05/26/07

Setzer Saves Fuel and Wins at Mansfield Motorsports Park

On a weekend when their Cup Series counterparts prepared to do battle in their longest race of the year, the Truck Series drivers competed in a marathon of their own at Memphis Motorsports Park. Rain forced NASCAR officials to red flag the race at three times and nearly eight hours after the green flag flew, Dennis Setzer scored his first victory in nearly two years.

With 103 of 250 laps run under caution Setzer got everything he could out of a single tank of fuel and was able to go the distance without making a visit to pit road but his first victory at the short track in Ohio came in part thanks to Rick Crawford’s misfortune. Crawford led 117 laps to lock up the bonus points for leading the most but disaster struck in the form of a flat right front tire that forced him to pit road with 12 laps to go. That allowed Setzer to inherit the lead and drive on to victory.
“I feel like I just missed the biggest deer, a 14- or 16- point buck in Texas,” said Crawford who settled for a 23rd place finish. “If you are an avid hunter, that means you are sick to your stomach.” Even though he clearly capitalized on Crawford’s bad luck, Setzer still had to do his part post his first victory of the season. “I was saving fuel from the very start of this race from the time we rolled off the line,” Sezter explained. “I rode it in high gear every caution we had today and I would drop it back in second gear on the backstretch on every restart we had.”

Jack Sprague made a pit stop with just 20 laps in the books and was running on fumes when he chased Setzer to the checkers for a runner up finish. "Honestly, I was pretty surprised that Dennis was able to make it without stopping,” Sprague noted. “I know that nobody out there gets better fuel mileage than my Toyota Tundra. I'm not sure how it all happened, but overall, the guys brought me a great truck and we're pretty happy with a second-place finish.”

Rounding out the top three was Ken Schrader who gave Dodge their first top five finish of the season in the Bobby Hamilton Racing entry. “This is the last place that Bobby won, and it's big for us to come out of here with a top five,” said Schrader. “We gave one away last week, so it's nice to close the deal.” Mike Skinner, who kicked off the weekend with his fifth consecutive pole, led the first 53 laps and held onto the points lead with a fourth place finish.

The Craftsman Truck Series will head to Dover International Speedway where they will stage their 300th event since the series’ inception in 1995.