Preston Peltier survived a three lap scramble to the checkered flag to edge out Ben Rowe for his fourth Easter Bunny 150 win Saturday night at Hickory Motor Speedway in Newton, North Carolina.
Peltier’s seventh win at Hickory and 15th overall PASS Series Super Late Model win ended a two-year winless drought dating back to the 2015 running of the event.
“Three to go when that last caution came out, I thought, oh man, here we go again,” said Peltier. “My tires really weren’t the best there at the end, but I’ve got to thank Ben (Rowe) because he really could have used me up. It’s funny how life works out and right now, life’s pretty good.”
In qualifying, Peltier edged out Kyle Busch with a lap of 14.752 seconds (88.584 MPH) for his 21st career series pole. After the top 10 qualifiers redraw, Peltier would move back to the sixth starting position, while Raphael Lessard and Derek Griffith would move up to the front row.
At the drop of the green flag, Lessard would take the lead before being overtaken by Griffith on lap three. Meanwhile, Busch would encounter early problems, dropping back through the field, before coming to a stop on the track on lap 13. After just five more laps, Busch would retire for the night due to distributor problems and finish 30th.
Up front, the leaders were wasting little time, with Lessard again moving by Griffith for the lead on lap 33. The lead trio of Lessard, Peltier, and series points leader Matt Craig would encounter heavy lap traffic as the race neared the halfway point. As they weaved their way through slower cars, Lessard made contact with the machine of Lee Hansard, sending the Tyrone, Georgia driver for a spin down the frontstretch on lap 59.
On the next restart, rookie Dawson Cram struggled to come up to speed and was spun from behind, making hard contact with the inside wall. Under the brief period of green flag racing, Peltier was able to get by Lessard to take the lead. Peltier would continue to lead until the third caution flag of the night came out with 54 laps to go for a spin by Dave Farrington, Jr. entering turn three.
Back under green, Peltier and Craig traded the lead back and forth before Peltier took control again with 48 laps to go. Peltier appeared to be on his way to victory until a caution waved with three laps to go for a crash by Travis Kvapil entering turn one.
On the final restart, Peltier, Lessard, and Rowe ran extremely hard, making contact on occasion. But Peltier would have enough to take the checkered flag over Rowe and Lessard.
However, following the event, Lessard’s third place finish was taken away due to a disqualification stemming from his spotter entering race control immediately following the race.
In a statement following the race, PASS officials stated Lessard was disqualified due to actions detrimental to PASS, and that at no time are drivers, crew members or spotters allowed into race control during an event.
The revised finish order moved Craig to third, with Butcher in fourth and Brandon Setzer in fifth.
Travis Stearns, Jody Measamer, Nicolas Naugle, Griffth and Kodie Conner rounded out the top ten.
The PASS National Championship Super Late Models will be in action again on Saturday, April 29 with the Beech Ridge 300 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Maine. PASS North will be in action Saturday, April 22 with the Speedway Homes 150 at at Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway, while PASS South hits the track again on Friday, May 5 at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, North Carolina.
For more information, visit ProAllStarsSeries.com.
PASS South / National Super Late Model Series
Hickory Motor Speedway – Newton, NC
Easter Bunny 150 – April 15, 2017
Unofficial Race Results
1. 33 – Preston Peltier
2. 4N – Ben Rowe
3. 54 – Matt Craig
4. 53 – Cole Butcher
5. 6 – Brandon Setzer
6. 16ME – Travis Stearns
7. 98 – Jody Measamer
8. 08 – Nicholas Naugle
9. 12g – Derek Griffith
10. 45 – Kodie Conner
11. 41 – Trevor Sanborn
12. 55 – Tanner Thorson
13. 8F – Tate Fogleman
14. 29 – Spencer Davis
15. 9 – Chris Dilbeck
16. 7c – Tyler Church
17. 51f – Eddie Fatscher
18. 97 – Joey Polewarczyk, Jr.
19. 76 – Ryan Millington
20. 7f – Dave Farrington, Jr.
21. 35 – Travis Kvapil
22. 15x – Roy Hayes
23. 15h – Mike Hopkins
24. 89 – Lee Hansard
25. 15e – Christian Eckes
26. 75 – Dawson Cram
27. 12h – Heath Hindman
28. 12x – Mark Reedy
29. 71 – Jimmy Doyle
30. 51b – Kyle Busch
31. 99c – Sarah Cornett-Ching
DQ: 99x – Raphael Lessard