story by Chris Ragle

2010 PASS South Champion ends year long winless streak at Dillon
Charlotte, NC 3/11/12- Last season Preston Peltier didn’t win a single race after being crowned the PASS South Series champion at the end of 2010. Saturday night as the PASS South Series kicked off their 2012 season schedule at the Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, South Carolina that didn’t seem to matter much, as he and his #26 Johnson Motorsports team got back to victory lane winning the 2012 South Carolina Clash 150 and setting the tone for a season long points battle.

Peltier, who took the green flag from the fourteenth position, had his work cut out for him early on having missed out on the series redraw of the top ten fastest cars in qualifying to decide exact starting positions. It was former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and new PASS South Series competitor Craig Goess that set fast time during qualifying, but managed to pull #10 in the redraw, putting Jay Fogleman and Brandon Ward on the front row for the drop of the green.

The tough turn four at the Dillon Motor Speedway quickly took a bite out of the field just four laps in with a six car incident just in front of eventual winner Preston Peltier, involving fast qualifier Craig Goess, teammate Gray Gaulding, Kevin Floars, and Clay Rogers; all were done for the night. Ken Lilley and Garrett Campbell were also involved but managed to continue.

“You have no idea how close the wreck at the beginning of the race was for us. I could see it happening because a lot of those guys were racing really hard early on and you just can’t do that especially off of turn four. When it happened I saw a hole open up and mashed the gas hoping to make it through and we did,” said Peltier.

Besides a debris caution just a few laps later, the field stayed clean and green over the next seventy laps allowing drivers to settle into race mode. Brandon Ward in his #62 Chevy Impala paced the field early on before youngster Steven Nasse took the top spot away on lap thirty-two. Initially, the quickest car on the move was the #66 of Steve Wallace after brake problems plagued the team during qualifying, resulting in a twentieth place starting position. Wallace had made his way inside the top ten just as a lap eighty-eight caution for a solo spin by Ken Lilley bunched the field back together. During the caution period Johnny Sauter’s #5 machine went up in smoke while in the fourth position, ending what could have been a good night in his PASS South Series debut.

The double file restart allowed Ward, Fogleman, Ben Rowe, and Peltier to challenge Nasse for the top spot and that’s exactly what they did, as a bad restart by Nasse sent Ward to the front. It didn’t take long for the yellow to wave again for what ended up being the final time of the night. The final restart on lap 101 allowed Peltier to take the lead and cruise to victory by nearly one second over second place finisher Jay Fogleman. Steven Nasse, PASS North regular Ben Rowe, and Kyle Grissom rounded out the top five.

“We gave away so many races last year and I really felt bad for my team. We all work so hard to get this car ready every week. So to be able to get a win in the first race of 2012 feels awesome,” stated Preston in victory lane.

Next up for the “BAD BOYS WITH THE BAD FAST TOYS” PASS South Super Late Model Series will be the SoBo 150 at the South Boston Speedway located in South Boston, Virginia on Saturday March 24th.
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS – PASS South – Dillon Motor Speedway – 3-10-12
1) #26 – Preston Peltier
2) #4 – Jay Fogleman
3) #51 – Steven Naase
4) #4n – Ben Rowe
5) #31 – Kyle Grissom
6) #89 – David Latour
7) #33 – Brandon Jones
8) #62 – Brandon Ward
9) #29 – Landon Cling
10) #48 – John Batten
11) #02 – Tim Nooner
12) #25 – Ross Kenseth
13) #18 – Bradley McCaskill
14) #88 – Kyle DeSouza
15) #17 – Ken Lilley
16) #2 – Gray Gaulding
17) #5 – Johnny Sauter
18) #66 – Steve Wallace
19) #71 – Jimmy Doyle
20) #74 – Clay Rogers
21) #81 – Craig Goess
22) #55 – Kevin Floars
23) #12 – Garrett Campbell – DQ