Originally created 04/14/02

Setzer wins truck race at Martinsville

MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- Darrell Waltrip's return to racing ended long before the Advance Auto Parts 250 did Saturday, and Dennis Setzer passed Terry Cook with 43 laps to go and went on to his seventh career victory.

Waltrip, who retired in from Winston Cup racing 2000, lasted only 86 laps as a one-race fill-in for NASCAR truck series driver Stacy Compton before the rear end in his leaking Dodge failed.

Waltrip's spin, caused when Morgan Shepherd bumped him from behind in the first turn of the third lap, proved a harbinger of things to come as the race was slowed 14 times by cautions for a series-record 80 laps.

"I forced between Morgan and another truck," Waltrip said of the bump and spin. "It was early in the race and I thought he'd give me a break. I guess he was carrying too much speed and couldn't get stopped."

The race also ended early for Kevin Harvick, who ran his Chevrolet into the back of Coy Gibbs' Chevy coming out of a restart with 62 laps to go, causing Gibbs to spin and Harvick to be parked by NASCAR.

"I guess they thought I was retaliating," Harvick said.

Waltrip had said beforehand that racing again was an opportunity to get information he can use as a Winston Cup commentator on Fox television, but he said after being eliminated that he'd had much higher hopes.

"I was going to win this race. We had the best truck," he said.

He never got a chance to prove it, while Setzer proved it all day.

"I had a fun time today. This is the funnest track, I think, on the Craftsman Truck Series," Setzer said after coming from behind and becoming only the second provisional starter to win in the 8-year-old series.

Setzer had qualified fifth but was dropped to 33rd on the starting grid because of a technical problem. He raced through the field to get into the top 10 within about 50 laps, then waited for a chance to lead.

It came with just over 43 laps to go when he nosed his Chevrolet underneath longtime leader Terry Cook's Ford heading into the third turn, emerging in front when they exited Turn 4 and surviving several restarts.

"You had to be patient when you got to third, fourth, fifth," he said. "Those trucks were almost as good as we were, but if I got in front of them, I knew that I could drive away from them. We had a good truck."

Setzer's average speed was 64.628 mph, the second-slowest in eight truck events at Martinsville. His margin of victory was .422 seconds, and the triumph gave him a victory in five consecutive truck seasons.

Mike Bliss rallied to finish second, also in a Chevy, followed by Rick Crawford in a Ford, Bobby Dotter in a Chevy and Cook.


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