NASCAR Nextel Teleconference July 13, 2004 Guests: Bobby Hamilton & Dennis Setzer Part 2 of 2 Operator: Our next question comes from Ron Martin from CBS Radio. Martin: It seems as though when you look at young drivers, you don't look ...
NASCAR Nextel Teleconference
July 13, 2004
Guests: Bobby Hamilton & Dennis Setzer
Part 2 of 2
Operator: Our next question comes from Ron Martin from CBS Radio.
Martin: It seems as though when you look at young drivers, you don't look at what's behind the wheel; it's what's between the ears and how they carry themselves. Is that a fair assessment?
Hamilton: Yes, well for me I'm an owner so I have to have someone that represents Dickies or Square D. I've got to have someone for that. You have to have someone to do that job for the sponsor and carry themselves well for them. In my case Square D or Dickies whichever one I need a driver for. I've been in business for 6 years now and I've had my face stuff full of drivers that take pretty pictures and speak well for the sponsors, but couldn't hit their tail with both hands behind the wheel. So it takes a whole package. My kid is a perfect example, he told me one day, he said I'll probably never get a good ride because I'm not brown-haired, dark-complected, and blue eyes, but I can out drive half of them. I'm not that way; I want someone who can do it all. It's tough to find a guy that can do it all. I think with just a little bit of (indescernable) somebody like Shane Hmiel could do it all. We've seen him do it, he is young. Youth promotes sarcastic remarks every now and then, but again I need color with what we do.
Judd: Are you looking forward to being a grandfather?
Hamilton: Yes, actually I am, everyone tells me it's going to change my life. It's just a lot of fun watching those two go through it. I'm not really sure how to explain it, I'm just really happy for them. I was in Dover and I stayed over for the Busch race after we ran the truck race and Bobby went shopping. He comes back with a tricycle and puts it together. She's said you're little ahead of schedule. He said I don't care, I bought it and I like it. So I told Stephanie when she gets 9 months pregnant they might have a motorcycle when it gets here. It's just fun watching them do what they're doing.
Judd: We wish you the best of luck at Gateway and thank you for taking your time with us today. Dennis Setzer has now joined us. Can you talk about the close competition in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series?
Dennis Setzer: The competition in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has really stepped up this year. I guess the new manufacturing company has woken up the other manufacturing companies that have been here. Chevrolet has decided to step up this year and fully sponsor our team and some other teams in the series. It's just exciting how much support there is from the manufactures and sponsors in this series and the caliber of drivers that have come back into this series right now.
Judd: Talk about Saturday night for us, how are your preparations going for Gateway?
Setzer: Well, we're doing some short track testing now. We're trying to get turns 1 & 2 down pat at Gateway. It's a very tight corner there and we're at the Caraway Speedway in North Carolina trying to help our rotation in the center of the corner to try and help that out a little bit. We'll let you know how that works out when it comes to Saturday night.
Operator: Our next question comes from Ron Martin from CBS Radio.
Martin: Going into Gateway this weekend, Bobby has been climbing the ladder. Do you just look at him or do you look at your race?
Setzer: Well, you look at the whole crowd you know. They're all coming at us. It seems like Carl Edwards had some bad luck this last weekend, we had some the weekend before that and didn't run as well this past weekend as we needed to and Bobby's been on a tear. You never know who to look at in this series. Mike Skinner is due to run very good here pretty soon. Jack Sprague has run consistent every week. You don't know who to look at.
Martin: Jack said something after the race last Saturday that I would like you to comment on. Talking about Bobby's run, we should all be embarrassed on how well he ran, he was in a class by himself.
Setzer: Oh, absolutely, I think that showed he was very prepared for Kentucky Speedway. His truck performed well in practice and stayed that good when it became night time. We thought we were pretty decent in practice and we lost the handle of our Silverado when it came night time. We're working hard this week to find out what really happened.
Martin: Most difficult thing to accomplish other than the competition at Gateway. What is it about Gateway that you're going to have to do to run well?
Setzer: I think to be very versatile; it's totally separate ends of the track. It's got the one tight short track corner down in turns 1 & 2. You have to rotate well coming off the corner good than you have to be really aero balanced in turns 3 & 4. It's such a fast high speed corner over there. It takes a really versatile truck to make a fast lap there.
Operator: Our next question comes from Dave Rodman from NASCAR.com.
Rodman: It seems like after being really consistent and strong you guys kind of hit an air pocket or something. Has the spoiler change particularly hurt your team. It seems like David Starr had a real good Chevrolet at Kentucky, but does it hurt you guys particularly you think?
