Brandon Setzer ran away with the 71-lap Super Late Model feature Saturday night at Caraway Speedway (NC) after stealing the lead from Mike Speeney on a late-race restart.
While it looked like Mike Speeney, who led the majority of laps, had the race neatly wrapped up, Setzer was slowly reeling in the Pennsylvania native.
Setzer was able to catch up to Speeney as the laps wound down, making several peeks to the inside before a caution halted Setzer’s progress.
As officials split the half-mile with a cone, Speeney weaved towards pit wall, choosing the inside lane for the restart. Speeney’s choice of the preferred groove was in vain, however.
The two drivers swapped paint for just a few laps before Setzer overtook the lead, checking out from the rest of the field.
“That was a lot of fun,” Setzer said. “We struggled a little bit during the race, but it was really fun racing with Speeney there. He had a really good car tonight. Banged a little bit of doors but that’s how racing is supposed to be.”
Saturday marks the first win for Setzer since his CARS Tour suspension following his incident with Raphael Lessard at Hickory Motor Speedway (NC). The win also adds to his family’s history of success at Caraway.
“I love racing at Caraway,” Setzer said. There’s a lot of history here.”
Speeney enjoyed battling at Caraway as well, despite a second-place finish.
“[Second] isn’t bad,” Speeney said. “I had a blast and these cars are a lot of fun to drive. From where we were earlier today to where we got to right now, I’m thoroughly thrilled.”
Though he is accepting his runner-up title for now, Speeney’s already looking forward to the rematch.
“It came down to that restart and unfortunately Brandon got the better of me,” Speeney said. “Hopefully, I’ll get another chance to get the better of him next time.”
Full race highlights from Saturday’s Rusty Harpe Memorial will be available soon on the Speed51 Network.
-By Melissa Strahley, Speed51.com Gulf Coast Editor
-Photo credit: Speed51.com