Kulwicki Driver Development

-Kulwicki Driver Development Program Competitors Ready for Saturday’s CARS Tour Battle-

CONCORD, N.C. (August 25, 2016) – Heading into this weekend’s CARS Tour Lead 2 Real Estate Group 200 at Concord Speedway, Virginia’s Quin Houff and North Carolina’s Brandon Setzer are both looking for a 2016 turnaround. Entering the season, both drivers were seen as top contenders for the 2016 Kulwicki Driver Development Program (KDDP) championship, but the dark clouds of bad luck have followed these young drivers most of the season, putting them well behind in the annual Kulwicki Cup standings.

Houff, who drives a house car for LFR Chassis, started off the season strong with a victory in the CARS Tour lid lifter at Southern National Motorsports Park in April. Since then, though, the young driver has struggled with mechanical troubles and has had a hard time finishing races. “We have really had an up and down year,” said Houff.  “We got that early win, and felt really good about where we were, but ever since the Nashville Southern Super Series race, the car just hadn’t been the same.”

A serious accident at the last CARS Tour race at Orange County Speedway back on July 30 has forced the LFR team to roll out a new piece for this weekend’s race. “Our team has never given up,” said Houff.  “I have a lot of support from Jeff Fultz, Cody Jones, and all the LFR guys.  It’s great that we have a new car for Concord.  After Tuesday night’s test, I think we have top-3, top-5 car. We finished fifth there last year and there’s no reason why we can’t do that again.”

Houff and his LFR team have only a handful of races remaining this season, including two big ones; the Winchester 400 and the Snowball Derby. “Turning the season around this weekend will give us a good boost as we head into the fall,” said Houff.

While Brandon Setzer has yet to win a race in 2016, he finds himself in a very good points position in the CARS Super Late Model series headed into this weekend. Setzer is just four points behind leader Raphael Lessard and feels like he has a good shot to pass the young Canadian before season’s end. “The car has been really good the last couple of races, but we have just had terrible luck,” said Setzer.  “We felt we had a car to win at the PASS South race at South Boston and had a track bar adjuster break just eight laps into the race.”  Through the first half dozen CARS Tour races, Setzer has just one finish outside of the top 10; an 11th-place finish in the April 3 season-opener at Southern National.

Despite the race results not being where they want, both Houff and Setzer have really stepped up their community and charity involvement in the past few months.  Houff, whose mother was recently declared cancer-free, has worked closely with the Duke Cancer Center and their #beatincancer campaign, raising over $10,000 at the midpoint of the season. “We have really had a great year with Duke, made even better by mom’s improvement,” said Houff.  “We’re proud to wear that pink ribbon on our car each time out and hope that we can raise some more funds for cancer research this weekend at Concord.”

Setzer is a dedicated volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club in his hometown. He recently took a group of young people, many of whom reside in a homeless shelter, to Hickory Motor Speedway for a lesson in auto racing. “The kids were so excited to go to the track, see my race car and watch me turn some hot laps out there,” said Setzer.  “It does so much for us just to see them smile.”  When he isn’t bringing the kids to the track, he drops by the Club on a regular basis to play dodgeball with them.

Recently, Setzer and his girlfriend, Terri Crider (sister of 2015 KDDP participant Justin Crider), held a 50/50 drawing to raise money for the Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital, raising nearly $500. “Terri and I really hustled it at Orange County, trying to sell tickets for the 50/50,” Setzer said.  “We had a great time and were so thankful for everyone’s donation.”  Just last week, Setzer visited the hospital, spending time with patients and staff and presenting a check to the hospital administration.

Friday’s open testing from 1:30 p.m. till 5:30 p.m. kicks off the schedule at Concord Speedway.  Saturday’s schedule sees alternating practice sessions beginning at 1:00 p.m.  Qualifying is set for 5:15 p.m., with Fan Fest (drivers greeting fans) scheduled from 6:45 p.m. till 7:15 p.m.  The LMSC 100-lapper is scheduled to get the green flag at 8:00 p.m., followed by the 100-lap feature for the SLM division.  Grandstand admission for Saturday night is only $20.  Youth tickets (ages 7-12) are $10 each and children 6 & under are admitted free of charge.

The KDDP urges you to keep up with all of the organization’s news and activities by regularly visiting Speed51.com, the official media partner.  Speed51.com is active on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/speed51/ and you can follow them on Twitter at @speed51dotcom.

Speed51.com will provide “Trackside Now” live updates on Saturday.  RACEFEEDX (www.racefeedx.com) is offering live pay-per-view video coverage for $18 with coverage beginning at 6 p.m. ET.

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