Statesville, NC - Dennis Setzer and Morgan-Dollar Motorsports' fall from the top spot in the point standings is certainly not indicative of the way the team has performed over the past few weeks. If circumstances had been a little different at...
Statesville, NC - Dennis Setzer and Morgan-Dollar Motorsports' fall from the top spot in the point standings is certainly not indicative of the way the team has performed over the past few weeks. If circumstances had been a little different at the end of the past two races, we might be talking about a runaway point chase in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series instead of just a five-point separation.
Unfortunate circumstances have staggered the team's finishes and ultimately their point standings over the past two weeks. At Michigan two weeks ago, Setzer had made his way up to the third position and even though he didn't have much of a shot at the win, looked like he would cruise to a third-place finish and extend a 64 point championship lead. Instead, a caution fell with less than ten laps to go. The final restart allowed several trucks a shot at Setzer and hard racing in the final sprint sent Setzer into the wall and he would limp home in 10th position. His point lead was sliced to 33.
This past weekend left an even worse taste in the team's mouth. Setzer started his #46 Chevrolet Silverado in 13th position, but quickly made his way to the front of the field. By lap 147 of 200, Setzer took over second place and started to put some distance between himself and the third-place truck. However, when the caution flag fell for debris at lap 177 Setzer and his Silverado crew had a dilemma. Pit and lose valuable track position or stay out and risk racing to the end on old tires.
The crew decided to stay out and fell victim to all the other teams behind them with fresher rubber. "In hindsight we should have come in for tires," stated a dejected Setzer after the race. "It was a catch twenty-two and I have been burned going each way in the past. It just didn't work out for us like we needed it to."
Setzer fell to 12th position and lost the point lead he and his Morgan-Dollar teammates had held for the past 10 races. Dennis now sits just five points behind Bobby Hamilton for the overall point lead.
"We have had great trucks each week," Setzer also stated. "We know that if we just keep digging and keep bringing good trucks to the track that every thing will even out in the end. We just want to bring the best truck, and win the race right now. Everything else will fall into place for us if we concentrate on that."
Setzer and his crew chief head into familiar territory for this weekend's next NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Nashville Superspeedway. Dennis has one NCTS victory in "Music City" albeit at the older short track in Nashville in 1999. Crew Chief, Danny Gill, still resides in a suburb of Nashville, Murfreesboro. Nashville is the place he cut his teeth in racing and would be a great place for his team to get back on track.
"Nashville is a special place to me," said Gill. "We all want to get back to victory lane and get the finishes that we know we deserve. No better place to get that done than in Nashville."
Since the Craftsman Truck Series moved their race from the Nashville Speedway USA to Nashville Superspeedway, Dennis Setzer has gone from a 1.5 average finish to seventh. However, the #46 Silverado race team has excelled at tracks over a mile in length this year scoring four top-three finishes including two wins.
Look for Dennis Setzer and his #46 Team Silverado to get back into their groove this weekend at the Nashville Superspeedway. Live green flag begins on the Speed Channel Saturday, August 14th at 5:00 pm EST with radio coverage coming on MRN Affiliates at 4:30 p.m. EST.