Dennis Setzer's Silverado survived a typical crash-em and bang-em short-track race on the .4 of a mile South Boston Speedway to finish second for the second time this season, behind Ted Musgrave's Dodge. Polesitter Jack Sprague made a valiant...
Dennis Setzer's Silverado survived a typical crash-em and bang-em short-track race on the .4 of a mile South Boston Speedway to finish second for the second time this season, behind Ted Musgrave's Dodge. Polesitter Jack Sprague made a valiant push to finish fourth after falling to 29th when he was hit by Ricky Sanders under caution.
No. 7 qualifier Setzer drove a steady race, staying in the top five from lap 50 on, and finally moving into second after the race was red-flagged for nearly nine minutes following a five-truck pileup on lap 171. Setzer challenged eventual winner Ted Musgrave for the lead and briefly snatched it from him until lapped traffic relegated him back into second for the finish, .954 of a second behind. Musgrave's win clinched Dodge's first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series manufacturer's championship.
Sprague was hit by Sanders on the eighth lap while the field was under caution for Sanders' spin in turn 1. Sanders was attempting to straighten himself out, but ended up hitting Sprague's right front fender. Sprague circled for another six laps under the caution, then ducked into the pits for repairs, dropping him to 29th without losing a lap. Struggling with lapped traffic, he did his best to charge through the field and back into contention by lap 153, when he moved into eighth. By lap 174 he was in fifth and in fourth on lap 193.
Ricky Hendrick came home as the highest rookie finisher, in sixth, tying Travis Kvapil for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors. Hendrick takes over first place by virtue of his one victory this season.
There were nine caution periods for 77 laps, setting a series' record for most laps run under caution.
NO. 46 ACXIOM/COMPUTER ASSOCIATES SILVERADO (second):
DID YOU THINK YOU HAD ANYTHING FOR MUSGRAVE? "No. We got close to him a couple of times. We kind of overextended the truck and got close to him and about the time I got there I kind of used the truck up and I had to back down and cool the tires a few laps, so we really didn't make any headway. He was just a tick better than us. But our Silverado was good, we came through a lot of traffic."
AND WITH NO RADIO: "No radio. That's a different deal. We were back to old hand signals. One tight, two loose. It was back to old-time racing. We finally got a radio inside the truck. I could hold it up and talk to them, no push to talk, no microphone. I didn't do too much talking during racing, just during cautions. We weren't quite ready to do that."
ON RUMORS THAT YOU WILL DRIVE IN WINSTON CUP: "There's not really plans right now. But if something is available I'd love to race. There's nothing I'd love to do more than race. I'm very satisfied with the Craftsman Truck Series. I'm with a competitive team. I can go out and run top three every week, I think. To be in a 30th place Winston Cup car, Man, I'm too competitive to do that right now. I'm not ready to ride around 30th every week right now. I know there's a lot of money to be made but, Man, this is fun racing. You'd miss the South Bostons if you did that."
NO. 24 NETZERO SILVERADO (fourth, holds on to the points
ON QUALIFYING ON POLE: "Well, it's cool. It's kind of surprising. It's actually our third truck this weekend. We had a little problem in practice last night so the guys went back to the shop and worked on the truck we had in Richmond ("Psycho") until 3 in the morning and carried it up here on a rollback. No motor, no trannie, no gear, no nothing. All them guys, plus my guys and the GMAC guys, worked all morning on that truck, we had two hours of practice on it and set it on the pole. I love this truck, it's the Silverado I ran in Richmond and IRP, the one I ran in Memphis, I believe. It was a pretty colorful qualifying lap, it was pretty loose. But if this place will get tighter at night like it always does hopefully I will be all right. If I was perfect in qualifying then I would probably be extremely tight tonight."
AFTER FOURTH-PLACE FINISH AND THE INCIDENT WITH RICKY SANDERS ON LAP 8: "I don't know what the %^&* that guy was doing. He was spinning the tires backing up the race track and I go to go under him and he rolls right in front of me and nearly totals my truck. It knocked the toe off pretty bad, and it knocked the fender off, obviously. We did all we could do to get more out of it after a bunch of pit stops. It's been a rough weekend. We'll go home with a top five and that's good. Getting wrecked under the yellow kinda sucks. I'm keeping my point lead, though, that's important. I think it was a wash with Riggs and I gained a little on (Joe) Ruttman. We're in good shape. This was our biggest fear here, believe it or not."
NO. 17 GMAC SILVERADO (sixth, first rookie, ties Kvapil in
rookie standings, but takes the lead by virtue of his one victory this
HOW WAS YOUR DAY? "It wasn't bad. We struggled a lot tonight. We had a great truck during the day. We were a little optimistic going into the race. After qualifying there were a couple of guys who pulled some laps from nowhere. They qualified up front. One of those guys stayed up front, a couple of them kind of fell back. It's kind of the way it goes. A short-track race is tough. Everyone is beating and banging all night long. A lot of people got turned and got involved in some wrecks. I know we should have wrecked about eight times. Actually, we did wreck about eight times but didn't make contact with the wall. It was a long night. NASCAR wants us to come to these venues and we do and the fans get a show. But out there racing it's really tough trying to do anything because it's a one-groove race track. A lot of traffic is in the groove all night long and you pass the same truck every four laps. We survived, I guess, and came out of it. GMAC was up front, it was good for Silverado and Chevrolet. I think we gained a little bit in overall standings. We'll head to Texas and we'll be pretty good there."
WHAT HAPPENED WITH YOU AND GIBBS? "It was just hard racing."
TRAVIS KVAPIL, NO. 60 CAT RENTAL STORES SILVERADO (eighth,): "We had a good qualifying run. We started up front, we were running up front. It was a big pit strategy night. A lot of guys who were having problems were able to get their tires on in early cautions and gain track position. That was the biggest thing. We did what the leaders were doing. It kind of bit us. When we pitted we had a big miscue in the pits, lost three or four spots, never could overcome that. Track position was the biggest thing tonight and we got behind in our one pit stop. I guess our strategy was just a little bit off tonight. Congratulations to the guy who won. We came out here in one piece and the Silverado is still running."
LANCE NORICK, NO. 90 AVENTIS BEHRING CHOICE SILVERADO (13th, lost a lap, regained it, ran as high as third): "We were actually running pretty good. Got in some traffic probably 50 laps into the race. The 75 truck got into me in Turn 1 and stayed into me until it went around. Almost got our lap back right then. Just barely didn't and a couple of restarts later I finally got my lap back and got tires and it ended up putting us up front. After the red flag we should have gotten some left sides but we didn't and the Silverado just would not turn. But there at the end we put lefts on the truck and it was pretty fast, but it was tough and hard to pass on this track. You had to put the bumper on anybody you got to. It was good short-track racing, it was a lot of fun. We're glad to come home with a 13th. We'll go on to Texas and see if we can finish in the top five."