Championship will be decided at the Mason-Dixon Meltdown
Hickory, NC — The PASS South Super Late Models headed to the Hickory (NC) Motor Speedway for the “Over the Mountain 150” Saturday, September 25th, 2010. Heading into the night’s action, Ryan Blaney held a six-point advantage over Preston Peltier for the series championship. Both racers showed why they are battling for the top honors as Peltier went to victory lane with Blaney crossing the line second, shrinking Blaney’s lead to just four points heading into the final race of the season.
“It is going to come down to the last lap at Newport,” said Peltier in victory lane. “If he gets the championship, he will deserve it. If I get it, I will deserve it. I just hope it is exciting.”
For the sixth time this season, Andy Loden was the driver at the top of the charts during qualifying. As it was last race at North Wilkesboro Speedway (NC), Loden’s #29 machine set a new record during the session, this time a new track record at Hickory Motor Speedway for the PASS South Super Late Model series with a 14.713-second lap.
With 34 Super Late Model drivers on hand, the focus after qualifying shifted to the last-chance race, which featured all drivers outside of the top 20 working hard for six positions to transfer into the big show. Winning the last chance race was first-time PASS racer Matt Leicht, who was followed across the line by Kenzie Ruston, Joey Coulter, Blaney, Joe Winchell and Chris Bohlman.
After the top-10 drivers redrew for starting position, Peltier and Trey Mitchell led the field to the green flag with Mitchell jumping out to the early lead. Jay Fogleman worked his way to second and followed Mitchell for the next several laps.
The first yellow flew at lap 23 for an incident that involved Dean Clattenburg and Devin Jones, doing significant damage to the front nose of Jones’ machine, who was fifth in series points heading into the event. Clattenburg was able to continue, but Jones was done for the night, finishing 28th.
On the restart, Fogleman got the jump, putting him in the lead, but a few laps later, Mitchell reclaimed the top spot with Loden moving to second, followed by Jody Lavender.
On lap 41, Loden, who entered the night third in points, dropped off the pace and headed to pit road with mechanical issues, moving Lavender into second and Jimmy Weller in third. Loden was credited with the 26th finishing position.
The second yellow flag flew at lap 49 for an incident on the front stretch involving Tayla Orleans, David Quackenbush and Clay Jones. All three were able to continue with various degrees of damage to their vehicles.
Lavender decided it was his turn to lead the event, taking the top spot on the restart, moving Mitchell back to second. Meanwhile, the car on the move through the first third of the race was Blaney, who raced his way up to third after starting deep in the field due to a mechanical issue during qualifying.
On lap 64, the third yellow flew for a spin by Mark Reedy in turn four after battling hard for position with Alex Fleming. Reedy was able to continue.
Lavender was able to maintain the top spot on the restart with Mitchell, Blaney, Peltier and Weller in tow until the fourth yellow flag flew on lap 76 when Clattenburg’s car went for a spin on the front stretch, making contact with the inside wall, damaging his car too much to continue.
On the following restart, Peltier worked his way to the third position around Blaney, but a yellow, then red flag, was thrown on lap 81 for a multiple-car incident in turns three and four, involving Joey Coulter, Clay Jones, Weller, Leicht, Heath Hindman, Joe Winchell and others. All drivers were reported to be ok.
Peltier continued his move towards the top by moving to second on the restart to Lavender, then moving to the lead on the outside on lap 90. Hoping to keep his slim points lead over Peltier, Blaney worked his way to the second position around the 100-lap mark, putting Lavender to third, Kyle Bonsignore to fourth and Roger Lee Newton to fifth.
The sixth yellow flew at lap 115 for debris, setting up a restart with the top-two points leaders side by side. After a few laps, Peltier was able to hold on to the lead with Blaney running a close second and Newton moving into the third position.
The yellow flag flew for the seventh time at lap 125 for a spin into the turn-one wall by Orleans, ending her night. Also, during the yellow, Legendre, who was running fourth, appeared to lose power, dropping into the pits and out of the race.
With weather approaching the track, Peltier kept the lead on the following restart, driving on to victory over Blaney.
“I have to thank my whole team,” said Peltier. “I was scared a few races ago with this thing (his car) the way we were running. We struggled badly. It is nights like this when you are faced with adversity that tells who you are. We never gave up and kept working. We found a bad shock, and man, this thing is awesome.”
Blaney was satisfied with his second-place finish and his four-point lead in the championship standings, considering he had to start way back in the field for the feature event.
“We broke a rear end and just got it fixed before the consi,” said Blaney. “I don’t think our finish was too bad for where we started. I wish I could have challenged Preston more, but we will go on to Newport. We won there last time, so we will see what we can do.”
Newton, who has only one start in the series this season, was able to work his way to the third position from 13th by the time the checkered flag flew.
“When we unloaded this car, it was way out in left field,” said Newton. “To come home in the top three with a low-budget team, it isn’t too bad. We are going to go home, do our homework, and hope to come back to race this series more next year.”
Bonsignore and Lavender rounded out the top five.
In support division racing action, Bobby McCarty went to victory lane in the Allison Legacy feature, Hoyt Demis won the Legends Masters feature, Sean Shalvoy claimed the win in the Legends Young Lions / Semi-Pro / Pro feature, Stevie Johns Jr won the Bandolero Bandits division feature, and Ryan Mackintosh won the Bandolero Outlaws feature.
The PASS South Super Late Model Series will be back in action Saturday, October 16th, at Newport Speedway (TN) for the “Mason-Dixon Meltdown,” which is the championship event for the PASS South and PASS National divisions.
Sources: PASS South PR
UnOfficial Results: PASS South Super Late Models
“Over the Mountain 150” – Hickory – Sat. Sept. 25th.
1 Preston Peltier
2 Ryan Blaney
3 Roger Lee Newton
4 Kyle Bonsignore
5 Jody Lavender
6 Trey Mitchell
7 John Batten
8 Mark Reedy
9 Jay Fogleman
10 Bradley McCaskill
11 Alex Fleming
12 Chris Bohlman
13 Jimmy Weller
14 Clay Jones
15 Matt Leicht
16 Kenzie Ruston
17 Steven Legendre
18 Tayla Orleans
19 Joey Coulter
20 Joe Winchel
21 Heath Hindman
22 David Quackenbush
23 Dean Clattenburg
24) Kyle Benjamin
25) Daniel Hemric
26) Andy Loden
27) Ryan Moore
28) Devin Jones
29) Justin Wakefield
30) Tim Pinion