Dennis Setzer Rallies to Podium Finish at Gateway International Raceway Team Silverado Driver Finishes Second for Second Consecutive Year Madison, IL - Dennis Setzer and the No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado team proved one again that teamwork pays big...
Dennis Setzer Rallies to Podium Finish at Gateway International Raceway Team Silverado Driver Finishes Second for Second Consecutive Year Madison, IL - Dennis Setzer and the No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado team proved one again that teamwork pays big dividends in out running the competition in the NASCAR Craftsman Trucks Series. Setzer came from his 17th starting position to finish a strong second-place in Saturday night's Ram Tough 200 at Gateway International Raceway, just east of St. Louis.
Setzer worked his way toward the front of the field to be solidly in the top-10 by the halfway point of the 160-lap, 200-mile race. The Morgan-Dollar Motorsports driver passed Ricky Craven (Ford) on lap 145 to take over second place and set his sites on running down race leader and eventual winner Ted Musgrave (Dodge).
"We all worked hard as a team to finally get a shot at Ted, " Setzer said. "He had been really good all night; I think he probably led the whole race. On that last restart, with two to go, I finally had him in site and thought I might be able to get a run on him with my Chevy Silverado and I missed a shift on the restart. That gave him about five truck lengths on me and unfortunately we didn't get a run on him.
"We kept making little changes throughout the race that really paid off at the end for us. We started getting a little tight there off the corner; Eric (Phillips) made some great calls for the changes on that. These guys have worked really hard on their pit stops. When they get me five or six spots on pit road, it makes it awful easy for me to sit in there in this little Silverado and drive around. They make my job awful easy. It was a good night for us."
The second consecutive runner-up finish at Gateway moved Setzer from 14th in the NCTS point standings to seventh position.
Other Team Silverado finishers were: Jack Sprague, No. 16 Chevy Trucks Silverado, 20th; David Starr, No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado, 21st and Ron Hornaday, No. 6 GM Goodwrench Silverado 30th.
Hornaday, who underwent an emergency appendectomy on Tuesday evening, started on the inside of the second row and was never lower than fourth in the running order. On lap 143, Hornaday came of the radio and quietly said to his crew, "We blew up." Hornaday dropped from fourth in the points race to sixth in the order.
Starr, the defending race winner, had an equally strong Silverado. From his fifth place starting spot, the Texas native ran in the top-five until a yellow flag on lap 105 caught Starr coming down road for what was to have been a green-flag stop. He lost a lap as a result of the ill-timed caution and was unable to get back on the lead lap for the remainder of the race. Starr fell one spot in the point standings from 12th to 13th place.
After qualifying second to start on the outside of the front-row, Sprague had a character-building night. On lap 33, Sprague came on the radio and said the truck was running very hot and the water and oil temperatures were climbing. As the second caution flag of the race flew on lap 36, Sprague, second at the time, was told by his spotter the truck was smoking badly. The Michigan native pitted with the other lead-lap trucks and the crew went to work under the hood to repair a loose fitting on the valve spring cooler oil line. It took two trips down pit road to complete the necessary repairs.
Sprague restarted the race in 27th position and began the process of working his way back toward the front of the field only to have the left front tire go down with just six laps remaining in the race. The debris from the shredding tire caused the final caution of the race. The crew was able to change tires and get him back out on the lead lap but there were only two laps remaining when the race went green for the final time. Sprague had made his way to fifth in the running order, before the tire incident. Sprague dropped from ninth to 11th in points.
The next event for the NCTS is the UAW-GM Ohio 250 at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway on Sunday, May 15, 2005. Practice and qualifying is scheduled for Saturday, May 14, 2005 with the race scheduled to start at 2:15 EDT on Sunday. SPEED Channel will provide live television coverage of the race. MRN Radio and XM Satellite radio will broadcast all the live action from the track.
DENNIS SETZER, NO 46 CHEVROLET SILVERADO, QUALIFIED 17TH, FINISHED 2ND:
"We all worked hard as a team to finally get a shot at Ted (Musgrave, Dodge, Race Winner). He had been really good all night; I think he probably led the whole race. On that last restart, with two to go, I finally had him in site and thought I might be able to get a run on him with my Chevy Silverado and I missed a shift on the restart. That gave him about five truck lengths on me and unfortunately we didn't get a run on him.
