevrolet Silverado. In his first two appearances he finished second at Atlanta Motor Speedway by a mere eight thousandths of a second to Hornaday and captured his first NCTS victory at Martinsville Speedway.

Currently sitting fifth in NCTS point standings, Setzer heads to MIS off a solid third place finish at Texas. While yet to visit the winner's circle in 2005, consistency has been the mainstay of the No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado team. Setzer has six top-10 finishes in the nine NCTS events run to date. In five previous MIS starts, Setzer has one top-five and four top-10 finishes.

Hornaday is fourth in NCTS point standings and in the thick of the chase for the championship, just 66 points out of the lead. The two-time series champion has one previous NCTS start at MIS. He finished ninth in 1999. The driver of the No. 6 GM Goodwrench Silverado has one victory thus far in 2005 at Atlanta, three top-five and five top-10 finishes.

Teaming with Hornaday at MIS will be his boss, Kevin Harvick. It will be the second 2005 NCTS start for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup regular. Harvick's No. 92 will also carry the GM Goodwrench sponsorship and be painted identical to Hornaday's familiar black, white and silver truck.

Starr heads to MIS also looking for his first win in 2005 but with consistency in his favor. He is currently 11th in the championship standings after finishing ninth at Texas; his fifth top-ten finish of the season. The Texas native has five previous NCTS starts at MIS with one top-five finish.

Kyle Busch will make his third appearance in the No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Silverado. The Hendrick Motorsports driver captured back-to-back wins at Charlotte and Dover in his two previous 2005 NCTS starts.

"Michigan is a track that requires a combination of aero efficiency and lots of horsepower," said Dayne Pierantoni, GM Racing Silverado program manager. "Our engine suppliers have been working hard to provide us with the best Chevy power available and our aero program led by Shane Martin is second to none. Randy Goss is bringing our Chevy All-Star truck with Bobby Labonte driving and Kevin Harvick is coming out to play with a second KHI truck so we have pretty good lineup for the weekend."

Practice for the June 18, 2005 Paramount Health Insurance 200 at Michigan will begin at noon on Friday, June 17, 2005 with the first one-hour practice session. The NCTS final practice will be from 2:50 p.m. to 3:50 p.m. Qualifying for the 36-truck starting field will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 18, 2005. The 100-lap, 200-mile race will take the green flag at 3:15 p.m. Saturday afternoon. SPEED Channel will provide live television coverage starting at 3:00 p.m. with radio coverage on MRN Radio and XM Satellite Radio.

DRIVER: DENNIS SETZER
TEAM: No. 46 Morgan-Dollar Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado

ON VISITING GM ASSEMBLY PLANT: ""This is going to be a great weekend for us in Michigan. We are going to start off the weekend by visiting the Silverado GM Assembly Plant in Ft. Wayne, Indiana on Thursday. That will be a great experience to meet the people who build the Right Truck and then get to see the assembly line."

ON UPCOMING MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY RACE: ""The Michigan race is always a big event for our Morgan Dollar Chevrolet Silverado team with the home of GM Racing just a few miles away in the Detroit area. We have a chance to meet some of the people who work hard on our Team Silverado program from the manufacturer end.

"I am excited that Bobby Labonte is going to be my teammate again behind the wheel of the No. 47 Silverado. He got the win earlier in the year at Martinsville and finished a close second at Atlanta. We had an excellent run last weekend at Texas so we feel we have good momentum on our side for both Silverado trucks.

"We had a really good run going in Michigan last year until we got shuffled back after the last yellow. We salvaged a top-ten finish but our Chevrolet Silverado was capable of a better finish. We want to better our finish this year and feel like we have all the pieces in place to get it done at Michigan."

DRIVER: JACK SPRAGUE
TEAM: No. 16 Xpress Motorsports Chevy Trucks Silverado

ON WINNING AT TEXAS: "It feels great to win again and not have any drama like we've been having. We've been struggling, been getting run over. Maybe this is the turnaround. "We didn't have any misfortune all night. We didn't have a scratch on the truck. The guys gave me a really good stop the last time we came in. That gave us some good track position and the truck really came to me. We were really good on long runs and I think a lot of the guys we had to race tonight were not as good as we were on the longer runs. I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders. The win in Texas was a team effort and much deserved by everyone on the Chevy Trucks Silverado team. We have been so close last season and this season. Friday night we were able to put everything together and go to victory lane".

