Preston Peltier made it a three-peat Sunday afternoon at Evergreen Speedway by collecting his third consecutive $25,000 check after winning the 8th Annual Summer Showdown Super Late Model 200.
After leading every practice session, qualifying first and winning his heat race entering Sunday’s big show, Peltier was the odds-on favorite to complete the feat, but as the field took the green flag it appeared to be more of an uphill battle as Derek Thorn and Jason Fraser applied pressure.
“You know, I was really worried last night in the heat race,” Peltier told Speed51 in victory lane. "I felt like I was using the rear tires a lot. Almost like I got a little too much rebound. So in practice today I opened it up and it helped it a lot, but it didn’t fix it. It just didn’t seem to have the long run speed that I’m accustomed to in this Rowdy machine. That’s on me. I kind of know what I’ve been here in the past and I baselined with what we have been running and I don’t think it was a good combination here. So, I definitely didn’t have the winning car.
“To be honest with you I was probably third behind (Derek) Thorn and the No. 31 (Fraser) on the long run,” Peltier continued. “Because of circumstances, Thorn fell out of the race and the cautions fell just right, and this thing was so good on the short run, so the cautions fell just right where I could go hard, then the caution would come out, I’d cool my tires off a little bit and then go hard again and I was able to hold him (Fraser) off.”
When asked if he would be coming back to chase his fourth straight Summer Showdown tittle in 2020, Peltier couldn’t help but hold back a smile.
“I love this place,” he stated. “It kind of suits my driving style. I feel like every year I’ve been here I’ve gotten better and better except on the long run today. This feels like home. It’s kind of like Hickory to me. Hickory is one of those places I can go. I can jump into just about any car and go fast and it’s kind of the same deal here.”
Jason Fraser crossed the stripe second on the day after challenging Peltier hard for the lead in a duel for the final 50 laps, only to be disqualified for a carburetor infraction in post-race technical inspection. With Fraser out, the elder statesman of the field Garrett Evans inherited the bridesmaid’s spot on the podium.
“I had a good car,” Evans said. “I was falling asleep a little bit there with 25 laps to go. My feet were cramping up and I was having a heck of a time there, but I brought it home and I appreciate all the hard work of my guys. Congratulations to Preston. I appreciate him and Derek Thorn and all those guys coming out here and I’m looking forward to the next one.”
Evans, Fraser, Thorn and the rest of the field now get to head home, regroup, and figure out how to unseat the three-time champion in time for next year’s 9th Annual Summer Showdown at Evergreen Speedway.
Race fans can find on-demand updates, photos and more from Sunday’s race by visiting Speed51.com’s Trackside Now coverage presented by PFC Brakes.
A full video recap, including interviews with the major players, will be posted Monday on the Speed51 Network.
-Story by: Allick Jorgensen, Speed51.com National Correspondent - Twitter: @AJorgensen24
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo
8th Annual Summer Showdown Unofficial Results:
Evergreen Speedway – Monroe, Washington – June 30, 2019