Setzer Scores at Martinsville Speedway
Dennis Setzer is known for his short track racing skills and he proved why with a victory at Martinsville Speedway in the fourth Craftsman Truck Series race of the season.
It was an emotional day for Setzer who returned Bobby Hamilton Racing to Victory Lane for the first time since the team’s founder lost his life to cancer in January 2007. Since then, Bobby’s widow, Lori, has taken on ownership partners and relocated the team to Martinsville, VA, two moves that have obviously paid dividends.
Mike Skinner was running third when he ran out of gas, spun off the nose of Kyle Busch’s truck and set up a green/white/checker finish. Setzer led the field on the restart and the competition was eliminated when Johnny Benson and Busch tangled in his wake as they fought for the runner-up spot.
“I ran second to Bobby Hamilton the year he won the championship ," said Setzer who led 126 of 250 laps to score his 18th career victory. “This is for Bobby. It’s special. It carries on his legacy.”
When Benson and Busch spun out on the final lap it was the sea parted for Matt Crafton who drove between and crossed the line second to record a career best finish.
“I knew there was going to be something exciting with Kyle driving it in there like that,” said Crafton. “I saw him drive it down hard in to turn three and he wheel hopped it. He didn't mean to do what he did, getting in to the No. 23, but he wheel hopped it and got loose. I was trying to be patient because last year we were running third on the last lap and wrecked and finished 17th. So I was going to finish fourth if I had to."
Rick Crawford finished third and was followed by Ken Schrader and Erik Darnell.
Benson and Busch finished 25th and 26th respectively as the finals two drivers on the lead lap.
It was Busch’s first finish this season worse than second but he managed to hold onto the point lead by 35 over Todd Bodine who finished 12th.
“I thought I could get on the inside of Johnny (Benson) far enough, before he came down, but it wasn't to be,” Busch explained. “I had a little wheel hop and it got loose and we slid up the track a little and made contact. But, you'll have that sometimes in auto racing. I'm not happy with third. I want to go up there to the top.”
The Truck Series teams will take a nice long break as they sit idle for three weekends. Kansas Speedway will host the series’ next event at Kansas Speedway on Apr. 26.