Texas II: News of note, schedule

Top two, top-four contenders boast closest title chase in series history Setzer is "king" of series short tracks in 2003 NEWS & NOTES * Points closest in history with four to go ... There's never been a closer battle among the top two and...

Top two, top-four contenders boast closest title chase in series history
Setzer is "king" of series short tracks in 2003


* Points closest in history with four to go ... There's never been a closer battle among the top two and top four championship contenders at this stage of the season. Gaughan leads Travis Kvapil (No. 16 IWX Motor Freight Chevrolet) by 20 points (previous closest 26 in 1998). The blanket covering Gaughan, Kvapil, Ted Musgrave (No. 1 Mopar Performance Dodge) and Dennis Setzer (No. 46 ACXIOM/Computer Associates Chevrolet) is 74.

* Dennis Setzer short track 'top gun' in 2003 ... Regardless of the outcome of the Oct. 18 Advance Auto Parts 250 at Martinsville Speedway, Setzer will be crowned this year's series short track king. Setzer added a South Boston victory to a list that already counted wins at Mesa Marin Raceway and Martinsville Speedway. The Newton, N.C. veteran's average short track finish in 2003 is 3.429.

* Crawford, Kvapil eye series records in Texas ... The Silverado 350 will mark consecutive start No. 170 for Rick Crawford (No. 14 Circle Bar Motel & RV Ford), matching Jack Sprague's series record (Feb. 5, 1995 to Nov. 3, 2001). Crawford's first NASCAR Craftsman Truck start came on Jan. 19, 1997 at Walt Disney World Speedway. Kvapil's second-place finish at South Boston was his 17th-consecutive top 10 of the season, one fewer than the 18 recorded by Ron Hornaday Jr. in 1996.

* Four winners in four fall TMS races ... The Silverado 350 has been won by four different drivers -- Jay Sauter, Bryan Reffner, Kvapil and Gaughan. Reffner and Kvapil were first-time winners. Eleven TMS races have produced nine winning drivers -- the most winners at a single track and a feat matched in June at The Milwaukee Mile.

* ETC. David Starr (No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Chevrolet) celebrates his 36th birthday on Saturday. Starr, a Houston native, has finished third three times at Texas Motor Speedway. ... Last September's Silverado 350 was the series' fastest in Texas at 137.736 mph until Gaughan bettered that effort with a winning average of 140.621 June 6. ... Ultra Motorsports, ranked No. 2 all-time with 29 series wins, has fielded a combined 16 entries at Texas Motor Speedway without a victory. The team's best finish is second, by Mike Wallace, in the 2000 O'Reilly 400K. Musgrave and Andy Houston (No. 2 Team ASE Racing/Carquest Dodge) will try again Saturday. ... The 1999 Silverado 350 had the most finishers of any series event at TMS -- 27. ... Crawford and Terry Cook (No. 29 Power Stroke Diesel/Oil Mate Ford) are the only competitors to start all 11 series races at Texas.


* Championship rivals count five victories at TMS ... Gaughan and Kvapil's Texas successes have been noted, while Setzer's 1998 O'Reilly 400K victory was the first by Dodge on a superspeedway. Musgrave's best finish, however, is fifth among four top-10 efforts. He has also led four races.


* "It's a wish I know I've made a million times while I was blowing out the candles on every birthday cake since I was a kid in Houston." -- David Starr, about winning a race in his home state of Texas.

* "Hopefully I can bring some good luck. This team has had some really good trucks at Texas but for whatever reason they haven't gotten the finishes reflective of how they've run." -- Andy Houston on ending Ultra Motorsports' string of misfortune in Texas. Houston finished second in his first appearance at TMS in 1998.

* "This has been a hard-fought season and it's not over yet. I know Matt and the No. 88 Team are as solid as they come, and they are going to be digging hard to get by us." -- Chad Chaffin, No. 18 Dickies Dodge, on his battle with Matt Crafton (No. 88 Menards/Enzyme Magic Chevrolet) for the final top-10 spot in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship standings.


* Just two of five NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champions -- Jack Sprague and Greg Biffle -- have been able to win at Texas Motor Speedway. Each won in his championship season, Biffle in 2000 and Sprague a year later. Sprague, No. 2 all-time in races won, didn't find victory circle at TMS until his seventh start in June 2001.

What: Silverado 350 (NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race No. 21 of 25).
Where: Texas Motor Speedway, Ft. Worth, Texas
When: 3 p.m. ET, Sat., Oct. 11.

Track layout: 1.5-mile paved speedway.
Race length: 146 laps/219 miles.

TV: SPEED Channel, 3 p.m. ET.

Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday Practice, 8:00 a.m.- 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 -- 11:00 a.m. Qualifying, 1:15 p.m. Final practice 4:30 p.m. -- 5:30 p.m.


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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers David Starr , Greg Biffle , Jay Sauter , Andy Houston , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Ted Musgrave , Jack Sprague , Dennis Setzer , Terry Cook , Rick Crawford , Matt Crafton , Bryan Reffner , Chad Chaffin , Travis Kvapil