HICKORY, NC - Preston Peltier survived a second half duel with local favorite Shane Lee to claim the victory in the 13th Annual Easter Bunny 150 Presented By MyComputerCareer Saturday night at Hickory Motor Speedway. Peltier’s fifth Easter Bunny 150 triumph pushed his overall Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Super Late Model win total to 16, the most of any driver in series history.
“To be honest, the car was really fast on a short run, but the whole setup was a little too stiff and I thought we had messed up,” said Peltier, who hauled his machine from Colorado where he now lives. “This place is just incredible, I’ve never felt it have this much grip before. This is the first race my daughter, Jocelyn, has been at, she’s only eight weeks old, and I know where this Easter Bunny’s going, that’s for sure.”
In qualifying, Peltier set a new track record with a lap of 14.470 seconds (90.255 MPH) for his 22nd career quick qualifying time in PASS, bettering 39 other competitors in the process. After the top 10 qualifiers redraw, Peltier would move all the way back to the 10th starting position, while Tate Fogleman and Shane Lee would move up to the front row.
At the drop of the green flag, Fogleman would move into the lead over Lee and Jerick Johnson. The first caution flag of the night would wave on lap 17 when Jimmy Renfrew and Gracie Trotter collided on the front straightaway.
Following the restart, Fogleman would continue to lead, while Trevor Noles made his way into the top five, passing Johnson for fifth on lap 25. Just 10 laps later and after a slight tap by Jeff Fultz in turn two, Johnson would spin, while Jeff Batten, Wyatt Alexander, and Bryan Kruzek all made hard contact with the wall as they tried to avoid Johnson’s spinning car.
Fogleman continued to lead until lap 41, when two-time PASS South Super Late Model champion, Matt Craig, would take the top spot on a restart. A few laps later, Derek Griffith would also attempt to overtake Fogleman for second, but Griffith would spin while racing hard as he entered turn one to bring out the fourth caution of the night.
Fogleman would return the favor to Craig on the next restart, taking the lead on lap 62 for the second time in the race. But, just five laps later, Peltier would make his presence know, taking the lead away from Fogleman. On lap 70, Roy Hayes made contact with the backstretch wall, resulting in Kodie Conner and several others colliding to bring out the sixth caution of the night.
With Peltier still out from, former Hickory Motor Speedway regular, Shane Lee, would make his way into second, applying heavy pressure to the leader. Despite two late cautions, Peltier would hold on to take the win over Lee, Brandon Setzer, DJ Shaw, and Fultz. The top five finishers each will receive a guaranteed starting position to either the Oxford 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway in August or the Inaugural Commonwealth Classic at Richmond Raceway in October. Rounding out the top 10 were Garrett Hall, Craig, Griffith, Noles, and Ben Rowe.
The PASS National Championship Super Late Models will be in action next up on Sunday, April 8 for The Icebreaker at Thompson Speedway in Connecticut. While PASS South will hit the track again on Friday, May 25 at Concord Speedway as part of the Old Glory 125. 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.