CHARLOTTE, NC – Entering the 2014 Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Super Late Model campaign, Brandon Setzer had high hopes for success. But the season, did not start out the way he had 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 Ford #6. “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.”
The best of the best will come together this weekend as another outstanding field of the Southeast’s top Super Late Model drivers are expected at Hickory Motor Speedway for the 8th Running of the Over The Mountain 150. 4-time Hickory Motor Speedway PASS winner Preston Peltier will drive the Robert Hamke house car as he seeks his third straight series win. PASS South points leader and defending race winner Tyler Church, a Hickory native, will be among the contenders, along with championship combatants Cole Timm, Jared Irvan, Tyler Dippel, Trevor Noles, and Tate Fogleman. Local standout Taylor Stricklin will be making his PASS South debut after wrapping up the track’s Limited Late Model championship last weekend, along with Spencer Gallagher and Jason Stanley. PASS Pro Late Model standout Kodie Conner will be doing double duty as he makes his first Super Late Model start and will be joined by fellow PASS Pro Late Model racer, Lucas Jones. Brandon Lynn makes his PASS South return for Woodman Racing as a teammate to Kevin Powell. Gus Dean makes his PASS South return as well along with Jody Measamer and Lee Hansard. Veterans Brandon Ward, Jimmy Doyle, Clete Caywood, Tim Pinion, and Ted Mickelson will each be looking for their first Hickory wins, along with up-and-coming racers Trey Jarrell and Tanner Rumburg.
Action gets under way on Friday, September 19th with rotating practice for all divisions from 4 – 7:15 PM. On Saturday, September 20th, practice will start at 1 PM, followed by qualifying at 4:15 PM and racing slated to start at 6 PM. The PASS South Super Late Models will race for 150 laps, along with 50 laps for the PASS Pro Late Models, and feature racing for the USAC HPD Midgets and Legends cars.
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PASS PR – Series Provided Photo