"I am just really proud of my Morgan Dollar Motorsports team and everyone there on Team Silverado. They have all done a great job. We have worked hard on our Silverado. We came out here and tested which paid some dividends for us. We didn't have the best job qualifying today but the guys gained us a lot of spots with their great pit stops. They just worked really hard all night."
"We kept making little changes throughout the race that really paid off at the end for us. We started getting a little tight there off the corner; Eric (Phillips) made some great calls for the changes on that. These guys have worked really hard on their pit stops. They work out three or four days a week. We have a coach that comes in and helps them find little ways to keep sharp, they are already the best but they keep working hard to just be better and better. They are very professional and I really appreciate the job that they do for me on raceday. When they get me five or six spots on pit road, it makes it awful easy for me to sit in there in this little Silverado and drive around. They make my job awful easy. It was a good night for us. This is just what we needed.'
RON HORNADAY, NO. 6 GM GOODWRENCH CHEVROLET SILVERADO, QUALIFIED 3RD, FINISHED 30TH: NOTE: Hornaday lost an engine on lap 144 of the race after running in the top-five the entire race.
"As usual Wally and the guys built me a great truck. I am not sure exactly what happened it just blew up on me. We ran well all night, but the truck was vibrating a whole bunch. A caution would have been good for us on that last long run, we just didn't want to be the reason the yellow came out. This GM Goodwrench team will get this worked out and will be back in the hunt in Mansfield."
JACK SPRAGUE, NO. 16 CHEVY TRUCKS SILVERADO, QUALIFIED 2ND, FINISHED 20TH: NOTE:. On lap 37, Sprague came to pit road under caution smoking under the hood. The valve cover cooler oil line fitting was loose. The crew was able to repair the line sending Sprague back into competition in 29th position. He had worked he way up to the top-five. With five laps to go in the race, Sprague cut down a left from tire while running in fifth position. The crew was able to change tires and get him back out on the lead lap but with only two laps remaining in the race.
"It sure seems like we can't get any luck going our way. My Chevy Trucks Silverado was a great truck tonight. When I had to come from the back, I was able to pass anyone pretty much any place I wanted. Even with breaking the front valance off hitting the track during the race, we were still good. But we cut down a tire and by the time the race went green, there were only two laps remaining and there was no way we could make up any spots. We will just go on to Mansfield and see what we can do there."
DAVID STARR, NO. 75 SPEARS MANUFACTURING CHEVROLET SILVERADO, QUALIFIED 5TH, FINISHED 21ST; NOTE: Starr was caught a lap down after making a green flag pit stop just before the caution flag flew. He had been running in the top-five up until that point.
"Our Chevrolet Silverado was pretty loose tonight and we battled it all day in practice. We thought we had the right changes but obviously as the race went on the truck got worse and worse. We just couldn't get off in (turn) four; from the center off they were killing me. We were just loose all night and never could get it fixed. We were falling like flies and had to come in to make adjustments and work on it. When we decided to do that the caution came out a half lap later. It just wasn't a very good night and didn't have too much luck on our side. We'll just keep digging and championship teams overcome this and that's what we are going to do - we're going to put this behind us, learn from it and keep truckin."
SHANE HMIEL, NO. 15 WINFUEL CHEVROLET SILVERADO, QUALIFIED 16TH, FINISHED 14TH : NOTE: The No. 15 was practiced and qualified by Regan Smith. Hmiel flew from Talladega Superspeedway following his participation in the NASCAR Busch Series race. Hmiel was eliminated on lap 17 of the Aaron's 312 in a multi-car accident.
"It has been a long day, but at least we finished this one. We got crashed in our last truck race and we got crashed today at Talladega in the Busch race. We just missed it tonight with the No. 15 Silverado. These guys at Billy Ballew Motorsports work hard to always give me good trucks, this one tonight just wasn't quite what we needed. It just happens sometimes. I wasn't able to drive the truck the way I want to, we couldn't get to the front and it hurt us. But they will probably happen to us more than once this year, as long as we can keep finishing top-fifteen, we will be ok."