Brandon Setzer's last race at his home track of Hickory Motor Speedway ended with bitter defeat. Contact with Raphael Lessard led to Setzer spinning from the lead with one lap to go. A fight in the pits ensued as his frustrations boiled over, and he was hit with a fine and a suspension as a result.

 

For the first time since his suspension, Setzer returned to CARS Tour competition Saturday night at the Throwback 276 event. A last-minute decision to race put Setzer in position for redemption, and boy did he capitalize.

 

Setzer took the lead late after Bubba Pollard had mechanical issues and he never looked back. He went on to claim the victory in front of a packed house full of Brandon Setzer fans.

 

“It’s good to be back racing in front of our hometown crowd,” Setzer said. “We’ve got a lot of supporters out there and this wouldn’t be possible without them. After the spring race, we had a little something to prove and hopefully that was going to put us in victory lane tonight.”

 

Preston Peltier claimed the pole and set the pace for the 138-lap feature. Peltier led in the early laps,  but he was no match for a hard-charging Bubba Pollard. Pollard challenged Peltier for the lead on several restarts and eventually took the top position away on lap 21.

 

Pollard and Peltier swapped positions for several laps before Peltier rose to the point and led nearly 60 laps of the feature. Pollard took advantage of a restart and cleared Peltier for the lead once again on lap 80. Setzer followed through to move himself into second and set his eyes on Pollard.

 

While battling to the remain in the lead, Pollard encountered a mechanical issue and he slowed on the frontstretch. Setzer then inherited lead with just over 25 laps to go.

 

“Pollard and I had a good battle going for the lead and then he had a mechanical issue. I knew Chandler (Smith) was still behind me and I still was going to have to run as hard to keep it that way,” Setzer said.

 

Setzer went on to hold off the young hotshoes of Chandler Smith and Kodie Conner to score the victory.

 

“This was my first race without my dad being down here and helping crew chief and it was definitely a little different,” Setzer said. “When we started the race, I knew my car was good, but it was when it cooled down was when we really were starting to make gains and challenge for the win. The last 15 laps was all we had. I was spinning tires on the frontstretch and just trying to get to the checkered flag.

 

“I can’t tell you how much this means to me to be able to come back here after everything that has happened and still beat such a stout field with guys like Pollard and Peltier in there. It’s even better in front of the hometown crowd. I can’t thank my team and my supporters enough for always sticking by me and supporting me.”

 

For an on-demand replay of Saturday's Trackside Now coverage from Hickory, click here.

 

-By Madison Mabry, Speed51.com Southeast Contributor - Twitter: @MadisonMabry23

-Photo Credit: Speed51.com

 

CARS Tour SLM Throwback 276 Unofficial Results

Pos        #            Driver

1             6S          Brandon Setzer

2             26S        Chandler Smith

3             5             Kodie Conner

4             33          Preston Peltier

5             48          Jared Fryar

6             63          Matt Craig

7             34          Nolan Pope

8             28          Corey Heim

9             8             Tate Fogleman

10          7C          Tyler Church

11          13          Jody Measamer

12          7             Molly Helmuth

13          2G         Darrell Gilchrist

14          17          Mike Speeney

15          51          Raphael Lessard

16          2T          Gracie Trotter

17          6W        Matt Wallace

18          57          Austin Theriault

19          26P        Bubba Pollard

20          2B          Jeff Batten

21          3J           Anthony Cataldi

22          24          Mason Diaz

23          87          Matt Thomas

24          3             Wayne Jefferson

25          58          Tyler Ankrum

26          9             Chris Dilbeck

27          12          Taylor Stricklin

28          4B          Amber Balcaen

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Setzer Finds Redemption in CARS Tour Throwback at Hickory