Saturday’s Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory Motor Speedway will be just over 54 miles in distance, but four-time race winner Preston Peltier will drive roughly 3,000 miles in order to compete in the race.
Peltier was originally slated to enter the race driving the No. 33 for the Newton Concrete team, but the team’s new car for the 2018 season isn’t quite ready for competition. Then there was the possibility of driving the Hamke house car that he renumbered last week to compete in the CARS Tour event at Myrtle Beach Speedway, but unfortunately that car broke during the race and wouldn’t be ready in time. From there, the decision was made to race the Generator Source No. 48 car housed in Colorado and drive it 1,500 miles (each way) across the country to compete in the race.
“I flew back home Sunday with the family and then Monday morning we decided we were going to race it,” Peltier said. “We hadn’t really worked on it since (the Winter Showdown at Kern County), so we spent the last couple of days getting the thing prepared and all cleaned up. We loaded it yesterday morning and hit the road.”
The car Peltier will pilot this weekend is the same car with which he won the 2017 Summer Showdown and the pole for the 50th Annual Snowball Derby. For a four-time race winner who has experienced loads of success at Hickory Motor Speedway, that could spell trouble for the competition.
“We kind of discussed it a little bit and this is one of the races they love to go to, and to be honest with you Hickory is just my style,” Peltier said. “I like that place, it’s fun to race on and always pulls in a lot of good cars. We decided that our best shot would be to load up this 48 car and haul it out here and race all weekend, so that’s what we’re doing.”
Peltier’s success at “The Birthplace of NASCAR Stars” extends beyond just the Easter Bunny 150. During his career, he has recorded seven PASS South victories and 15 top-five finishes at the track in 25 starts, according to 51’s The Third Turn.
“I’ve got a lot of wins there in the Super. It suits my driving style. It’s rough, it’s multi-groove and you’ve got to conserve tires. It’s my cup of tea,” Peltier said.
“I always look forward to it. It draws a good crowd of both competitors and fans alike. It’s just something about that place. It’s fun to race on and there’s always somewhere to go. If they’re bottled up on the bottom, you just go to the top. Sometimes, not all the time but sometimes when there’s a couple of them two wide you can get up there a little bit higher if you need to.”
Because it was unknown whether or not he’d be competing in the race, Peltier has flown under the radar this week in most discussions about Saturday’s race. The veteran racer knows enough to not put too much stock in that and just focus on the task ahead.
“That’s the furthest thing from my mind when we decided to go racing. What’s on my mind is to get everything together and go have the best showing we have, and most of all have fun. Right now, driving for these Generator Source guys that’s what it’s all about; they just love racing. It’s the same with Newton Concrete. I’ve been fortunate enough in my career to be aligned with people that just absolutely love the sport. Even if they could never win a race, if they were competitive they’d be there every race they could.”
Like the teams he drives for, Preston Peltier also just loves to race. That’s exactly why he is driving 3,000 miles from Colorado to North Carolina to compete in Saturday’s Easter Bunny 150.
Race fans unable to make the trip with Peltier will be able to watch him hunt for a fifth Easter Bunny 150 victory by watching a live pay-per-view video stream on Speed51.com. Live video tickets can be purchased today for just $19.99 by clicking here.
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com