Setzer Checks Out TSS's New Surface
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Driver Dennis Setzer Stops In To Meet With
Media, Check Out Completed Track Surface At Talladega
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Dennis Setzer visited Talladega Superspeedway Wednesday, August 30 to check out the newly completed track surface and lend a hand in paving the 12-foot truck lane in turn three. Setzer is among the diverse group of seasoned veterans and ambitious young drivers that comprise the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, which will compete at NASCAR's Most Competitive Track for the first time on Saturday, Oct. 7 in the Talladega 250. Setzer also took time to share his thoughts with reporters on the series upcoming Talladega debut and the new racing surface. Crews are currently replacing fencing and SAFER barriers while others complete finishing touches with asphalt on the truck lane, skid pad, pit road and apron. The entire project will be completed by the track's fall UAW-Ford 500 event weekend, set for Oct. 6 - 8. Tickets are available now by calling 1-877-Go2-DEGA (1-877-462-3342); for our hearing impaired guests, please call TDD 1-866-ISC-TRAK (1-866-472-8725). You may also purchase tickets online at www.racetickets.com or in person by visiting the Talladega Superspeedway Ticket Office from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. CDT, Monday - Friday.
Quotes from Setzer's Interviews with Talladega Superspeedway and Regional Media Outlets:
On the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Talladega Debut - Talladega 250, Oct. 7, 2006:
"It's exciting that the trucks are finally coming to Talladega. We've tested here so much over the years. We've do a lot of wind tunnel dates and we'd always come up to back up the information we've learned and see if our trucks are better. We have a lot of laps here in the Craftsman Truck Series, and fortunately I have a lot of laps here from testing for Bill Elliott back in 1997 and 1998. So it's really fun to come back here and get to compete at Talladega."
More on Talladega Testing for Bill Elliott, Who Holds Both the All-Time Qualifying Speed Record (212.809 mph, Spring 1987) and All-Time Pole Winner Record (8):
"It was (intimidating) initially. But he is such a good guy. You can't believe how nice a guy Bill Elliott. There were a lot of things he helped me learn. I was fortunate to work for his team - he sent me down here, we probably came seven or eight weeks in '98 developing the Taurus. So I worked with Mike Beam and all the guys working with Bill's car. That was really a fun time for me, getting to know Bill. He's just a nice, nice guy. He is absolutely as nice in person as he seems."
"I've never been bored here. I've done the late model stuff, and just had a couple of guys work for me and we didn't have enough of a team. So it was impressive to then come here testing for Bill Elliott, and to have two or three crew chiefs and 20 guys waiting to make a change on these things. I've tested here when they put sheet metal panels up the driver's side, down the right side, the back window covered and the only thing I could see out of was just enough of the windshield where they were trying so many panels and different things on these cars. It was exciting to see all the stuff they had available and how they were trying different things."
On Fan Reaction to Seeing the Trucks Race Here for the First Time:
"The trucks will be really fun for the fans to see. You used to have what you call the slingshot move, and the cars are restricted so much to where that's not really available anymore. The trucks have about 200 more horsepower than the cars, so I think you will see the slingshot move that you haven't seen in quite a few years past at Talladega. I think the fans will be excited to see that. They draft so really
well that you will probably see three-, four-, five-wide
racing through the tri-oval right there. I can't even guess how tough it is
going to be. We just about need this apron painted a different color, because I
am sure these trucks are going to try to use it through this place. It's a tough
bunch of racers, anyway, and they are all going to be headstrong and want to
lead at Talladega for the first time."
On his Initial Reaction to Seeing the Track Look so Different with New Asphalt:
"It's very unusual. I've been here testing a lot and the asphalt looked almost white with a lot of cracks in it. There were some humps and bumps in this place before which limited how much you could travel your vehicle and all of that is gone now. It will be exciting. Set-ups will be radically different than they've ever been here in the past, and it will be fun to work with."
On How Team Will Adjust to the New Racing Surface:
"We can probably soften the vehicle up some now because we don't have the bumps. You used to have to run really stiff springs to keep it from bottoming out when you go across the bumps. Now the bumps are gone, you can probably soften the springs, change it just a little bit here. NASCAR does mandate the rear springs we have the truck, so that limits us a little, but we have the front springs we can work with and the shock packages can be more aggressive than ever. "
On Anticipation in the Garage Regarding the Upcoming Talladega 250:
"Everyone is excited, especially the manufacturers. Everyone wants to come to Talladega and win the first Craftsman Truck Series race at Talladega. We've done a lot going to the wind tunnel and that's about as close to Talladega as anything you can do right there. Most tracks the wind tunnel doesn't show as much as it does at Talladega. It's very important those guys have put a lot of effort into this place."
"It is a huge change for us and it's a huge deal. We've all fortunately got Daytona trucks we've had sitting in our shops all year and now we have a chance to use those for a second time this year when before that thing basically would just sit there and wait for Daytona to come back around and you'd just make it better for the next year. Now we have an opportunity to take that truck and run it better another time this year."