CHARLOTTE, NC (April 9) – PASS photo — As the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Super Late Models prepare for the 9thAnnual Hickory Motor Speedway, Newton, NC’s Brandon Setzer looks on with added anticipation.
In his first season competing in PASS South and coming off a best career sixth place finish last time out at Orange County Speedway, Setzer prepares to race at the track he has by far and away the most experience at in his young career.
There has never been a time in his life when racing at Hickory Motor Speedway wasn’t front and center for Brandon Setzer. From the time he was born, his family has raced at Hickory, most notably his dad, Dennis. Dennis Setzer won the track championship at Hickory Motor Speedway in 1983 and 1993 before finding success in the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series. Likewise, Brandon has found victory lane at Hickory in Limited Late Models and Late Model Trucks.
Now, Brandon’s focus is on taming a much different beast, a beast in the form of a 650 horespower PASS South Super Late Model. And, with a top short track racing coach like his father guiding him and the home crowd behind him, Setzer likes his chances heading to one of the biggest races of the season.
“We live about five miles away from there and we’re really excited to be going to Hickory,” said Setzer, driver of the Romeo Guest Construction/Jewelry Exchange Ford #6. “We’ve tested there a few times and raced in the Over The Mountain 150 last Fall and were competitive, so we’re really excited to be going to the home track.”
Over the years, the Easter Bunny 150 has established itself as one of the top Super Late Model races in the country. Drivers from across North America come to Hickory Motor Speedway each spring hoping first to qualify amongst the elite group of drivers who make the field and then, hope to be up front at the end of the night to win the unique Easter Bunny trophy.
A new sealer added to the speedway’s racing surface during the winter has seen speeds rocket during testing. But, despite that, Setzer believes the great multi-groove racing Hickory has become famous for will once again be prevalent at this year’s Easter Bunny 150.
“I really don’t think it will change the racing,” said Setzer of the track surface. “From everything I’ve heard it’s back to about like it was. I tested there about a week ago and it felt about like it was so I don’t think it will affect the racing a bit. The high grooves still going to be the way to go. I think it will make for some great racing with the low groove worn out. In the short run, the low side will be the quick way around, but I expect to see everybody migrate to the top.”
A great group of drivers have already filed pre-entries including PASS South points leader and Hickory native, Tyler Church. PASS South points contenders Cole Timm, Jared Irvan, Trevor Noles and Tyler Dippel have also filed entries. As is usual for the Easter Bunny 150, a strong contingent of Northern drivers will be making the trip down to Hickory including Ben Rowe, Joey Doiron, Austin Theriault, Trevor Sanborn, and Ryan Moore.
Jay Fogleman returns to the driver’s seat at Hickory along with his son, Tate, as they carry the banner for Bull City Race Cars and Speedco. Veteran Randy Gentry will be looking to bounce back after a tough run at Orange County along with fellow South Carolina drivers Ted Mickelson and Clete Caywood. Veterans Jody Measamer and John Batten hope to get their seasons turned around and Florida’s Patrick Staropoli will be stepping in to the Jimmy Doyle owned #71.
Entry forms and the weekend schedule for the 9th Annual Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory Motor Speedway can be found at ProAllStarsSeries.com.
Action gets under way on Friday, April 18th at Hickory Motor Speedway with rotating practice from 1 – 6 PM for the PASS South Super Late Models, PASS Pro Late Models, Super Cup Stock Car Series, and Legends. On Saturday, April 19th, pit gates will open at 9 AM for the 9th Annual Easter Bunny 150, with rotating practice for all divisions from 11 AM – 2:45 PM. Qualifying will begin at 3:30 PM and racing will start at 6 PM, featuring 150 laps for the PASS South Super Late Models, 50 laps for the PASS Pro Late Models, 75 laps for the Super Cup Stock Cars and action for the Legends cars.
The Pro All Stars Series is recognized as North America’s premier sanctioning body for asphalt Super Late Models and boasts such marquee events as PASS South’s Easter Bunny 150 at the historic Hickory Motor Speedway, the Autobus La Quebecoise Triple Crown at Autodrome Chaudière, and the legendary Oxford 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway.
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