Picking the winners of big short track races throughout the country is a tradition that our staff at Speed51.com has enjoyed for many years. With one of the biggest Pro All Stars Series races of the year being held Saturday at Hickory Motor Speedway, we decided to challenge our staff once again.


This week we asked members of our Speed51.com team, “Who are you picking to win the PASS MegaMeltdown?”


The answers we received varied, but when all the votes were tallied it was Brandon Setzer (11 votes) who was named the favorite to win the big race.  Overall, six different drivers received votes from our panel of 18 experts.


Check out our full list of staff picks for the PASS MegaMeltdown below.


Aaron Creed, Speed51.com National Correspondent 

Pick: Gabe Brown

The youngster from New Hampshire turned heads in his first trip to Hickory for last year’s event, showing speed and running toward the front before falling out of the race early on. This year, he has already been racking up the accolades driving for Dale Shaw Race Cars up north, including the prestigious Oxford Plains Speedway track championship, and will finish off 2018 with another accomplishment in his short tenure in Super Late Models so far.


Adam Mackey, Speed51.com Correspondent

Pick: Brandon Setzer

One year ago, Brandon Setzer claimed victory at Hickory. Maybe more impressive than that, Setzer’s average finish over his last five PASS starts at the track is around third and he’s always in the top five. That’s good enough to make him the favorite this weekend.


Bob Dillner, Speed51.com Executive Editor

Pick: Derek Griffith

I’m going with D-Griff. I think he gets the race win and the National championship.


Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor

Pick: Ben Rowe

Statistically, Hickory has been one of Rowe’s best tracks during his career. Even if he doesn’t win, he normally runs up front. With the new Senneker chassis underneath him, I expect him to be just as fast as he was during the Oxford 250 earlier this year.


Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor

Pick: Ray Christian III

Since February, Christian went from a Connecticut home tracker to a consistent driver in the region’s Super Late Model shows. He showed he could go the distance in PASS competition at both Dillon Motor Speedway and in the Oxford 250. He also got his first Super Late Model win in the season finale for the Granite State Pro Stock Series at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. With Crazy Horse Racing bringing a top car south, RC III could be in for a major win after 200 laps.


Dakota Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN & MI)

Pick: Brandon Setzer

Setzer won the SLM portion of the Throwback 276 in August and was battling for the win in the CARS Tour race there in May before mayhem ensued. Look for Setzer to end the SLM season in North Carolina with his second straight MegaMeltdown win.


Daryl Canfield, Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Pick: Brandon Setzer

The odds-on favorite for the PASS MegaMeltdown has got to be Brandon Setzer. Setzer’s role at KBM should continue to make his own program even stronger and we already know he can win at Hickory.


Duane Canfield, Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Pick: Brandon Setzer

He’s a proven winner and he’s always a threat at Hickory.


Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Brandon Setzer

I can’t go against him. His record is so good at Hickory and he won this race last year.


Evan Canfield, Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Pick: Matt Craig

Matt Craig is always a contender when it comes to racing at Hickory. I believe that he will be the one taking down the MegaMeltdown victory.


Jeremy Anders, Speed51.com Northwest Editor

Pick: Brandon Setzer

Even with a limited schedule in 2018, Setzer has been fast everywhere he’s gone. Setzer is always up front during any race at Hickory. Look for the No. 6 to close out the year with a PASS win this weekend.


Kevin Peters, Speed51.com Southwest Editor

Pick: Ben Rowe

Rowe is one of the most successful drivers in PASS history, so why not pick him in one of the biggest PASS races of the year? No reason, therefore, I’m going with Big Ben!


Madison Mabry, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Brandon Setzer

He’s been out of the seat and wrenching for Kyle Busch Motorsports, but Setzer is always a contender when it comes to his home track of Hickory Motor Speedway. He picked up the CARS Tour Throwback win in August and is looking to score another Super Late Model win there in November.


Mark Keeler, Speed51.com Operations Manager

Pick: Brandon Setzer

Setzer is fast and is a threat to win every time he makes the short trip to his home track. Extra-distance races also seem to suit his style.


Patrick Hahe, Speed51.com Great Lakes Editor

Pick: Derek Griffith

Griffith has been consistently good in PASS this year with three wins in both the Northern and Southern series, plus 14 top 20s in 20 starts.


Rob Blount, Speed51.com Associate Editor

Pick: Brandon Setzer

You never bet against Brandon Setzer at Hickory Motor Speedway. Even when he looks off all day, he usually finds his way into the top five by the end of the race and is knocking on the door for the win.


Ryan McCollough, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Brandon Setzer

Setzer has parked it at Hickory four times over the past couple of seasons. After the checkers fly this time, he will have a whole handful of trophies from the Birthplace of NASCAR Stars.


Tom Ryan, Speed51.com Digital Manager

Pick: Brandon Setzer

The hometown boy always seems to get the job done at Hickory.


-Text by Speed51.com Staff

-Photo credit: Speed51.com

Speed51.com Picks: Who Will Win the PASS MegaMeltdown?