Late Race Contact Propels Setzer To PASS Win At Hickory

Brandon Setzer celebrates in victory lane after winning the Mason-Dixon Mega Meltdown 300 for the PASS Super Late Models Saturday night at Hickory Motor Speedway. Photo: LWPictures.com

Hometown hero Brandon Setzer took the lead after contact with Garrett Hall coming to the white flag, and went on to win Saturday’s Mason-Dixon Mega Meltdown 300 for the PASS Super Late Models at North Carolina’s Hickory Motor Speedway.

Setzer’s third PASS Super Late Model win gave him a $15,000 payday.

“He (Hall) had the best car, I hate it ended like that, but the lapped car just screwed him up,” said Setzer. “As soon as he went to the outside I saw the lapped car waving to the inside and I said, ‘Oh, I’ve got a hole,’ I filled the hole, he tried to come back down, but at that point I couldn’t back out. Man, this means the world to me. I could’ve won the Daytona 500 and not be this happy.”

In qualifying, Kodie Conner beat two-time PASS North champion Travis Benjamin by 0.001 seconds to claim his second career pole. After the top 10 qualifiers redraw, former PASS champions D.J. Shaw and Tate Fogleman moved to the front row, while Conner moved back to the fifth starting position.

The 300 lap feature got off to a slow start with five cautions in the first 21 laps, including one on a lap 17 restart that knocked 2017 PASS South Super Late Model champion Matt Craig and Garrett Evans from contention. Shaw and Fogleman would trade the lad back and forth before Shaw eventually settled into the lead on lap 38. By this time, Cassius Clark, whose team had struggled to cross the American/Canadian border for four days before arriving just in time for the race, had charged from the rear of the field into the top 10.

Shaw would pit on lap 99 after a caution for the stalled car of Jeff Batten, handing the lead over to Benjamin. After making it as high as fourth, Clark would have to pit under green on lap 125 with a flat left rear tire, losing three laps in the process. Another group of leaders pitted on lap 130 after Roy Hayes made contact with the turn four wall, but Benjamin again stayed out and continued to lead.

While Cole Butcher and Dawsonville, Georgia’s Spencer Davis would take turns up front, Benjamin would make his way back to the front each time. But Benjamin would pull to a stop while leading on lap 183 after his car ran out of fuel. On the restart, Garrett Hall took the lead from Davis for the first time in the race.

On lap 225, Derek Ramstrom spun from third, allowing Setzer, Shaw and others to pit for four tires, while Hall stayed out to maintain the lead. The final caution of the night would wave when Dennis Spencer, Jr. spun entering turn three, collecting Clark and Gracie Trotter. With the free pass, Benjamin would be able to take the pass around to get back on the lead lap.

Hall continued to lead with Setzer in his tire tracks over the final laps. Shaw moved into third, until Benjamin came charging through the field to take the spot with 19 laps to go. Hall and Setzer continued to weave their way through lapped traffic until they encountered the car of David Calabrese. With two laps to go, as they entered turn three, Hall looked to pass Calabrese on the outside. Calabrese instead moved up, causing Hall to check up. Setzer took advantage of the opening, turning inside Hall and making contact. Hall spun up the track causing Benjamin to check up while Setzer would go on to take the win.

Shaw finished in second, with Conner in third, and Davis in fourth, Ben Rowe finished in fifth to claim his fifth PASS National Championship.

Hall, Travis Stearns, Nicholas Naugle, Benjamin and Spencer rounded out the top ten.

For more information on the PASS Super Late Model Series, visit ProAllStarsSeries.com.

PASS Super Late Models
Hickory Motor Speedway – Newton, NC
Mason-Dixon Mega Meltdown 300 – Nov. 18, 2017

1. 6 – Brandon Setzer
2. 60 – D.J. Shaw
3. 45 – Kodie Conner
4. 55 – Spencer Davis
5. 4 – Ben Rowe
6. 94 – Garrett Hall
7. 16ME – Travis Stearns
8. 08 – Nicholas Naugle
9. 7 – Travis Benjamin
10. 46 – Dennis Spencer, Jr.
11. 24 – Mike Rowe
12. 53 – Cole Butcher
13. 7L – Glen Luce
14. 49 – Jeff Batten
15. 43 – David Calabrese
16. 98 – Jody Measamer
17. 24J – J.P. Josiasse
18. 7F – Dave Farrington, Jr.
19. 55T – Gracie Trotter
20. 35 – Derek Ramstrom
21. 13 – Cassius Clark
22. 54 – Matt Craig
23. 12 – Trey Jarrell
24. 8 – Tate Fogleman
25. 15 – Roy Hayes
26. 61 – T.J. Brackett
27. 12G – Derek Griffith
28. 9 – Chris Dilbeck
29. 47 – Gabe Brown
30. 4M – Kyle McCallum
31. 09 – Kayla Eshleman
32. 64 – Garrett Evans
33. 99 – John Gustafson
DNS: 41 – Trevor Sanborn

 

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