Brandon Setzer making his own way in short-track racing

Brandon Setzer

Dennis Setzer won races on what are now called the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series as well as taking scores of checkered flags from short-tracks all over the southeast and other parts of the country. And now, Brandon Setzer is picking up right where his father left off as a driver and by earning a living within the racing industry.

The 25-year-old Setzer has been a frequent visitor to victory lane at Hickory Motor Speedway, which is just minutes from his Newton, NC home. And more, the second generation driver has earned trophies racing with the Pro All Stars Series(PASS South) and the CARS Tour among others at such well known paved short tracks as those located in Rougemont, NC and Myrtle Beach, SC.

“I’ve raced since I was about 15-years-old,” Setzer explained in an interview with prior to the Mason-Dixon Mega Meltdown at Hickory. “I started right here and worked my way up through the smaller divisions up to Late Models and then to Super Late Models. I’ve had a lot of fun here and we’ve had a lot of success here. Something about this track just fits my style, I guess because we’ve got so many laps here.”

And because of that success at Hickory does Setzer feel any added pressure when touring series such as PASS South come to town?

“I honestly feel like I feel a little bit less pressure,” the driver declared. “I just go out there and do my thing and it seems like we’re always there at the end, even if our car is not at its best.”

And the No. 6 car was there at the end of the November 10th running of the Mega Meltdown 200-lap race as he battled for the lead with eventual winner Derek Ramstrom until contact with a slower car caused PASS South officials to send Setzer to the tail of the field.

Brandon Setzer’s No. 6 machine at Hickory Motor Speedway

Setzer, who works in the NASCAR industry, has a father who scored two Xfinity(Busch) Series wins during his own racing career along with 18 victories on the CWTS. So what is it like for the younger Setzer to have those pools of knowledge to draw from?

“It’s a lot of fun,” the two-time Mega Meltdown winner said. “I’ve learned a lot from my dad. I work for Kyle Busch Motorsports now so I don’t get to race quite as much as I’d like to but I learn a lot from those guys that can hopefully make our program go better.”

And this racer loves what he is currently doing both as a driver and in preparing his cars for battle.

“There’s not many rules so you can kind of go outside the box on some stuff,” he pointed out. “It’s not like a NASCAR deal where every little bitty thing has a rule. It’s a lot of fun working on these things and there easy to work on. They’re fairly cheap compared to a NASCAR-style car.”

And for now, this is where he plans to stay.

“I’m content where I am right now. It’s all about getting a sponsor. I’d love to go racing but it’s just not very possible right now. I’m having a good time doing what I’m doing and whatever happens just happens.”

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association

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