Mark Setzer Battled Through the Pack to Claim the Coveted Victory in the Bobby Isaac Memorial 200

By Adrian Sanders

In a field of some of the toughest late model competition in the southeast, 2001 Hickory Motor Speedway track champion, Mark Setzer earned a hard fought victory in the 29 th running of the Bobby Isaac Memorial 200. After qualifying in the 12 th spot and being involved in an early caution, Setzer patiently worked his way up through the field and put himself in contention to take the top spot and the victory.

Coleman Pressley started on the pole in the #59 Kmart car with Frank Deiny Jr. on the outside in the #4 Bailey's machine. On lap 1, #32 Kevin Leicht tries to move his ride into the top 5 as he takes a look to the outside of #95 Keith Bumgarner. However, Bumgarner's car is looking good on the outside and is able to keep the spot. On lap 4, Pete Silva who started 4 th in his #01 Blossman gas car takes a look to the inside of the #18 car of Jamie Yelton and takes over the 3 rd spot. Pressley continues to run in the top spot and things remain relatively calm until the first caution of the race comes out on lap 17 as several cars go spinning in turn 1 including #71 Jimmy Doyle, #11 Brent Moore, #8 Jay Gerst, #9 Brandon Dean and #84 Mark Setzer. It appeared that fluid was being lost out of Pressley's car as he was leading, so NASCAR Dodge Weekly Racing Officials sent him down pit road to be checked. He was in fact leaking fluid, but his crew was able to fix the problem and send him back out for the restart.

#4 Frank Deiny Jr. assumed the top spot for the restart but he wouldn't hold it for long. #0 Pete Silva powers to his inside down the backstretch and takes the lead as #18 Jamie Yelton follows to take over 2 nd . Deiny Jr. settled for 3 rd until lap 21 when he looks to the inside of Yelton and takes back over the 2 nd spot. The handling on Yelton's car apparently wasn't what he was looking for when he gives up more spots as #95 Keith Bumgarner takes over 3 rd on lap 25. #32 Kevin Leicht and #33 Lee Tissot follow through on Bumgarner's pass sending Tissot back to 6 th drifting his way back. Caution comes out on lap 28 as #81 Akihira Okamoto and #14 Randy Burnett tangle in turn 3 as both of them go spinning. Burnett was able to continue, but Okamoto had to be towed.

Pete Silva continues to lead, with Frank Deiny Jr. giving chase on the restart. Caution flies again on lap 42 when #32 Kevin Leicht backs his car into the wall after apparently making contact with #33 Lee Tissot. Leicht's night is done early, but Tissot's battered car is able to continue. With this incident, this moved #74 Dange Hanniford into 4 th place and #2 Travis McIntyre into 5 th . Silva brings the field to the restart and everyone seems content with their spot until lap 53. #74 Dange Hanniford tries to look to the inside of #95 Keith Bumgarner and take over 3 rd . The two battle side by side for several laps, but Bumgarner keeps the spot. On lap 60, the battle for the top spot has heated up. Frank Deiny Jr. has caught Pete Silva and looks to the inside down the backstretch and takes over the lead.

This leaves the door open for Bumgarner and Hanniford as they send Silva back to 4 th place. By lap 66, #59 Coleman Pressley, who had problems early in the race, has battled his way back through the field and moves into the top 5 as he passes #2 Travis McIntyre for 5 th . On lap 70, Dange Hanniford tries once again to make a move on Keith Bumgarner and take his now 2 nd place spot. The two battle for well over 10 laps as Hanniford runs the low line and Bumgarner runs the high line. They battle all the way up to the lap 100 competition yellow with Bumgarner hanging on to the 2 nd place spot. This competition yellow allowed for all the teams to take 10 minutes to change 2 tires, fill up on fuel and make any necessary adjustments.

