HICKORY, NC (April 15) – Preston Peltier survived a three lap scramble to the checkered flag to edge out Ben Rowe for his fourth Easter Bunny 150 win Saturday night at Hickory Motor Speedway. Peltier’s seventh win at Hickory and 15th overall Pro All Stars Series (PASS) Super Late Model win ended a two-year winless drought dating back to the 2015 Easter Bunny 150.
“Three to go when that last caution came out, I thought, oh man, here we go again,” said Peltier, driver of the Roger Newton Concrete Finishing Chevrolet #33. “My tires really weren’t the best there at the end, but I’ve got to thank Ben [Rowe] because he really could have used me up. It’s funny how life works out and right now, life’s pretty good.”
In qualifying, Peltier just beat out Kyle Busch with a lap of 14.752 seconds (88.584 MPH) for his 21st career quick qualifying time in PASS. After the top 10 qualifiers redraw, Peltier would move back to the sixth starting position, while Raphael Lessard and Derek Griffith would move up to the front row.
At the drop of the green flag, Lessard would take the lead before being overtaken by Griffith on lap three. Meanwhile, Busch would encounter early problems dropping back through the field, before coming to a stop on the track on lap 13. After just five more laps, Busch would retire for the night due to distributor problems and finish 30th.
Up front, the leaders were wasting little time, with Lessard again moving by Griffith for the lead on lap 33. The lead trio of Lessard, Peltier, and PASS South points leader, Matt Craig, would encounter heavy lapped traffic as the race neared the halfway point. As they weaved their way through slower cars, Lessard made contact with the machine of Lee Hansard, sending the Georgia driver for a spin down the frontstretch on lap 59.
On the next restart, rookie Dawson Cram struggled to come up to speed and was spun from behind, making hard contact with the inside wall. Under the brief period of green flag racing, Peltier was able to get by Lessard to take the lead. Peltier would continue to lead until the third caution flag of the night would wave with 54 laps to go for a spin by Dave Farrington, Jr. entering turn three.
Back under green, Peltier and Craig traded the lead back and forth before Peltier would again take control with 48 laps to go. Peltier appeared to be on his way to victory until a caution waved with three laps to go for a crash by Travis Kvapil entering turn one.
On the final restart, Peltier, Lessard, and Rowe ran extremely hard, making contact on occasion. But, Peltier would have enough to take the checkered flag over Rowe and Lessard. However, following the event, Lessard’s third place finish was taken away due to a disqualification stemming from his spotter entering race control immediately following the race. After the race PASS officials released a statement regarding Lessard’s disqualification:
FOLLOWING SATURDAY NIGHT’S EASTER BUNNY 150 AT HICKORY, THIRD PLACE FINISHER RAPHAEL LESSARD WAS DISQUALIFIED DUE TO ACTIONS DETRIMENTAL TO PASS. AT NO TIME ARE DRIVERS, CREW MEMBERS, OR SPOTTERS ALLOWED INTO RACE CONTROL DURING AN EVENT. AFTER SATURDAY NIGHT’S RACE, LESSARD’S SPOTTER ENTERED RACE CONTROL WHICH RESULTED IN AN IMMEDIATE DISQUALIFICATION. RAPHAEL LESSARD DROVE AN EXCELLENT RACE, HOWEVER THIS ACTION BY THE SPOTTER FOR THE #99 TEAM HAS NEVER BEEN AND WILL NEVER BE TOLERATED AT ANY TIME.
The revised finish order showed Peltier with the win, followed by Rowe, Craig, Butcher, and Brandon Setzer. Rounding out the top 10 were Travis Stearns, Jody Measamer, Nicolas Naugle, Griffth, and Kodie Conner.
In preliminary action, George Kurtz claimed the win in the USAC Eastern Midgets, while Mike Womack took the Legends win in a photo finish over Zack Miller.
The PASS National Championship Super Late Models will be in action again on Saturday, April 29 with the Beech Ridge 300 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Maine. PASS North will be in action Saturday, April 22 with the Speedway Homes 150 at Oxford Plains Speedway, while PASS South hits the track again on Friday, May 5 at Caraway Speedway. Entry forms are currently available at ProAllStarsSeries.com. Be sure to “Like” the Pro All Stars Series on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @PASSSLM14.
PASS Super Late Model – 12th Annual Easter Bunny 150 – Unofficial Results
- 33 – Preston Peltier 150 17. 51 – Eddie Fatscher 149
- 4n – Ben Rowe 150 18. 97 – Joey Polewarcyzk 149
- 54 – Matt Craig 150 19. 76 – Ryan Millington 149
- 53 – Cole Butcher 150 20. 7f – Dave Farrington, Jt. 149
- 6 – Brandon Setzer 150 21. 35 – Travis Kvapil 145
- 16me – Travis Stearns 150 22. 15x – Roy Hayes III 107
- 98 – Jody Measamer 150 23. 15h – Mike Hopkins 96
- 08 – Nicolas Naugle 150 24. 89 – Lee Hansard 80
- 12g – Derek Griffith 150 25. 15e – Christian Eckes 69
- 45 – Kodie Conner 150 26. 75 – Dawson Cram 60
- 41 – Trevor Sanborn 150 27. 12h – Heath Hindman 52
- 55 – Tanner Thorson 150 28. 12x – Mark Reedy 30
- 8f – Tate Fogleman 150 29. 71 – Jimmy Doyle 24
- 29 – Spencer Davis 150 30. 51b – Kyle Busch 15
- 9 – Chris Dilbeck 149 31. 99c – Sarah Cornett Ching 8
- 7c – Tyler Church 149 DNQ 99x Raphael Lessard