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Brandon Setzer sweeps CARS Tour SLM races at Dominion

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Brandon Setzer blistered Dominion Raceway with a 14.385-second qualifying effort and then proceeded to blister the field by winning both CARS Tour Super Late Model duels on Saturday afternoon.

Chase Purdy pursued Setzer from the drop of the green flag in the opening duel of the day but rarely was able to pull within a second of the No. 6 Ford. It remained that way until lap 64 when Cole Rouse, who was trying to chase down Purdy for second, spun in turn one to bring out a caution, impacting the outside wall with enough force for his Kyle Busch Motorsports team to withdraw the No. 51 for the second race of the afternoon.

Soon after the restart, Virginia native Quin Houff began his charge to the front, racing with Christian Eckes for third. But contact between those two cars caused Houff to spin on lap 66, bringing out the second and final caution of the opening super late model duel.

Setzer held off Chase Purdy on the restart for his first win of 2017 and established himself as the leading contender to lock himself into the US Nationals of Short Track Racing at Bristol Motor Speedway, an honor bestowed upon the highest average finisher during Saturday’s duels.

During race two, Setzer picked up exactly where he left off, jumping out to a one-second lead over Chase Purdy’s No. 97 Toyota for a vast majority of the race.

Setzer appeared to be en route to an easy victory until lap 58 when Chad McCumbee cut a right front tire and pounded the outside wall exiting turn four. McCumbee was able to drive his car to the pits but was done for the afternoon.

On the restart, Setzer was forced to fend off a fiercely fast Chase Purdy who made a valiant effort on the outside lane entering turn one. Purdy drew up to Setzer’s door and challenged the No. 6 through turns three and four when Setzer quickly slammed the door in his face, completing the pass and putting Purdy in his rearview mirror for the final time in the afternoon.

Setzer cruised to a 1.134-second margin  of victory over Purdy, Nolan Pope, Houff and Mike Speeney. By virtue of his highest average finish (1.0 over two races), Setzer also locked himself into the US Nationals of Short Track Racing at Bristol Motor Speedway in May. While his starting spot is not certain, there will be a guaranteed provisional for him if he is unable make the field through any other qualification means at the event.

“This is awesome and like a dream come true!,” Setzer exclaimed after exiting the car in Edelbrock Victory Lane the second time. “What a beautiful racetrack and what a great fan count, so thankful for all the fans who came out to support us. But, man, what a blast. This car was so good, I just really have to thank all the guys and sponsors who help us to do this.

“We made some adjustments after the first race and I felt like the car was a lot better, but the 97, he was a bunch better there, too, and I wasn’t saving anything,” he continued. “That was all I had. He ran me really hard and clean, so that was fun and I liked racing against him and they did a good job.”

Setzer unofficially inherited the point lead by virtue of his two-win afternoon and the misfortunes of his closest point pursuer Cole Rouse.

CARS Super Late Model Tour powered by VP Fuels                                                       
River City QDMA Duels at Dominion presented by Virginia is for Lovers                                                  
Dominion Raceway – March 25, 2017                          
Duel #1                            
                              
POS        NUM     DRIVER LAPS      REASON OUT
1.            6              Brandon Setzer 75
2.            97           Chase Purdy       75
3.            15           Christian Eckes  75
4.            81           Quin Houff          75
5.            34           Nolan Pope        75
6.            51           Cole Rouse         64           Accident
7.            16m       Chad McCumbee             64           Running
8.            37           Mike Speeney   20           Mechanical
9.            16           Lucas Jones        0              DNS
10.          56           Gus Dean             0              Withdrew
11.          99           Raphael Lessard                0              Withdrew

CARS Super Late Model Tour powered by VP Fuels                                                       
River City QDMA Duels at Dominion presented by Virginia is for Lovers                        
Dominion Raceway – March 25, 2017                          
Duel #2                            
                              
POS        NUM     DRIVER LAPS      REASON OUT
1.            6              Brandon Setzer 75
2.            97           Chase Purdy       75
3.            34           Nolan Pope        75
4.            81           Quin Houff          75
5.            37           Mike Speeney   74
6.            16m       Chad McCumbee             58           Accident
7.            15           Christian Eckes  15           Mechanical
8.            51           Cole Rouse         0              DNS
9.            16           Lucas Jones        0              DNS
10.          56           Gus Dean             0              Withdrew
11.          99           Raphael Lessard                0              Withdrew

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