Frank Deiny Jr. led the field to the green flag for the restart on lap 100. #74 Dange Hanniford obviously made the right adjustment as this time he gets under Bumgarner on lap 102 and takes the spot bringing Pete Silva with him and sending Bumgarner to 4 th . Caution comes out on lap 104 for Lee Tissot who made contact with another car and lost sheet metal off his #33 machine. The track safety crew cleaned up the track and the green flag was back out with Deiny Jr. still on the point. Caution flies again on lap 105 as Randy Burnett loses control of his #14 machine down the front stretch and is unable to move in turn 1. Randy Burnett, who was celebrating a birthday definitely didn't want to see his night end like this. Also under this caution, 3 rd pace running Pete Silva is forced to pit when he had a right rear tire go down. It was a tough end to a great run by #01 Pete Silva. This moves Mark Setzer and his #84 car into the top 5 for the first time of the race.

Deiny Jr. leads the field back to green with Hanniford still on the prowl. #59 Coleman Pressley takes a look under Bumgarner on lap 109 and battles side by side with him until lap 111 when Pressley assumes the 3 rd place spot. #74 Dange Hanniford shows he definitely made his car work right after the 100 lap break as he takes a look on lap 111 under Deiny Jr. and takes the lead. Caution comes out on lap 116 for #41 Eddy Cox when he spins into the turn 4 wall. The green flag flies, but is immediately overtaken with yellow again for the #41 car of Cox as he loses the hood and fenders of his car, almost covering his windshield.

Hanniford brings the field down for the restart with Deiny Jr. giving chase. Deiny Jr. gets a good start and immediately looks to the inside of Hanniford. Deiny Jr. goes back to the lead on lap 117. Hanniford shows that he doesn't give up so easy as he shoves Deiny Jr. in turn 4 to get along side of him on lap 121. They battle side by side for 1 lap as Hanniford goes back to the lead on lap 122. On lap 123, Keith Bumgarner puts his #95 Country Chair car back into the 3 rd spot as he takes it from #59 Coleman Pressley. Caution comes out on lap 124 for the spun car #2 of Travis McIntyre who ran in the top 5 earlier in the race.

Hanniford leads back to green with Deiny Jr. still in 2 nd . #84 Mark Setzer moves his ride into the 4 th place spot on lap 125 when he passes Coleman Pressley for 5 th . Lee Tissot takes advantage of Pressley being moved up high and takes over his 5th place position. Pressley apparently gets the car upset on the backstretch as he has a quick meeting with the outside retaining wall. On lap 131, Keith Bumgarner takes over the 2 nd place spot after getting by Frank Deiny Jr. in the #4 car. On lap 133, Mark Setzer moves his #84 machine into the 3 rd spot when he gets by Deiny Jr. who at this point appears to have used up what he had to stay out front. #33 Lee Tissot follows Setzer with the pass and takes over 4 th . On lap 137, #59 Coleman Pressley makes contact with Frank Deiny Jr. as he tries to pass him for 5 th . Both cars go spinning in turn 2 to bring out the caution. Both were able to continue. This shuffle moved previous 2005 Hickory Motor Speedway winner, Jay Gerst into the 5 th position.

Hanniford continues to lead for the restart, but Setzer is on the move as he takes 2 nd place from Keith Bumgarner on lap 148 after a 5 lap side by side battle. Lee Tissot moves into the 3 rd spot after lap 148 when he takes advantage of Bumgarner being out of the groove. Frank Deiny Jr has worked his way back up through the now 11 car field to take over the 5 th place from Jay Gerst on lap 145. He then moves into 4 th on lap 155 after he dives under #95 Keith Bumgarner. Deiny Jr. appears that he isn't done running upfront just yet as he bumps #33 Lee Tissot just enough to move him out of the groove in turn 4 and take the 3 rd spot. By lap 171, Mark Setzer is ready to put his #84 car out front as he gets underneath Dange Hanniford for the lead in turn 4. This gives Frank Deiny Jr. the chance to close in on Hanniford and take 2 nd place on lap 173. Caution comes out on lap 175 for #92 Chris Bristol and #8 Jay Gerst who apparently made contact in turn 1 sending both of them spinning.

Setzer brings the field down for the restart as Tommy Lane who had worked his way up to 6th experiences problems with his #99 Allstate Insurance Dodge. It appeared that he suffered a right rear flat as he tries to limp around to the pits. Caution comes out before he gets there on lap 178 as Travis McIntyre spins his #2 car in turn 1 collecting the #00 of Brett Butler. Both cars were done for the night. However, due to the circumstances of when the caution flew, Tommy Lane was able to come in and change the flat tire without losing a lap.

