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Dennis Setzer wins the Chevy Silverado 200

By Frank Ryan
July 15, 2000

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Truck winner Dennis Setzer

With a break in the Winston Cup schedule, all eyes turned to Nazareth Speedway this weekend as NASCAR's lesser-known divisions are in the spot light. The Busch Grand National Division, the Craftsman Truck Series and the Featherlite Modified tour all invade this demanding one-mile oval this weekend.

In the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Chevy Silverado 200, Dennis Setzer started in 19th place to win the race with a margin of victory of just more than 2 seconds. A series of well timed pit stops, and two tire changes moved Setzer to the front and kept him there, eventually taking the lead for good on lap 175. 

The victory can only be called remarkable. Last week during the race in Loudon, New Hampshire, Setzer broke his scapula when he crashed hard into the wall when his throttle hung partially open. Yet he was back in the truck this week, driving it all of the way to victory lane.

Joe Ruttman

Pole sitter Joe Ruttman would in 2nd place. Ruttman had one of the fastest trucks of the day and led for most of the race, but a late pit stop for inside tires under caution would prove critical. As Ruttman would lose a number of positions and only work his way up to second place before the checkered flag flew.

CTS points leader Greg Biffle finished in 3rd, extending his points lead over Mike Wallace (who finished in 10th a lap down). By the end of the race Biffle had lost his tires and had nothing for the leaders.

"My rear tires were out of rubber -- my left rear was down to the (inner webbing)," Biffle said. "I was hanging on for points there at the end. This track is about tires, but we couldn't sacrifice track position to get fresh ones."

Steve Grissom

Steve Grissom, fresh from testing the Ray Evernham and Petty Enterprises Intrepids in Kentucky, finished in 4th and the ever-tough Jack Sprague finished in 5th place.

Terry Cook turned one of the gutsiest performances of the day. Starting on the outside pole, Cook ran well only to get shuffled back during pit stops and eventually lose a lap. Cook fought to get the lap back and eventually brought the truck home in 6th place, just two tenths of a second behind Sprague.

After the race Setzer was asked how the truck was and if his injuries effected his driving.

"The truck was pretty good right out of the box" Setzer said, "My team made me look pretty good. They put some padding in and adjusted the seat for me. We knew we had a pretty good truck, we knew that from practice."

Setzer was also asked if anything had been done to the truck to prevent the throttle from hanging open again, such as a toe loop or other mechanical mechanism.

"We haven't done anything to the car." 

Setzer elaborated further to explain that he uses his right foot to brake, and probably wouldn't be able to switch from the accelerator to the brake pedal fast enough with the toe loop in place. 

Kyle Petty was also on hand practicing for tomorrow's Busch race

Photos by Mike Marue.  Copyright 2000 AutoRacing1.com

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