ON RACING AT MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: "Racing at Michigan International Speedway is always a great experience for me," remarked Sprague. "The track is near my hometown so we will have family and friends coming in for the race. It is a chance for my family and I to see people we don't get much opportunity to see during the year.

"It is also a great opportunity to see many of the people from Chevrolet's base of operation in Detroit. It gives us a chance to thank them for the support they give us in Team Silverado and hopefully, get a win for them right in their own backyard.

"We had a decent top-10 run going last year when we lost the engine with just eight laps to go. The momentum from our win at Texas is a good basis to start the weekend. We need to keep it going by having a strong run and possibly take another trip to the winner's circle."

DRIVER: DAVID STARR
TEAM: No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado

ON RACING AT MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: "I really like racing in Michigan, it's fast and wide - where you can run four wide. You can run high, low or in the middle. It reminds me of Daytona somewhat because of the drafting. The aerodynamics of the truck is important just like it is in Daytona. You need some horsepower under the hood and a good handling race truck. Dave McCarty and the guys at the shop give me the right truck in my Chevy Silverado every week. We've been off to a slow start but have been consistent with some good top-10 finishes, but I'm ready to put the No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Chevrolet Silverado in victory lane. Michigan is great racing from start to finish and this weekend will be fun for the competitors and the fans."

DRIVER:  RON HORNADAY

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

ON RACING AT MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: "This is a race I want to win on behalf of Chevrolet. I've been a loyal Chevy man for nearly my entire career. I started my NASCAR Truck Series career in a Chevrolet Silverado, and then drove a Monte Carlo in 2000. In 2001, I made sure I contacted the folks at Chevrolet before I made the decision to race the Pontiac Grand Prix for A.J. (Foyt). I did the same before driving the Dodge for BAM Racing. I wanted Chevy to know where my loyalty lies. As a racer you can't rule out anything, but I do my best to support those that supported me and Chevrolet is the best I've ever been associated with. I also want to win on behalf of the trophy! Lindy and I have always said, we don't race for the money, we race for the souvenirs, which is what we call trophies. Our team is in a position where we need to win. We have been up front the last two races with a chance to win and now we need to finish up front. I know that we can get it done, but for confidence reasons, the sooner we can do it the better."

DRIVER:  BOBBY LABONTE

TEAM: No. 47 Chevrolet Silverado

ON RACING AT MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: "I'm excited to get a chance to drive the No. 47 Chevrolet Silverado at Michigan. I really like working with Randy Goss and all they guys at Morgan-Dollar Motorsports. We had a lot of fun at Atlanta and Martinsville and, hopefully, we can do well at Michigan. I've always like racing at Michigan, it's my favorite track on the schedule, so it's a going to be a pretty neat deal to be able to run in the Silverado on Saturday and then in our Interstate Batteries Monte Carlo on Sunday. We'll also be in the Busch race at Michigan in the fall, in our Eckrich car for ConAgra Foods, so to get to do four races at Michigan in one year is pretty cool. I'm looking forward to it."

DRIVER:  KEVIN HARVICK

TEAM: No. 92 Kevin Harvick, Inc. GM Goodwrench Silverado

ON RACING AT MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: "I am pretty excited to be going to Michigan in the No. 92 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet. I've had some success there in the Cup car, and I've even won a Busch race. There's a little extra pressure to perform since we are virtually in GM's back yard. But Ron Hornaday and the Goodwrench truck have really been running well this year, so I expect to see us both in the hunt. Hopefully one of the two of us will be in Victory Lane at the end of the day."

DRIVER:  KYLE BUSCH

TEAM: No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Silverado

ON RACING AT MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: "I asked Billy (Ballew) to save the truck we won Lowe's and Dover with for Michigan. I think this weekend will be another fun weekend. The team has given me great trucks and they are just fun to drive. They say the third time is a charm, so three in a row would be nice for us and I am hoping to have the same type of performance and put this Chevy Silverado back in victory lane."

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Labonte , David Starr , Kevin Harvick , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Dennis Setzer , Kyle Busch
Teams Hendrick Motorsports