Western Canadian-based NHRA Sportsman racer Byron Setters has shifted the complexion and the focus for his impressive racing team for 2015…….
The popular Red Deer Alberta based team owner, who has since the early 1990’s been a fixture and very successful racer within NHRA’s Lucas Oil Drag Racing series (in Super Stock), has some developments on a couple of fronts.
First off he has revealed that he will in fact be scaling down things in the drivers compartment personally, and that his son and daughter, Casey (33) and Caitlan (29), will be tasked with that more going into the future.
“I’ve been doing this (driving) for a very long time,” said Byron, who scored his first NHRA national event win some 14 years ago this coming weekend ( at 2001 NHRA Nationals held at Las Vegas). “It’s safe to say that I’m semi-retired and I will step back a bit as a driver now. I’ll still be hanging out at the races and doing testing but my responsibility will be more about driving the truck and hauling the cars and then help tuning them at events.”
The other major development for the team concerns their pair of very high tech late model race cars which they will be campaigning exclusively. After debuting a Pontiac G5 during 2013, Setters’ team added a very similarly prepared new Chevy Cobalt to their team equation last season.
Both those machines were built by Gary Hansen Race Cars and both have motor programs by Rick Watters and Craig Eaton. Even though they are both currently classed as GT/CA, interestingly they feature different engine programs with the Cobalt using a 350 CID with a Q-Jet while the G5 has a 300 HP 327 Corvette motor in it. Caitlan now drives the G5 and Casey will be taking over the controls for the Cobalt.
“They are different engine combinations for sure,” Byron continued. “But I think it makes things interesting and we can also still dial up from one another. For modern day Super Stock class racing, these types of new cars just made a lot of sense too. They are much more aerodynamic, and easier to work on and tune. The increased safety they offer was also a consideration.”
Both cars feature stunning and identical looking paint schemes applied by John Howard from the Phoenix area. Car builder Gary Hansen, cylinder head guru Gary Hettler and fellow Super Stock class racer Ritch Ahrens round out the talent rich team.
Up next for is scheduled competition during this weekend’s NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals out at Las Vegas. After that, they will shift their focus more to the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing regional series within their home Northwest Division Six.
While away racing, Setters acknowledges the support of his family, including wife Melinda, back in Red Deer along with his brother Wilson, who does the day-to-day running of his very successful road-building business (JT Setters & Sons).
Post and photos by: Bruce Biegler