Phoenix: Dennis Setzer preview

Setzer Takes "Laid Back" Approach Into Phoenix Statesville, NC -- You would think at this point the stress would be getting to Dennis Setzer and his ...

Setzer Takes "Laid Back" Approach Into Phoenix

Statesville, NC -- You would think at this point the stress would be getting to Dennis Setzer and his #46 Morgan-Dollar Motorsports teammates. Setzer sits atop the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point standings by just one point with just three races remaining in the 2004 season. And remember, this is a team that fell nine points short of their first title just one year ago. But one short conversation with the driver of the #46 Chevrolet Silverado would tell you that nothing could be further from the truth.

"I think that I am as laid back as I ever have been at this point," said Setzer. "Our team is in better control of our whole situation. Last year we brought good trucks to the track, but with the team being based in Oklahoma, I just showed up to drive. I didn't get to interact with the guys who were working on the trucks and putting the setups on them. Now that the shop is here, I can be more involved before the race. It's given me a lot more confidence before we even get to the track."

That confidence has allowed a team that just two weeks ago was almost 80 points out of the lead take the outright lead. "We know from last year that anything is possible," Setzer also stated. Last season, Setzer was over 100 points out with two races to go. In that span, Setzer erased the lead and came within a few positions of winning the championship.

"We know that all we have to do is do what we have been doing all year. Bring our best piece and try to win the race." Setzer and his teammates are not going to crack under pressure because they don't feel any. "We have been here before and the championship is not going to change the way we prepare. (Crew Chief) Danny Gill is going to take a very aggressive package to Phoenix. Our Silverado team feels like this place owes us one. We have been in position to win this race for the past three years and events out of our control have prevented us from getting into victory lane."

Setzer is referring to the team's performance at PIR over the past three seasons. In 2001, Dennis cut a tire down late in the race while running third, but was running much faster laps than the leaders. Two years ago, Setzer again was catching the leaders, running third late in the race. He dropped a cylinder and fell to eighth. Then last year, the #46 team looked as if they would get the monkey off their back. Setzer was again running third, but decided to pit with the leaders on the last stop. A broken jack relegated him to 16th position on the restart. Dennis drove his way back to third, scoring his best finish to date at the Desert Mile.

Dennis and his #46 Team Silverado crew are looking forward to a little retribution this weekend in Phoenix. "The track is great," said Setzer. "It provides for two-groove racing, has two different short-track corners but is flat in places and has some high speed straight-aways. It's been a good place for us over the years and we want to win this one for Silverado in their title race."

Setzer and Morgan-Dollar will also have the experience of Ron Hornaday, a two-time Craftsman Truck Series winner at PIR to lean on. Hornaday, the 1998 and 1999 winner at Phoenix, and 1996 and 1998 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion will team up with Setzer in the #47 Morgan-Dollar Motorsports Acxiom Chevrolet. Hornaday will be the sixth of seven Chevrolet Silverado All-Stars competing this season. The All-Star trucks also feature a music artist and Hornaday will be driving a "Big and Rich" themed truck.

The Silverado 150 will take the green flag at 5:30 pm EST on Friday, November 5th. The race can be seen live on the Speed Channel and MRN and XM Radio will begin coverage at 5:00 pm EST.

-jkd-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Ron Hornaday Jr. , Dennis Setzer