CHARLOTTE, NC – As Super Late Model teams from across the Southeast prepare for a return to the Hickory Motor Speedway on September 20 for the Over The Mountain 150, one thing is quite clear. In all likelihood, whoever is contending for the win will most likely have to battle Preston Peltier. Throughout the nearly 10 year history of the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Super Late Model tour, no driver has seen more success at Hickory Motor Speedway than Preston Peltier.
“I think we’ve been so good there, mainly, because it’s so wore out that you have to really drive the car,” said Peltier on why he has been so successful at Hickory. “It’s a momentum racetrack which suits my driving style, but you have to take care of the tires and I think that’s what has made us so good there.”
Peltier is one of the true veterans of the PASS South Super Late Model series, competing regularly on the tour ever since it began at Hickory in 2006. But success was not quick to come to the transplanted Californian who now lives in North Carolina, working for Hendrick Motorsports on the championship rides of Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon. After learning the ropes at Concord Speedway’s legendary Big 10 Series, Peltier did not achieve success in the PASS South series until a win at Orange County Speedway in 2009. In 2010, Peltier scored his first win at Hickory Motor Speedway in the Easter Bunny 150 before eventually winning both the PASS South and PASS National Championships later that season. Since that first win at Hickory, Peltier has become the driver to beat there, with four wins and five quick qualifying times over the last five years.
“The key there for me is not to slip at all, period,” says Peltier. “When you’re racing somebody, when you’re driving into the corner, through the center, getting back to the throttle, if you don’t slip those tires, you’ll be fine.”
Peltier has a pair of wins in both the Easter Bunny 150 and the Over The Mountain 150 at Hickory Motor Speedway. While the Easter Bunny is usually contested in the relative cool of early Spring, the Over The Mountain 150’s late September date presents quite a different animal to drivers hoping to utilize a similar setup as they tackle the 60-year-old speedway.
“You never can tell with Hickory, you can be there in the middle of Summer or early in February for testing, it doesn’t matter, the place changes on a whim,” said Peltier. “So you never know what you’re going to get there and you’ve just got to be versatile enough to adjust for it.”
As always, another great field of the Southeast’s top Super Late Model drivers are expected at Hickory Motor Speedway for the 8th Running of the Over The Mountain 150. In addition to Peltier, local favorites Brandon Setzer and PASS South points leader and defending race winner Tyler Church will be among the contenders. PASS National Championship series points leader Tyler Dippel will be looking to build on a strong run at Hickory in April, along with championship contenders Jared Irvan, Trevor Noles, and Tate Fogleman. Local standout Taylor Stricklin will be making his PASS South debut, along with PASS Pro Late Model standout Kodie Conner and Spencer Gallagher. Brandon Lynn makes his PASS South return for Woodman Racing as a teammate to Kevin Powell. Veterans Brandon Ward, Jimmy Doyle, Clete Caywood and Ted Mickelson will each be looking for their first Hickory wins, along with up-and-coming racer Trey Jarrell.
Action gets under way on Friday, September 19th with rotating practice for all divisions from 3 -6 PM. On Saturday, September 20th, practice will start at 1 PM, followed by qualifying at 4:30 PM and racing slated to start at 6 PM. The PASS South Super Late Models will race for 150 laps, along with 50 laps for the PASS Pro Late Models, and feature racing for the USAC HPD Midgets and Legends cars.
PASS South Super Late Model entry forms for the Over The Mountain 150 at Hickory Motor Speedway can be found at ProAllStarsSeries.com.
PASS PR – submitted photos