Setzer I don't know, we're searching for a little something. I don't want to blame it on the spoiler. We ran really well with the big spoilers on our Silverado. I don't know, we don't know if that's the problem or not. It seems like a lot of trucks whether it be Chevrolets or whatever has been really loose at the last few races at Kansas. A lot of trucks got out of shape and spun there and a lot of trucks spun and got out of shape at Kentucky also. Maybe NASCAR needs to look at increasing the spoiler size of these trucks. Get everyone back to a more comfortable situation. That's something NASCAR will decide, they're pretty good at that.
Rodman: The competition across the board at the truck series is a given, but with Bobby being such a veteran and has been so competitive are you particularly concerned about him really being on the charge that he's on? You can find yourself on in 50 points behind if you blink.
Setzer: Yeah, Bobby is really on the charge now, but I have the confidence in Morgan Dollar Motorsports and in my Silverado team. We started this team just about from scratch again this year. Moved it from Oklahoma and produced all new Silverado's. We're learning new types of trucks right now as we speak. That's kind of what we've been going through. We found some really, really interesting things with our second team coming on board as far as the 47 truck, Randy Goss and his guys out of our shop. Found some interesting things as far as Danny Gill and myself and we're learning that stuff a little and learning how to use it and make it better and putting it to use for us. It's all paying dividends, we're just getting all of our ducks in a row and hopefully we're going to come back and be really strong this week and throughout the rest of the season.
Operator: Our next question comes from Debbie Spicer from Zoomster.com.
Spicer: What do you like best about Craftsman Truck Racing?
Setzer: The schedule works our really well for me right now. It's a 25 race schedule, shorter schedule than Nextel Cup. I have a 10 year old son and it allows a lot more time for me around the house than I would if I was in a Nextel Cup Series or something like that. It's a great place for a sponsor to come in as far as different sponsor for the sport. An entry level sponsor to see if something bigger or better is down the future for them out there. It creates a lot of avenues. I think it brings a lot of young drivers to the sport that may not get a chance otherwise. I've been on these short tracks a lot of years. It creates a lot of opportunity for a lot of different people.
Spicer: What do you want the fans to know about you?
Setzer: I'm one of those short track guys that have been on a short track for 25 to 20 years and I feel like I've paid my dues. These young kids that are still out here doing that still have the opportunity to maybe make it into the truck series and maybe on to the next series if they do well in this series.
Judd: You're known as a short track ace, but you've had some success on some the longer tracks this year. What have you brought over from your short track racing to the intermediate tracks on the series?
Setzer: Well, I think the biggest gain I've ever made on tracks this year has been the RCR motors that we've gotten from Richard Childress. They've stepped our big track program really up this year. I'm proud to be a short track racer. I've won short track championships all over North Carolina at 3 or 4 different tracks. I feel like I've paid a lot of dues. It's the same way with all the guys on my team. Most of these guys have raced short tracks as far as drivers or mechanics. We just don't feel like were living the dream right now. We know how lucky we are.
Judd: The level of competition in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has changed especially this year with so many differences. The entry of Toyota, the reemergence of two former champions in Jack Sprague and Mike Skinner coming over to the series. Can you talk about that competition level?
Setzer: There's no way to express how much it's raised this year with the manufactures involvement and the caliber drivers coming back. The interest in the manufacturers in making their manufacturer be on top this year. There's no way to express how much Chevrolet is involved with this program, all of them. They've won more manufacturers championships and drivers championships and they are not about to turn that over right now.
Judd: You're talking about the manufacturers involvement, can you talk about that specific to your Morgan Dollar Motorsports team and over the past two years particularly. How has GM's increased participation in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series impacted your performance?
Setzer: Greatly, they've got a full time shock engineer that comes to every track and works with all the guys. They've hired Randy Goss who is a championship crew chief in the series and a Busch Grand National championship crew chief to come on and over see the whole program. to get everything else into order on this deal. There's just no way to express how much Chevrolet has brought in to the program this year. Plus they're got all the teams working together at the four Chevrolet Factory back teams working together trying to make their chassis sets better each week.
Judd: Also Chevy has it's all star program this year where NASCAR Nextel Cup Drivers will be driving a second Morgan Dollar truck at some selected events. How does that kind of a program help a full time truck team like yours?
Setzer: I think it is a positive deal. Randy Goss and his group there at Morgan Dollar Motorsports as far as the second team as brought some new top trucks into the shop. I've got to drop those and feel those and we're testing some of that stuff today actually and learning more about whether that stuff can help us on short tracks and big tracks and different places. It gives an avenue for a driver to get more feels on more different things and ideas of very high caliber people out in the sport.
Operator: Our next question comes from Beth Tuschak from NASCARmedia.com.
Tuschak: If you weren't racing this weekend what would you be doing with your off time?
Setzer: I don't know, I guess he (son Brandon) just finished up his State Tournament in little league baseball last week, so I would be going to the beach or practicing ball or maybe taking his Bandolero out and playing or something. I don't know whatever he wants to do.
Judd: Thanks so much for joining up today Dennis and best of luck for you this weekend at Gateway.