Mark Setzer led the field back to the green with Frank Deiny Jr. still following in his tire tracks. On lap 181, #33 Lee Tissot looks to the inside of #95 Keith Bumgarner to try and take 4 th but he is unsuccessful after a 3 lap battle. Meanwhile, upfront #84 Mark Setzer has checked out to an uncontested lead and takes the checkered flag on lap 200 for one of the most memorable wins of his career. Setzer was followed by #4 Frank Deiny Jr., #74 Dange Hanniford, #95 Keith Bumgarner and #33 Lee Tissott who was later disqualified from the event after failing to meet minimum weight requirements in post-race inspection.

Mark Setzer had this to say in Victory Lane:

“We had the car real good. First off, I would like to thank God. I'm trying to change a lot of my ways and I owe it all to him. I want to thank Mike Lackey, Larry Miller, all the guys who work on this car. Thanks to my brother Tommy, my Dad, Scott and all of our big sponsors like Lackey Grading, G.E.M. Construction, The Edge Racing Products, LFT Technologies, Safety Solutions, Kanupp Roofing and Diamond Race Engines. We were involved in that early caution but my crew got it fixed at the half way break. The car was really good in practice, but the driver messed it up in qualifying. I want to thank all these guys I raced against. Every one of them are great racers and they raced me clean. Thanks to all these fans for coming out to watch. We've done quite a bit here at Hickory with the Fall Brawl and winning the track championship in the past, but this is absolutely one of the most meaningful wins.”

Hickory Motor Speedway also hosted a full slate of other racing action to treat fans to a great labor Day Weekend show. The Super Truck Division had a 75 lap points race in which there were some very heated tempers. Late in the run, Andy Mercer got his #55 Mercer Grading Truck to the front with #69 Trevor Hignutt hot on his heels. Hignutt got under Mercer and the two made contact, sending Mercer backing into the turn 2 wall. Things appeared calm until Mercer was apparently off the pace and heading to the pits. However, rather than going to the pits, he waited for Hignutt to go to his outside and he preceded to putting both trucks in the turn 4 wall. Officials were not happy at all with this situation as both drivers were escorted to have a long talk with the race director. After this shuffle was done, it was outside pole sitter Robin Harris who drove his #12 truck to victory lane with #32 Gene Cornwell, #3 Jeff Garrison, #44 Ben Ebeling and #11 Dustin Coonfield rounding out the top 5.

Gary Ledbetter made a trip back to Hickory Motor Speedway to wrap up some unfinished business in the street stock division. Earlier in the year while leading a USRA Hardee's Street Stock event, Ledbetter experienced trouble with his car after only 6 laps were remaining in the event, relegating him a parking place in the pits. Ledbetter took the lead early on Monday in the 50 lap street stock race, and like last time never looked back. Ledbetter took the checkered flag followed by #43 Jesse LeFeveres, #42 Monty Cox, #76 Waylon Flynn and #64 Marshall Sutton.

The Legends cars ran a 30 lap event Monday night with pole sitter #81 Craig Goess never looking back to take the win. Goess was followed by #19 Jordan Anderson, #129 Paddy Rodenbeck, #1 Jake Crum and #17 Justin Morton.

The Legendary Flat Head Fords and the Carolina Vintage cars were two divisions that treated Hickory fans to how racing was back in the early days. #12 Johnny Gregory paced the field in the Flat Heads, followed by #2 Bill Blair, #21 Steve Gourley, #0 Dink Widenhouse and #33 Jerry King. In the Carolina Vintage cars, Sam Beam piloted his #8 Ralph Earnhardt replica car from last to first in order to claim the victory. Beam was followed by #07 Larry Brown, #550 Joe Evan, #3 Wayne Hearn and #28 Doug Howell.

Join us Saturday night September 17 th for the final points race of the 2005 Hickory Motor Speedway Season. All championships that aren't decided, will be done so on this night, so come out and cheer for your favorite driver! Racing action will begin at 7:00 p.m. with action in the Late Model, Limited Late Model, Pro-4, Hobby Stock, Super Truck, Street Stock and Legends divisions. See you there!