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Setzer carrying family tradition at HMS

July 23, 2011

As Hickory Motor Speedway celebrates its 60th Anniversary on Saturday, one driver is continuing his family’s tradition.

Brandon Setzer, a rising senior at Newton-Conover High School, is competing in the Super Trucks division at Hickory Motor Speedway. Setzer is the son of former HMS Late Model champion and current NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Dennis Setzer.

Dennis is a three-time runner-up in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (2003-05) and a nine-time winner on the circuit.

“It’s pretty cool having a dad as a race car driver,” Brandon said. “He can help me out a lot on pointers, as far as where people are strong, where they are weak and where I can attack them. It is cool going to the races together. It’s been a cool experience.”

Brandon started racing go-karts on dirt tracks when he was 6 years old. When he turned 8 years old, Brandon transition into the driving in a Bandoleros, a turnkey, spec-series racer, at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

For the past three seasons, Brandon has been involved in the Super Trucks division at Hickory Motor Speedway. He finished seventh in the points last season, 256 points behind eventual-champion Clint Fields.

This season, Brandon is battling Fields at the top of the Super Trucks Division. The two are tied in first place with 328 points with Jason Crouse two points back in third position.

In six races this year, Brandon has five top-five finishes and two wins, including leading every lap of the March 19 opener. He is coming off of his second win on July 9 in a 35-lap feature.

“It’s been a good year,” Brandon said. “We’ve had some ups and downs though. We haven’t had all great finishes here. The last three or four weeks have been solid. We’ve run second a bunch, and I don’t like that. I like to get the wins. We are tied for the points lead right now. Clint is tough to beat. We’ll just see how it goes. He is usually who I run second to. It’s going to be tough.”

If Brandon can ever reach the upper-echelon of NASCAR, he will join Ned and Dale Jarrett as the second father-son pair to reach stock car racing’s highest series.

Brandon said he’s never met Dale or Ned, but would like the chance.

“I’ve never talked to them or met them,” Brandon said. “That would be a cool experience.”

In his immediate future at Hickory Motor Speedway, Brandon said he would like to move up in division at some point, but getting the funds may hold him back.

“I’d like to move up in a division and see how that goes,” Brandon said. “Money is just tough right now. It is tough to move up. You have to have sponsors. We just don’t have that. We are doing pretty well right now with our truck deal. We have a guy that owns our truck and lets us drive it for free. This is a pretty cool deal.”

As for what his high school friends think, some didn’t know he had raced before, but now make it a tradition to watch his races.

“I have some friends that come up and watch me sometimes,” Brandon said. “It’s pretty cool. They didn’t know about it. They enjoy coming to the races and watching me.”

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