CONCORD, N.C.: (March 3, 2023): It was announced today that George Phillips will join forces with Setzer Racing and Development for the CARS Tour Late Model Series and will pilot the No. 6 Chevrolet.
The move comes with a little motivation from a dear friend Humpy Wheeler, who believes in Phillips and has mentored him for the past few years.
Phillips has accomplished many feats in the U.S. Legend Car Series and the move up was inevitable. The Legend Car Series is a major stepping stone in a young driver’s career and development.
“The time I spent racing all kinds of different tracks in my Legend car really helped me get prepared to make the transition to Late Models,” said Phillips.
“We are very excited to have George behind the wheel for us this year,” Brandon Setzer said. “We have watched him have success at the Legend Car level and can’t wait to see what he can do in our Late Model.”
The 14-year-old has had amazing success in the Legend Car Series claiming victories at Atlanta Motor Speedway’s quarter and third-mile tracks as well as claiming a win at Charlotte’s Summer Shootout.
Phillips won the biggest race in Carteret County Speedway history, the 50-lap, $2,500 Race of Champions on December 10, 2022.
For young drivers, today to make that advanced move into Late Models is a little more strategic than in the past. To be able to set forth a full series schedule one must take on a business roll to concrete the deals. Landing sponsorship is huge and securing a well-blanched team for your driver is.
When it came to choosing a team Setzer Racing and Development seemed to be the right fit.
“I am so honored to work with Brandon and Dennis Setzer and this whole team,” explained Phillips. “I really feel like I have the very best team and to be their driver is a huge blessing. Dennis and Brandon know the car inside and out and are great teachers.
They both are incredibly decorated and talented drivers, he said. I would like to thank Dennis and Brandon and the whole team for believing in me to pilot their Pro Late Model.”
As he transitions to the full-size stock car, the team has had several practice and track development days over the past few months. The goal is to develop communications, advance skills and win races.
Setzer Racing and Development has had great success over the past few years with young drivers making the decision for Phillips relatively easy.
“We are very excited to help with George’s transition from Legend to a full-body late model,” added Setzer. “George has shown good speed and decision-making in the legend car that will transfer over well to the late models. We look forward to fine-tuning the skill set he already has and applying it to the full-body car.”
A big transition for a young driver, but Setzer has a great approach.
“I think it’s important to keep the expectations simple for a young driver just getting started. The goal is to get better at every race and learn from any mistakes. George has the speed to run up and compete for wins. It’s our job to help him hone his race craft and keep mistakes at a minimum and results will come from that.”
Phillips and his team were able to secure marketing partners with The Racing Warehouse and Simpson Racing Products — with a few more coming on board in the next few weeks.
“We are very happy to be working with these great marketing partners as we believe in their products as a team and a family in this sport,” sounded Phillips. “I will continue to fly the Ross & Witmer banner as well for the 2023 season.”
But so much serious business… where’s the fun? Well, Phillips lives and breathes racing and NASCAR.
He, like most drivers, has their heroes of our sport, yet Phillips, well he has a few and is somewhat of a master NASCAR historian.
He has his own museum with jaw-dropping memorabilia and to add to the drive of history, one of his favorites of all time, Bobby Isaac.
“I have been a Bobby Isaac fan since I was nine years old,” Phillips explained. “We were born on the same day decades apart. The admiration is there for what he accomplished; I am so excited to have my shot at Hickory just like he did. This track is rich with history.”
In addition to the CARS Tour, Phillips is set to make is Late Model debut this Saturday at Hickory Motor Speedway in the Carolina Pro Late Models.
His support system is one of great influence and trust. He has established and built some amazing relationships in auto racing.
“I have some extra special friends that have been incredible mentors to me,” sounded Phillips. “Humpy Wheeler is my hero, he always makes time for me and comes out to watch me practice. Jeff Gordon and John Bickford, I would not even be at this point if it were not for them. I can always count on both of them to shoot me straight. Lorin Ranier also has been helping me for the past two years and believing in me.
“Joey Bishop has always reminded me to have fun. And “Jazzy Jazz” Kirkly and Dexter “Loveboat” Williams, they motivate me to always pursue my dreams. They are all amazing blessings in my life.”
As the saying goes, “it takes a village” and George has an amazing village of support from the outside.
His home village is just as meaningful.
“Most of all I would like to thank God for making all things possible,” offered Phillips. “Making this possible for me. Also, thank you mom and dad and my little sister Dottie Collins who are always there for me.”
Find out more on George Phillips at his website: GeorgePhillipsRacing.com and on Instagram @GeorgePhillipsRacing.