Dover, DL -The evil combination of Mother Nature and the concrete surface of the "Monster Mile" seemed to get the better of many of the drivers in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series running of the MBNA E-Commerce 200 at the Dover Downs International ...
Dover, DL -The evil combination of Mother Nature and the concrete surface of the "Monster Mile" seemed to get the better of many of the drivers in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series running of the MBNA E-Commerce 200 at the Dover Downs International Speedway Saturday morning. Dennis Setzer driver of the #46 Acxiom/Computer Associates Chevrolet battled the elements and an ill-handling truck to finish 13th.
"I'll tell you we have been cursed by Mother Nature the last four weeks. Ever since Danny Gill joined the team it has rained everywhere we have gone," said Setzer. "But we have also run better everywhere with Danny so I guess that comes with the territory."
The trucks were originally scheduled to race Friday afternoon, but a large storm moved in, blanketing much of the eastern seaboard. Setzer qualified 21st and had been suffering a tight condition from the minute they unloaded the truck.
"We wrecked a track in Atlanta last week that we wanted to run here, the truck we brought was really tight all weekend long and everything the guys did was not helping," Setzer added. "For qualifying it was tight and we finally got it loosened up in happy hour. Then it rained all day Friday and we didn't know what we would have for the race."
NASCAR rushed Saturday morning to dry the track and attempt to run the truck race before the noon scheduled Busch Grand National event. Through on track performance and excellent pit stops Setzer moved into the 12th position by lap 40. On lap 44 as the trucks lined up for the a re-start, Setzer was hit from behind and pushed into the rear of Matt Crafton causing significant damage to the right front and rear of the truck.
"We were getting ready to go back to green and I think the 29 truck got into the back of me there," Setzer explained. "It really didn't hurt the truck too much handling wise, just made more work for the guys back in Oklahoma."
The damage proved to be only cosmetic as Setzer drove from 19th to the top-10 by lap 88. On lap 110 the team pitted for two right side tires, that decision would prove to be disastrous for the teams chances of a top-10.
"We pitted there with 90 to go and the truck really took well to lefts all day, but was not responding to the rights. We put on two rights and they were just a bad set and made the truck extremely loose. I fought with that loose condition for the rest of the afternoon and could not make up any ground on the leaders," Setzer said.
Despite driving a battered, loose-handling truck and fighting against the weather, the Morgan/Dollar Motorsports team still managed a 13th place finish. "After wrecking a truck, fighting the weather and then having to drive a loose truck all day, I am happy to get out of here with a good finish. The guys are working better with Danny and we are finally headed in the right direction.
The next event for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is the O'Reilly 400 at the Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth, Texas. The race can be seen on ESPN starting at 8:00 EST next Friday, June 8.