HICKORY, N.C. – Preston Peltier was in a league of his own on Saturday night at Hickory Motor Speedway as he drove to a dominant victory in the PASS South Easter Bunny 150.
Peltier drew the pole during the pre-race redraw, allowing him to snatch the lead at the start of Saturday’s 150-lap event for super late models. Peltier led until lap 18 when fast qualifier Derek Scott Jr., who started seventh after the redraw, was able to squeeze by to take over the top spot.
Scott was the leader when the first caution flag of the night waved on lap 43 for a three-car pileup in turn four. During the restart Peltier was able to get a big jump on Scott, retaking the lead by the time the field exited turn two.
Once out front Peltier was all but untouchable. The only driver to challenge him during the remainder of the event was defending PASS South champion and Hickory native Tyler Church, who made a few attempts to move past Peltier during the middle portion of the event.
Church’s attempts were fruitless however as Peltier held on to score his third Easter Bunny 150 victory.
“The only time I was worried was right at the end,” said Peltier, who led 124 laps on Saturday night. “I kind of felt like maybe my tires were starting to fade just a little bit and I was worried the caution was going to come out. I didn’t know if Ben (Rowe) and those guys had saved.
“Tyler (Church) pushed me a little harder than I had wished, but it all worked out in the end,” Peliter said. “I don’t know what it is about Hickory, but it just attracts the cars. Most of the time during these Easter Bunny races it’s a good group of cars.”
Church ended up second in the Easter Bunny 150 for the second-consecutive year.
“Preston had a good car tonight,” said Church. “We did too, but the longer we went the tighter it got. There were some things I wish I could have done adjustment wise. That’s part of it. I’m still happy.”
Ironically if it weren’t for Peltier, Church wouldn’t have even been in Saturday’s race.
“Earlier in the day we only made five laps of practice and the rear gears just shattered and blew the whole rear cover off of it,” Church said. “Had to borrow a rear end from Preston just to run the race.”
Veteran Mike Rowe, who raced his way into the feature through the Last Chance Race earlier in the day, finished third. His son Ben Rowe finished fourth with Brandon Setzer completing the top five.
Kodie Conner won the companion PASS Pro Late Model Series event.
Preston Peltier, Tyler Church, Mike Rowe, Ben Rowe, Brandon Setzer, Zane Smith, Jeff Fultz, Trevor Noles, Derek Scott Jr., Shane Lee, Chris Dilbeck, Bret Holmes, Tate Fogleman, Joey Doiron, Nick Robinson, Lucas Jones, Heath Hindman, Trey Jerrell, Eric St. Gelais, Jimmy Doyle, Walker Yates, Jason Stanley, Dave Mader III, Ryan Moore, Jody Measamer, Jeff Batten, Trevor Sanborn, Roger Lee Newton.