Dennis Setzer won the O'Reilly 400 Craftsman Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway after chasing down Ted Musgrave with less than 20 laps remaining in the 167-lap race. Musgrave, who dominated most of the race, enjoyed a 5.8 second lead after...
Dennis Setzer won the O'Reilly 400 Craftsman Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway after chasing down Ted Musgrave with less than 20 laps remaining in the 167-lap race. Musgrave, who dominated most of the race, enjoyed a 5.8 second lead after the last round of pit stops, which occurred under green.
During his last stop, Musgrave took right side tires only, while Setzer replaced all four. That was the difference as Setzer was able to close the gap to Musgrave and execute the pass for the lead with three laps remaining. Although he was able to hold onto second place, Musgrave faded quickly, finishing 11.812 seconds behind Setzer.
"I pretty much ended up on three wheel truck," said Musgrave. "On the last couple laps, it was shaking real bad. We wanted to win but there was nothing I could do."
"I was aware that he had some kind of a problem," said Setzer. "I thought we would catch him with 11 laps to go but we got caught by some lapped trucks."
The race, which lasted 1 hour, 40 minutes and 55 seconds, was the fastest truck race at Texas Motor Speedway with Setzer averaging 148.946 mph.
Musgrave made a great start from the pole position, pulling away with Bill Lester, who started on the inside of the second row. Musgrave and Lester were able to pull away from the battle for third between Carl Edwards and Robert Huffman.
With twenty laps in the book, Travis Kvapil and David Starr crashed in turn three sending the field to the pits. "I was under David Starr going into the corner, and that takes the air off your spoiler," said Kvapil. "Just as I got underneath him, I got loose and got up into his quarter panel and took both of us out."
Mike Skinner gambled and didn't stop for service, leading the field to the green, followed by Kelly Sutton and David Reutimann. Reutimann, who stopped during the yellow, quickly moved to second on the restart.
A handful of laps later, Sutton was nudged from behind, making contact with the backstretch wall to bring out the second caution of the evening.
Skinner once again led the field to green, followed by Setzer, Reutimann and Musgrave.
Knowing that Skinner would have to pit, Setzer and Musgrave fell into line, which allowed Sprague to slowly close the gap to third. Behind Sprague, Reutimann stayed in contention with a comfortable lead over Jon Wood in sixth.
On lap 64, Skinner reported to the pits under green, handing the lead to Setzer. Musgrave immediately turned up the pressure, racing side by side with Setzer for two laps before taking a commanding eight truck-length lead.
Five laps later, debris on the backstretch brought out the caution flag. Musgrave, who beat Setzer out of the pits, lined up at the point with Skinner, one lap down, on the inside. Using a lapped car as a pick, Skinner in 20th, forced Musgrave high off the fourth turn to get back on the lead lap. Musgrave stayed close behind Skinner with Shane Hmiel, Matt Crafton and Setzer on his tail.
Unable to stay ahead of the leaders, Skinner fell behind frontrunners Musgrave, Hmiel and Setzer. Despite falling behind the leaders, Skinner was able to stay ahead of Andy Houston who was running fourth.
Despite his strong run, Hmiel's evening was finished when he reported to the garage area with 100 laps complete. Andy Houston ran third followed closely by Reutimann and Sprague.
Musgrave and Setzer, separated by nearly two seconds ran comfortably at the front while Houston, in third, was a full straight behind the leader.
The last round of pit stops started under green with Musgrave stopping on lap 132 for right side tires, a full can of fuel and a splash from the second. The caution that would have changed the complexion of the race never occurred putting Musgrave back in the lead once the pit cycle was completed.
With less than 20 laps remaining, only three trucks remained on the lead lap. With all the final stops complete, it looked as if Musgrave, who led 101 laps, would cruise to an easy victory. But the huge gap to Setzer began to dwindle and it soon became evident that Setzer's decision to take four tires would pay off.
Setzer, who becomes the second driver to win more than one truck race at Texas Motor Speedway, enjoyed his first victory exactly five years ago to the day.