Setzer fourth driver to win four of six starts in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck season NEWS & NOTES Setzer joins exclusive list of series "streakers" ... By winning the Aug. 5 Power Stroke Diesel 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, Dennis Setzer (No.
Setzer fourth driver to win four of six starts in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck season
NEWS & NOTES
Setzer joins exclusive list of series "streakers" ... By winning the Aug. 5 Power Stroke Diesel 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, Dennis Setzer (No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado 200) became the fourth driver to win four of his last six starts in the same NASCAR Craftsman Truck season. Greg Biffle was the most recent to do so in 1999. Biffle and Ron Hornaday Jr. (No. 6 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet) posted six victories in eight starts in 1999 and 1997, respectively. Setzer also reached a single-season high in wins. He won three times in 1999 and 2003.
Raybestos Rookie leader maintains torrid pace ... Todd Kluever (No. 50 Shell Rotella T Ford) came within a couple of truck lengths of upstaging Setzer at Indianapolis. The runaway Raybestos Rookie of the Year leader -- by nearly 100 points -- finished second, matching his series-best finish at Kentucky Speedway. He started 16th. That was a tall order on a track where nine of 11 winners have started third or higher. Kluever has three top-10 finishes in four starts since Mike Beam took over as crew chief. The 27-year-old driver had three top 10s in his previous 11 appearances. "There was nothing wrong with the guys I had but we've really clicked," said Kluever. "It's been a phenomenal last four weeks and a lot of fun. I thought tonight was going to be our night."
ETC. ... Setzer is the third driver in 2005 to win from the No. 1 starting position. Inclement weather caused the field to be set via the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Rule Book with Setzer on top by virtue of his rank in the standings. The seventh consecutive different winner at IRP, Setzer has eight wins on short tracks to go with eight victories on speedways. He last won on a short track in October 2003 at South Boston Speedway in Virginia. ... Last year's Nashville race saw 27 among 30 finishers complete all 150 laps. The first number is a series record matched in June at Michigan International Speedway. ... Caution laps have increased each year that the event has been run: 10, 13, 17 and 30. Still, only 10 percent of the race's 601 laps have fallen to the yellow light. ... Two of four Nashville races have been settled by less than one second. The closest was Mike Bliss' .305-second victory over Rick Crawford (No. 14 Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford) in 2002. ... The Bud Pole starter has won two of four events. Defending winner Bobby Hamilton (No. 04 Bailey's Dodge) started 15th and led 17 laps -- fewest by any Nashville winner. ... Musgrave has led all four races (for 85 laps) at Nashville Superspeedway, the only driver to do so. ...Smyrna, Tenn. resident Chad Chaffin (No. 60 Jeff Wyler Toyota Toyota) has become the 28th series competitor to reach $1 million career winnings. Chaffin's total is $1,005,879 following a 21st-place finish at IRP. Setzer needs $92,446 to join Jack Sprague (No. 16 Chevy Trucks Chevrolet) as the tour's only $4 million winner.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Ultra isn't the only master of concrete ... Roush Racing also likes concrete, and has done Ultra Motorsports one better. Roush drivers have swept the schedule's three concrete-surfaced tracks -- Dover, Nashville and Bristol Motor Speedway. Carl Edwards won at Nashville in 2003 and Bristol in 2004. The latter win, on Aug. 25, is Ford's last in the series. Biffle and Kurt Busch each won at Dover. Roush and Ultra remain the series co-leaders with 36 owner wins apiece.
BHR teams race well at home track ... Bobby Hamilton Racing teams, headquartered in Lebanon, Tenn., have won the Bud Pole at Nashville Superspeedway in consecutive seasons. Bobby Hamilton Jr. led 89 laps of last year's Toyota Tundra 200 from the pole before finishing fourth behind his father. The elder Hamilton won in his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck appearance at the track. Chaffin was the No. 1 qualifier in 2003 and finished sixth.
"I'm afraid to comment. I'm scared to even think about it." -- Dennis Setzer asked in a post-victory interview about his 227 point championship lead, the largest since the conclusion of the 2000 season.
"We had a terrific run at Nashville last year and we had the misfortune of having a tire problem with about 30 laps remaining in the race. It felt good running up front with the race leaders. Of course, it always does feel good running up front. Next thing you know, I was trying to knock the wall down in Turn 1. Until then, I almost let myself believe that we were going to be in a position to win because it was that close." -- Bill Lester, No. 22 Office Depot Toyota.
"The guys on the team are in the same boat as I am. We're in a different classroom now and we have a different person in charge. The first couple of weeks will probably be tough, trying to read each other and trying to figure out the direction we need to go in with the truck." -- Johnny Benson, No. 23 Toyota Certified Used Cars Toyota, commenting on last week's crew chief change that brought six-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series winner Rick Ren to the Bill Davis Racing team.
"Nashville is all about winning that guitar and I would love to have one along with my other trophies. I have struggled a little bit at Nashville in the past, but I am going to be there with a new team and we are looking for a win. We have struggled a little this year and Setzer is slowly making this a race for second place, but we think we have a good shot of going to Victory Lane this weekend." -- Ron Hornaday Jr., No. 6 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet, a NASCAR Busch Series veteran at Nashville but making his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck start this week.
"I've never been to Nashville before, not even seen the track, but that's not anything unique. I hadn't been to Memphis before or IRP in 20 years, so I'll go learn some more. It'll be nice to have an opportunity to go to a track I've been to before, should that ever occur, but I know the Billy Ballew Motorsports team is strong wherever we go, so I'm not too concerned." -- John Andretti, No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevrolet.
10 YEARS TOUGH
Nashville has been a stop on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series since 1996 when -- with the backing of the late promoter Bob Harmon -- a 255-lap race was run at the .546-mile Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. Dave Rezendes won the inaugural event over Ron Hornaday Jr. and Jack Sprague. Jimmy Hensley gave Richard Petty his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck victory there in 1998. Competition shifted to Nashville Superspeedway in 2001.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion has won at Nashville Superspeedway in two of the past three seasons. Bobby Hamilton edged David Starr in the most recent edition of the Toyota Tundra 200. Mike Bliss, the 2002 series champion, won that year's Nashville event.
Next Event: Toyota Tundra 200. (Race No. 16 of 25)
Where: Nashville Superspeedway.
When: 5:15 p.m. ET, Saturday, Aug. 13.
Track layout: 1.333-mile banked concrete oval.
Race length: 200 miles/150 laps.
Posted awards: $438,690.
TV: SPEED Channel, 5:00 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2004 winner: Bobby Hamilton.
2004 polesitter: Bobby Hamilton Jr.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday -- Practice 2:15 -- 3:15 p.m. and 4:15-5:15 p.m. Saturday - Qualifying at 11 a.m. Trucks impounded after qualifying.
Top 10 drivers: 1. Dennis Setzer 2,279. 2. Ted Musgrave 2,052. 3. Bobby Hamilton 2,050. 4. Ron Hornaday Jr. 2,006. 5. Jimmy Spencer 1,974. 6. David Reutimann 1,929. 7. Matt Crafton 1,918. 8. Terry Cook 1,905. 9. Ricky Craven 1,891. 10. David Starr 1,864.