Following an appeal hearing early this week, CARS Tour has reduced the suspensions for Super Late Model driver Brandon Setzer and car owner Dennis Setzer.
The series suspended the father-son duo due to their involvement in a post-race fight on May 5 at Hickory Motor Speedway. The brawl, which also included crewmembers, stemmed from an on-track altercation between Setzer and Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Raphael Lessard.
Brandon Setzer was suspended from all CARS sanctioned and co-sanctioned events as a driver through November 4, 2018 — effectively the end of the season. He was also fined $425 for starting an altercation at the conclusion of the event.
Dennis Setzer was also suspended as an entrant through November 4, 2018 and fined $425 for starting an altercation at Hickory. In other words, he can’t buy a pit pass during the duration of his suspension even though his car may be entered.
Dennis Setzer will still be suspended June 9 at Anderson and August 4 at Hickory.
The extent of the penalties shocked the short track community which rallied to support the Setzers, even coining the “FreeBrandon” hashtag. Those who joined in included NASCAR’s Matt DiBenedetto, Speed 51’s Bob Dilner and a plethora of other racing voices. Many took issue with CARS Tour promoting the race on social media outlets, even featuring the fight video online.
The suspension wasn’t called into the Setzers directly; instead, they found out via a Facebook post on the CARS Tour media account.
Shortly after news of the suspension initially broke, the Facebook announcement was deleted, and so was the promotion of the fight.