Setser nets first win of 2024 at Tony Stewart Speedway

Gunnar Setser of Columbus celebrates with his family after winning his first feature race of the year on June 26 at Tony Stewart Speedway in Columbus.

Submitted photo

Gunnar Setser of Columbus drove to his first win of the 2024 season on June 26 with the NOW600 HART Indiana Micro Week victory at Bartholomew County 4-H Fairgrounds’ Tony Stewart Speedway in Columbus aboard his Midwest Tube Mills/Setser Fabricating/Professional Concrete Cutting and Drilling/No. G5 Lineman Motorsports Micro.

The flag-to-flag triumph was a special moment for the 15-year-old, who enjoyed the victory in front of his hometown crowd.

“I want to thank everyone that helped me get to this point and all my sponsors who support my team,” Setser said. “This year has been a learning experience for me, but I am very happy with the progress we have made. To get to celebrate this win with all my friends and family is pretty awesome.”

Among a field of 28 HART Non-Wing Micro entries at the county fair race, Setser put on an impressive show shortly after unloading at the quarter-mile oval.

Following a fourth-to-first run in his heat race, Setser soared into the lead on the second lap of the feature and ran away with his first win as he crossed the finish line 0.266-seconds ahead of Daniel Robinson in the 20-lapper, with Ricky Thornton Jr. rounding out the podium.

Brewer takes hornet special at Brownstown

The hornet division waited nearly a month for their time in the spotlight, and the running of the Hornet Special on June 29 at Brownstown Speedway. The original race scheduled for June 1 was rained out and rescheduled. There were 35 hornet drivers were on hand to go after the $800 top prize.

Michael Brewer of North Vernon and Jeremy Shemwell brought the Hornet feature field to the green. Brewer jumped to the lead, with Shemwell staying close. The two drivers pulled away from the rest of the field, but stayed close to each other the entire race. Brewer got the win, leading all the laps. Brewer now has four wins for the year.

Shemwell ran second the whole race, followed by Brian Pollitt, Cordell Moore and Gabe Gross. Completing the top 10 were Curtis Roccia, Skylar Ashley, Jeremy Ogle, Preston Righthouse and Mark Bechelli.

Jug Wethington of Trafalgar recorded his first Brownstown Pro Late Model win in the P3 Graphix Indiana Late Model Series Pro Late Model feature. Wethington took the lead on Lap 3 and stayed out front for the rest of the caution free event. Tyler Cain ran a close second, followed by Zachary Stalker, Rohn Moon and Zack Burton.

Tucker Chastain of Bedford led every lap in a Pewter Hall Super Stock caution-free feature event to score back-to-back wins and his third win of the year. Tanner Chastain put heavy pressure on his brother in the closing laps of the race, but had to settle for second over a charging Branden Carr, Zach Sasser and Isaiah Sasser.

In Crossroads Truck Equipment Pure Stocks, 14-year-old Preston Carr used the high side of the Speedway to get to the lead and stayed riding the rim to record his first-ever Brownstown feature win. Early race leader Brent McMillan ran a close second, with Josh Turner, Ross Smith and Cody Ellison trailing at the checkers.

Matt Cranmer of Memphis in Crown Vic action led every lap to pick up his third straight feature win and fourth win of the race season. Jesse Stewart Jr., Todd Cain, Matt Weston and Anthony Finley completed the top five.

Lewis captures Paragon win

Ricky Lewis of Camarillo, California, won the sprint car feature on June 29 at Paragon Speedway. Cody Trammell was second, followed by Logan Calderwood, Todd Hobson and Matt Thompson.

Lee Hobbs from Mitchell won the super stock feature over Reece Novak, Cale Kern, Josh Litton and Marty Cooper. Will Krup from Mount Carmel, Illinois, won the modified feature over Austin Self, Blake Davis, Jarod Deckard and Sydney Landers. Chris Hillman Jr. of Mooresville won the hornet division feature over Ty Bland, Owen Cosman, Jeremy Wilson and Conner Garrison.

This week in racing history

From 60 years ago in 1964 at Brownstown, Chuck Terry won the figure-8 feature over Jack Robinson, Roger Ray and Jim Reichenba.

Also in 1964, the Columbus Kart Club winners were John Arrington, Jim Welch, Bill May and David Smith.

From 50 years ago this weekend in 1974 at Twin Cities, Mike Stewart won the feature race over Jon Peddie, Larry Exner, Gary Herbert and Roger Zellner.

In 1974 at Bloomington, Dick Gaines won the sprint car feature over Bobby Black and Butch Wilkerson. Kenny Simpson won the late model feature.

Also in 1974, the Columbus Kart Club winners were Brad Tobias, Mike Tobias, Gene Wilber, Kim Smith, Joe Hoban and Dennis O’Neal.

From 50 years ago at Lawrenceburg, Nick Naber won the sprint car feature over Butch Wilkerson, Calvin Gilstrap, Tony Solomito and Dick Dale.

From 40 years ago in 1984 at Brownstown, Jeff Purvis won the Hoosier Dirt Classic for late models over Ray Godsey, Kenny Simpson, Kenny Brightbill and Terry Messenger. Bill Norton won the modified street stock feature over Mark Elzey, Mike Bechelli, Don Barnett and Dan Londeree.

From 1984 at Twin Cities, there were two late model features ran with Merrill Wilson winning the first feature over Scott McKeand, Marvin Strong, Bud Seymour and Steve Caldwell. Steve Boley won the second feature over McKeand, Roger Sullivan, Wilson and Strong. Merrill Downey won the modified street stock feature over Phil Fultz, Mark Barber, Larry Gingery and Willie Sallee. Ray Hughes won the street stock feature over Gregg Lyle, Dennis Barber, Jess Koerner and Tim Young.

Upcoming local racing schedule

Today: Lawrenceburg Speedway – Merrill Downey Memorial – modifieds, crate late models and steel block late models. For more information, visit

Today: Brownstown Speedway – super late models, super stocks, pure stocks, hornets and crown vics. For more information, visit

Friday: Bloomington Speedway – sprints, super stocks and crown vics. For more information, visit

Friday: Paragon Speedway – sprints, hornets and crate late models. For more information, visit

Friday: Circle City Raceway, Indianapolis – winged sprints, vintage sprints, pure stocks, hornets and 600cc micros. For more information, visit

James Essex writes a motorsports notebook for The Republic. Send comments to [email protected]