Coming into Friday at Evergreen Speedway (WA), many teams didn’t quite know what to expect for the 200-lap, $25,000-to-win Summer Showdown. Preston Peltier and Derek Thorn drove into town to take on local boys Gracin Raz and Tyler Tanner along with a slew of drivers that call the 5/8-mile race track their home. After two rounds of practice, qualifying and two heat races, the picture appears to have cleared up a bit.


After Derek Thorn won the pole for the second year in a row, he and Preston Peltier dominated their respective heat races, both leading from flag-to-flag.


300x250 Dixieland 250 2017.08.01“Today was a good day for us. We ended yesterday kind of scratching our heads a little bit, looking for some speed and we really didn’t expect to be on the top of the board after qualifying. I think the 48 (Preston Peltier) is pretty strong, the 65 (Tyler Tanner), so is the 27 (Gracin Raz),” Thorn told Powered by JEGS.


“Coming into today I couldn’t thank these guys enough. The Campbell Motorsports team, Mike Keene, they’ve really been trying a lot of stuff, trying to see what we can find out about this place. We don’t come up here a lot so we try to catch up for lost time. To come home with a win and get fast time again means a lot to us.”


Peltier, while dominant in his heat, isn’t as confident in his car just yet.


“We got a pretty good car for tomorrow’s race,” Peltier stated.  “Our pressures came in a little high there from the heat race. We lost a little grip toward the end of that deal. We started a little higher since it’s just a 25-lap race, but we’ll get her dialed in for tomorrow. We’ll be good. Really all we fought was just a tick free up off. The same thing in qualifying. We’re headed in that direction, to tighten it up. We just didn’t want to jump the fence on that deal.”


Tyler Tanner warned that both driver’s supremacy in the heats may be more by design rather than sheer ability.


“Preston actually poked his head in my window before the race and reminded me that this race pays nothing to win, maybe drive smart,” Tanner said.  “I could have ran up there and tried to run by him, but I don’t think he was willing to give it up easy, so I just kind of sat there, raced him a little bit, and dropped back there in the end to conserve the car.”


Find out how all the action unfolds Sunday afternoon by tuning into’s Trackside Now coverage of the 6th Annual Summer Showdown at Evergreen Speedway on Saturday July 23rd. Coverage goes live at 11:00 a.m. PST and the green flag waves at 7:00 p.m.


For on-demand coverage of Friday’s qualifying action, visit Trackside Now coverage.


-By Allick Jorgensen, Southeast Correspondent – Twitter: @AJorgensen24

-Photo credit:


Summer Showdown Qualifying Heat #1 Unofficial Results

1 43 Derek Thorn
2 27 Gracin Raz
3 22j Lex Johnson
4 37 Mike Longton
5 12 Trenton Moriarity
6 58 Kyle Ray
7 70 Jeff Knight
8 55 Andy Sole
9 32 Mike Holden
10 78 Joe Constance
11 00 Naima Lang
12 12c Chad Fitzpatrick
13 08 Greg Scott
14 13 Jeramiah Johnson


Summer Showdown Qualifying Heat #2 Unofficial Results

1 48 Preston Peltier
2 65 Tyler Tanner
3 25b Zach Beaman
4 14 Chris Davidson
5 16 Daniel Moore
6 86 Tom Berrow
7 52 Ryan Philpott
8 90 Molly Helmuth
9 25 Brandon Farrington
10 89 Doni Wanat
11 22 John Lathrop Jr.
12 1 Mitch Kleyn
13 08 Greg Scott

Thorn, Peltier Reign Supreme in Summer Showdown Heats