For Setzer, points lead pays off

Updated: July 2, 2004, 11:18 PM ET
Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- NASCAR truck series points leader Dennis Setzer was given the pole for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 350 when rain caused cancellation of qualifying Friday at Kansas Speedway.

Setzer's Chevrolet will start inside the Ford of Carl Edwards, second in the Craftsman series standings. Setzer has victories this year at Texas and Lowe's Motor Speedway.

He took the pole for the first truck race at Kansas in 2001 and has three top-three finishes -- but no victories -- on the 1½-mile tri-oval.

"Somebody has just been faster than us each year,'' he said. "But we've been real fortunate to have two seconds and a third.''

Edwards, who won the season opener at Daytona, was second here last year. He trails Setzer by 131 points and leads third-place Bobby Hamilton by 22.

"I'm well aware of the caliber of my competitors, so I think it's just more motivation to go out there and not make mistakes,'' Edwards said.

Hamilton's Dodge will start on the inside of the second row, with Rick Crawford on the outside in a Ford. All positions were set on the basis of points.

Starting fifth Saturday night will be Ted Musgrave, who won last week in Milwaukee. Chad Chaffin, Matt Crafton, defending race champion Jon Wood, Travis Kvapil and Mike Skinner complete the top 10. The victory last year was the only one for Wood on the circuit.

The lack of practice time probably will show up in the early laps, Setzer said.

"In a situation where you don't get any practice, I think you'll get a very cautious start to the race,'' he said.

Rookie driver Brandon Whitt, who tested here this year, also is hoping patience will prevail.

"With little or no practice, the key for everyone is to run smart in the first half of the race and let things get sorted out, figure out what your truck is doing and is capable of doing,'' he said. "Then go with that the second half of the race.

"The guys who do that won't have problems and might be in a position to win at the end. The guys who don't will probably be watching the end of the race from the garage.''


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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