CRAFTSMAN TRUCK Kroger 250Final
Setzer wins Kroger 250 at MartinsvilleMar 30, 2008 - 12:27 AM MARTINSVILLE, Virginia (Ticker) -- Dennis Setzer returned to Victory Lane for the first time in nearly a year.
Setzer used a dominating performance en route to winning Saturday's caution-filled NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Kroger 250.
It was Setzer's 18th career win in the Truck Series and third here at Martinsville Speedway. The North Carolina native also won here in 2002 and 2003, but this was his first triumph for Bobby Hamilton Racing, which had not visited Victory Lane in nearly three years.
"I ran second to Bobby Hamilton the year he won the championship (in 2004)," Setzer said. "We raced really hard against each other, but off the track, we were the best of friends. I don't think we ever had a harsh word for one another. I respected him a lot."
The win was the first for the team since the late Hamilton won at Mansfield in 2005. The Dodge truck Setzer drove to victory is co-owned by Hamilton's widow, Lori.
"The emotions are running high right now," Lori Hamilton said. "We always said after Bobby passed away that if we could build it, then we'd do it in honor of him."
The 48-year-old led 126 of the 250 laps and withstood 15 cautions in winning an NCTS race for the first time since May, when he captured the Ohio 250. Setzer, who moved up five spots to fourth place in the driver standings, averaged 61.311 miles per hour and collected $55,025 for the win.
The 15 yellow flags slowed the pace for 82 laps, causing the race to go three extra laps for a two-lap sprint to the checkered flag.
The cautions were one short of the track record and did not include a crash involving Johnny Benson and points leader Kyle Busch on turn 3 of the final lap, which allowed Matt Crafton to earn a career-best second-place finish in a Chevrolet Silverado.
"That was real wild," said Crafton, whose previous best finish was third. "I knew there was going to be something exciting with Kyle driving it in there like that. I saw him drive it down hard into turn 3. I don't know if he didn't mean to do what he did, getting into Benson, but they both got loose."
Rick Crawford's Ford F-150, Ken Schrader's Toyota and Erik Darnell's Ford rounded out the top five.
Driving a Chevrolet, pole-sitter Jack Sprague was part of one of the accidents, as he was knocked out with 10 laps to go after crashing with Shelby Howard.
"I really hate it for my (racing crew)," Sprague said. "We worked so hard on this truck. One of these weeks, we are going to get some luck along with these fast trucks we've had and end up in Victory Lane. I'm just really disappointed."