CHARLOTTE, N.C. – official release — PASS photo — Brandon Setzer had high hopes for success when the 2014 Pro All Stars Series South Super Late Model season began.
It didn’t start out the way he hoped. Motor problems at Greenville-Pickens and Hickory, coupled with an accident at Dillon, had Setzer mired far back in the standings. But a mid-season switch from his family-owned team to the potent Dick Woodman Racing entry saw Setzer score back-to-back podium finishes at Ace and Southern National.
Since then, Setzer has returned to the family team and the good runs have continued. He now sits seventh in PASS South Super Late Model points, just 34 points out of the top five as the series prepares for this weekend’s Over The Mountain 150 at Hickory Motor Speedway.
Hickory Motor Speedway means a lot to the Setzer family. Brandon’s dad, Dennis, parlayed Late Model Stock track championships there in 1983 and 1992 into a successful tenure in the Busch and Truck Series. Likewise, Brandon got his start at Hickory Motor Speedway, learning his craft in the track’s Late Model Supertruck and Limited Late Model divisions. Making his third PASS South Super Late Model start at the track this weekend, Setzer feels the ingredients are right for the team to score its first victory.
“To get a win at Hickory would be huge and that’s what we’re working towards,” said Setzer, driver of the Romeo Guest Construction/The Jewelry Exchange No. 6 Ford. “We’re putting extra effort into Hickory. We want to run good everywhere, but we really want to run well at there. We were disappointed with our last race at Hickory and we’re looking forward to going back there again.”
Most of Brandon Setzer’s experience at Hickory Motor Speedway has been in Trucks or Limited Late Models. Competing at the highest level of Super Late Model racing this year has given the young driver quite a bit of knowledge on how to approach the legendary speedway driving in lighter, quicker machines.
“The heavier cars, you can kind of hang them out and drive a slide and with these PASS cars you have to be a lot more careful,” says Setzer. “They’re lighter and have a lot more horsepower and you can get into trouble a lot quicker just based on the speed. But it’s a lot of fun in these PASS cars for sure.”
The other factor Setzer and his PASS South counterparts will be dealing with this weekend at Hickory is just how much the track has changed since the series last raced there in April. With a hot summer and a full season of racing in the books at the 60-year-old speedway, Setzer feels like fans will see a much different race than what they did there in the spring.
“It’s going to be a little bit warmer and tire conservation is going to be big as always at Hickory,” said Setzer. “You’ve got to do a lot more tire saving in these long PASS races. It’s going to be a slick, hot place and fun to race.”