Mansfield, OH (Sports Network) - Dennis Setzer captured the Ohio 250 Craftsman
Truck Series race at the Mansfield Motorsports Speedway on Saturday without
making a pit stop the entire race. The No.75 Chevrolet crossed the finish line
ahead of Jack Sprague.
The victory was Setzer's first of the season and 17th of his truck career.
It was a rainy Saturday in Mansfield, Ohio to say the least. The race was
interrupted three times by rain showers. The race had a total of five hours
and 20 minutes in rain delays.
The winner of the past five poles, Mike Skinner, led the 36-truck field to the
green flag for 250 laps of short-track racing.
The points leader held onto the top-spot early as Johnny Benson drove to
second after starting in the fourth spot.
Skinner was still the leader when the first caution flag of the afternoon came
out on lap nine for Jack Smith and Ted Musgrave.
The No.5 Toyota led Benson, Rick Crawford, Todd Bodine and Travis Kvapil to
the lap 15 restart. Only one green flag lap was run after the restart before
the first caution flag came out for rain. As the rain picked up NASCAR
officials decided to red flag the race after 18 laps.
The rain delay became very lengthy as numerous rain showers passed through the
area. Multiple times the track was close to being dry when another rain shower
would pass through and wet the asphalt.
After a two hour, 10 minute red-flag period the drivers rolled back onto
the track to help in the track drying process. It seemed like green flag
racing was only a few minutes away, but that wasn't the case.
A few minutes later the sky opened up and NASCAR officials spotted a severe
storm on the radar. The fans were ordered to leave the grandstands and go to
their cars. The infield was also cleared out.
Once the storm was over the track dryers were able to dry the 0.5-mile oval
track quickly. After about a two hour red-flag period the yellow flag came
out so the drivers could drive around the track to help in the drying.
When the pits opened some of the leaders decided to pit including Crawford and
Kvapil, who were running third and fifth, respectively.
The race finally went back to green on lap 37. Skinner continued to lead as
Ron Hornaday Jr. started to move through the field. On lap 51 Hornaday Jr. and
Skinner battled side-by-side for the lead when Kvapil brought out the third
caution of the day.
During the caution period Skinner and some of the drivers who didn't pit
before went down pit road for service. Crafton led Clay Rogers, Setzer,
Willie Allen and Ted Musgrave after the pit stop due to them staying out.
The fourth caution came out on lap 80 in turn four when some backmarkers got
together. Crafton narrowly missed the crash and only received a little damage
to the left rear of his truck.
Under the caution period Crafton decided to stay out in hopes that the race
would be called after the halfway point due to rain. Rogers, Musgrave, Setzer
and Allen followed behind the leader.
On the lap 88 restart the No.88 Chevrolet was able to build a five truck
length margin. Meanwhile Musgrave passed Rogers for the second spot.
As the race approached 100 laps the rain started to fall again causing the
race to go back under caution. A few laps were run under caution before NASCAR
officials were forced to red flag the race for the third time at lap 106.
This red flag period lasted for 50 minutes.
When pit road opened under caution Crafton stayed out as Musgrave, Rogers,
Terry Cook, Kelly Bires, Chad McCumbee, Smith and Bradley Riethmeyer came to
pit lane for service.
The race finally got restarted on lap 116 with Crafton leading Crawford, who
already took his pit stop earlier.
The No.88 Chevrolet tried to hold off a persistent Crawford. But on lap 121
Crawford took the inside lane to pass him for the top-spot. Setzer settled
into the third position.
Crawford continued to show the way when Smith spun out to bring out the
caution flag on lap 134. On lap 142 another caution flag came out when Ken
Butler spun out. Hornaday Jr. lost a lot of track position when he was forced
to come to a stop to avoid the spinning Butler.
Once the race got back under way Crawford and Crafton held onto the top-two
spots. Behind these two drivers Setzer and Aaron Fike battled for the third
On lap 163 disaster struck for early leader Crafton. His right-front tire went
flat causing him to hit the wall in turn three hard.
When the race got restarted on lap 169 Crawford led Setzer, Fike, Allen and
Jack Sprague. The No.14 Ford continued to lead after the restart despite hot
pursuit from Setzer.
The Ford opened up over a two-second lead over Setzer. But that margin was
erased on lap 193 when Hornaday Jr. and Bodine crashed. On lap 205 David Starr
spun out to bring out the caution flag.
Under the caution period Allen ran out of fuel due to making zero pit stops
the whole day.
The 13th caution flag came out on lap 216 for Kelly Bires.
With 27 laps to go Crawford led Setzer, Fike, Sprague and Ken Schrader to the
restart. Skinner found himself in the seventh spot.
The No.14 Ford pulled away from the field quickly but with 20 laps remaining
Setzer started to chip away at Crawford's lead.
With 13 laps left a flat right-front tire for Crawford caused him to go high
on the track allowing Setzer to make the pass for first. Crawford brought out
the caution flag as parts of his tire spread across the track.
Setzer led Fike, Sprague, Schrader and Skinner to the restart with only five
laps to go. As Setzer held onto the lead Sprague would drive to second. After
making the pass for second Sprague set his sights on the leader. But the No.75
Chevrolet wasn't going to be caught as he crossed the finish line with a
Schrader, Skinner and Benson completed the top-five.
Skinner leaves the track with a 121-point lead over Hornaday Jr. and 180 over
Bodine. The next race in the Craftsman Truck Series is set for Friday, June
1st at the Dover International Speedway.