Milwaukee - It is "Homecoming Weekend" of sorts for several Chevrolet Silverado drivers as the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series makes it way to The Famed Milwaukee Mile. Ron Hornaday, Jr., No. 33 Camping World Silverado, Brendan Gaughan, No. 77...
Milwaukee - It is "Homecoming Weekend" of sorts for several Chevrolet Silverado drivers as the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series makes it way to The Famed Milwaukee Mile.
Ron Hornaday, Jr., No. 33 Camping World Silverado, Brendan Gaughan, No. 77 South Point Hotel Silverado and Dennis Setzer, No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado, are all looking to bring home their second victories on the flat one-mile iconic track that has been on the Series' schedule since the inaugural 1995 season.
"As I have said before, my favorite tracks are the ones I win at," said Hornaday. "So Milwaukee should be a good race for us. We are riding on a lot of momentum right now, and I know Rick and the guys are bringing a great truck."
The two-time NCTS champion's Kevin Harvick, Inc. crew chief, Rick Ren, is no stranger to victory lane at Milwaukee. He is the defending winning crew chief heading in to the annual NCTS race in Wisconsin.
"The Milwaukee Mile should be a great race for us, " said Ren. "Ron and I both have gone to victory lane there. Last year Ron started on the pole and finished third, and my driver (Johnny Benson) started fourth and won the race.
"We are taking truck 016. This is a truck that hasn't raced yet, other than testing at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Ron knows how to get around Milwaukee, and this is the truck that can take him to the front."
Hornaday will also run the NASCAR Busch Series race on Saturday in the KHI No. 77 Dollar General Monte Carlo SS.
Gaughan's third place finish at Michigan has his entire team pumped for Friday night's race.
"We need to go to Milwaukee and keep this momentum," said Gaughan of his South Point Racing team. "Build this consistency - come in and run well and leave with another top 10 or top five. That will prove that our intermediates, our flat tracks, all our programs are in shape and that we are a team to beat. Milwaukee is one of those places that it is my style of track. I call it a tweener. It's a flat track, but at the same time it is high speed. The flatness when you go in is really the fun part. You've got to learn how to make a truck that is going to move no matter what you do. It's going to move around going in. It's going to move around in the center and it's going to move around on the exit. But that's the fun part is seeing who can drive that the best. I think all the pull down stuff that Chevrolet has been giving us - letting us work on the rig at Joe Gibbs Racing - has really helped us. I think we are going to go to Milwaukee and probably be pretty good."
After winning at Mansfield in May, Setzer is looking for his Spears Manufacturing team to get their rhythm and lengthen their stride for the tedious mid-season run that is in front of them. In 10 previous starts, Setzer has four top-five and six top-10 finishes with his win at Milwaukee.
"I think Milwaukee could be just what this Spears Silverado team needs," said Setzer. "It has always been a great track for me, I have had some really good runs for there. It is just a fun place to race and definitely a driver's track, but setup is critical as well. My Spears guys are working hard to keep our progress on the track moving forward. I am looking forward to Milwaukee and ready for this weekend."
Tim Sauter, No. 07 Lester Buildings Silverado, hails from nearby Necedah, WI. The middle son in the famed Wisconsin-born Sauter family, Tim takes special pride in track and the area. He is looking to capture a solid finish in his home state for his Green Light Racing team.
"Every race is important, especially here in the trucks where the schedule is only 25 races," said Sauter. "Aside from Daytona, I think every racer looks forward to running at their home track. Nothing means more than a good finish in front of your family and friends."
Kraig Kinser, No. 47 Ginn Resorts Silverado, knows Milwaukee poses particular challenges for his Morgan-Dollar Motorsports team but with two solid consecutive finishes under their belts, is looking forward to the Milwaukee event.
"I am ready to get to Milwaukee," said Kinser. "The last couple of weeks, we were able to leave Texas and Michigan with a 15th place finish, which is what we are working on. We are concentrating on finishing races, then the good finishes will follow. Milwaukee is a track that I have only raced at once, so it will be good to get back there. That track is just so flat, and is really unlike anywhere else that we go on the schedule. I was able to get some pointers and tips from Dennis (Setzer) when we ran there last year, so I am feeling good about heading to Milwaukee."
Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender Willie Allen is geared to run at another track he has never seen. The driver of the No. 13 ThorSport Silverado has done his due diligence so he knows the challenges ahead of him Friday at Milwaukee.
"Milwaukee is a flat track with long corners," said Allen. "Getting the truck to turn in the middle and stay on the bottom is going to be critical in order to have success there. Not overdriving the corners is also important. This is another track that I don't have experience running, so I am practicing online as much as I can to prepare myself. Hopefully we will find the right setup and bring home a great finish for our Chevy Silverado team."
-credit: gm racing