IRWINDALE, Calif. — Preston Peltier made the trip to California worth his while Saturday at Irwindale Speedway.
Peltier topped the Sunrise Ford All-Star Showdown sanctioned by the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour, earning a whopping $30,000 for his victory.
Starting fourth, Peltier quickly move to the front when he drove by Jacob Gomes to take the lead on the third circuit. He stayed there until lap 25, when defending series champion Derek Thorn ran him down and took the lead.
Peltier would fade as far back as fifth before beginning his march back to the front after 50 laps were complete. Staying committed to the bottom while most of the leaders ran the top, Peltier was able to race his way back past Thorn to regain the lead on lap 57.
The veteran driver never gave up the lead again, leading the remainder of the distance on his way to the victory. Peltier took the checkered flag .952 seconds ahead of Casey Roderick to earn the biggest payday of his career.
The victory served as redemption for Peltier, who admitted he’d been questioning whether he still belonged in a race car.
“I’ve got to thank Joe Farre for believing in me,” Peltier said. “I went through a spell there. I’ve got three young kids. It’s hard man. We don’t get much sleep. This is tough. This is like … super late model racing is the hardest racing that there is. Anytime you can win, dude you’ve got to cherish the moment.
“I’m getting older, I feel it. I’m not as sharp as I used to be. So I really was questioning myself. Like, can I even do this anymore? I built this new P1 chassis with the help from Joe and the guys at the shop and man, this thing was just on a rail.”
The race was originally scheduled for 200 laps, but was shortened to 177 laps due to curfew.
Jace Hansen, Buddy Shepherd and Jacob Gomes rounded out the top five.
Jeremy Doss banked $20,000 for winning the SPEARS Pro Late Model Series and SPEARS Manufacturing Modified Series features earlier in the evening.
Preston Peltier, Casey Roderick, Jace Hansen, Buddy Shepherd, Jacob Gomes, Kole Raz, Tyler Tanner, Cale Kanke, Jonathan Mawhinney, Chris Davidson, Corey Neveau, Jeff Bischofberger, Christian McGhee, Jimmy Parker Jr., John Moore, Carlos Viera, Dean Thompson, Kyle Keller, Scott Sanchez, Kyle Neveau, Brandon Farrington, Tracy Bollin, Andy Allen, Haeden Plyborn, Dylan Garner, Derek Thorn, Dylan Lupton, Blaine Rocha, Mike Garvey, Tyler Fabozzi, Bobby Hodges, Colby Potts, Jeremy Doss, Tayler Riddle, Dan Holtz, Logan Bearden.