Trevor Sanborn Avoids Melee To Score PASS South Summer Sizzler Victory At OCS by Jason Buckley
Peltier and Stroupe Tangle On Track While Haase and Peltier Tangle In The Pits
Earlier this season in Pro All Stars Series (PASS) Super Late Model competition, North racer Trevor Sanborn stole the thunder from the South drivers as he took the checkered flag first in the Orange Blossom Special event at Orange County Speedway (Rougemont, NC), his first win in the South division of PASS. The combination of Sanborn and the #44 Richard Moody Racing team proved to be a successful match on the track.
Upon returning to the scene where he won his first PASS South race, Sanborn knew he would be a contender for the victory, but so were a handful of drivers. The $10,000.00-to-win Southern Sizzler 200-lap event brought out the best of the best in PASS Super Late Model competition, including south regulars Alex Haase, Corey Williams, Heath Hindman and Zach Stroupe as well as invaders Mike and Ben Rowe, Preston Peltier and Jeff Fultz. At the end of the race though, it was once again Sanborn standing tall in victory lane while many of the major players ended up sidelined from wrecks and frustrated over points, cars and money that disappeared into the cracks of the walls surrounding the racing surface at OCS.
Trevor Sanborn qualified third for the Summer Sizzler event at Orange County. (51 Sports Photo)
At the start of the event, Sanborn showed his strength by setting the third-best time during qualifying.
“We started the weekend here Friday and thought we had a pretty good car,” said Sanborn. “The pace slowed down for everyone time wise. We were free up off, but everyone was free up off. The race came and we qualified decent.”
Ahead of him in the qualifying charts were Zach Stroupe and Preston Peltier. Stroupe snagged his first career fastest-time award, but started sixth on the redraw. Meanwhile Peltier drew the number one starting position after timing in second fastest to Stroupe. Both drivers would be a factor in an early scuffle that put many key players out of commission.
Before the race was 25 laps old, Stroupe had worked his way up to the third position and was challenging Peltier for second while Cassius Clark was out front. Going into turn three, Stroupe was under Peltier when the two made contact. Peltier explained his side of the situation.
“We were running along there. Cassius was a little quicker. It was pretty early in the race so I let him go by,” explained Peltier. “We got a caution and restarted the race. Three or four laps after they restarted the race, my spotter came on and told me the 51 (Stroupe) is on the inside and is overdriving it, so just be careful. A half lap later he ends up hitting me in the door and running up over the side of the car. He hit me so hard it broke the rack and pinion and after that it was all she wrote. I was just a pinball from there.”
Stroupe offered up a different view of the incident from his perspective.
“I had a great car at the start. I worked my way up to third and wasn’t even pushing it,” said Stroupe. “Cassius and I had the cars to beat at that time, so I wanted to get by Preston. Well, apparently Preston decided to chop me off a few times. The last time I had my left sides on the white line and there was nowhere for me to go. He kept coming down and finally he just wrecked himself.
“I think it was way too early in the race for him (Peltier) to be racing people like this. The #44 (Sanborn) got to me (later in the race) and I moved all the way to the top groove to give him room. He went by, I got in line and we kept going. People should give each other room like that. He crowded me way too much and ended up wrecking himself.”
While Stroupe was able to continue after the contact, Peltier’s car came back down into traffic, which caused two major players to be involved, one of which was Hindman.
“I saw Preston and I think the 51 (Stroupe) bump and get crossed up,” said Hindman. “The 51 went on. I was going under Preston and he cut hard left. It caught me and drilled me in the right side and turned me into the wall. Preston said that when he got together with the 51 it bent his steering rack and he couldn’t steer it. Stuff happens I guess.”
Haase was another driver that was involved in the aftermath. After winning the last two PASS South events, Haase spent many laps in the pits as his team fixed the damage from the incident. Before they could do so, the crew and Haase had a confrontation with Peltier and his crew on pit road.
The rear end of Preston Peltier's car, as it sat in his trailer after the race, showed only some of the damage to his car from the early-race wreck. (51 Sports Photo)
Alex Haase was involved in the early incident as well after winning the past two PASS South races. (51 Sports Photo)
“I haven’t raced against Preston a lot,” said Haase. “Everyone in the pits says he is a weapon. You have that invert deal and you put a weapon on the pole it isn’t going to be good. We are racing for points out here, he is just coming out here; I don’t know what he was trying to do. It is a bummer. Corey (Corey Williams, the PASS South points leader) had a bad night and we couldn’t capitalize on it. We had a bad night as well and have a torn up racecar too.
“I got out of the car and Preston came up and grabbed my helmet,” added Haase. “I didn’t know what that was about. Then his crew comes running down here. I don’t know. It was a bad night.”
Peltier was not too thrilled with Haase, who drives for NASCAR racer Kyle Busch, as well as not being happy with his crew.
“Kyle’s bunch… I don’t know what their problem was,” said Peltier. “He (Haase) was giving me some obscene hand gestures coming into the pits and I just wanted to know what his deal was. That is not something that we caused. I don’t care if he lost points or not. We come here to race as much as he is.
“That is the problem, you’ve got with those rich kids,” continued Peltier. “They get real cocky and think that they own the place or run things. Really, he ain’t no better than me. If Kyle didn’t give him the money to run that car he probably would be still running around Las Vegas somewhere.”
Once the tempers cooled on pit road, the action was back on the track as Sanborn moved up to the second position behind Clark. The two traded the lead a few times throughout the rest of the event with John Stancill and Dean Clattenburg both taking turns out in the front spot, but in the end it was Sanborn once again making his way to victory lane as the winner of the second PASS South race at OCS this season.
In victory lane, Sanborn smiled while others loaded up their damaged race cars. His win not only gave him the sweep at OCS this season, but gave him a huge payday as well as stealing another win from the Southern boys.
For the second time this season, Trevor Sanborn entered victory lane at Orange County. (51 Sports Photo)
“I haven’t experienced many wins,” said Sanborn. “I have won two races at the same track in the South. I have led lap after lap after lap up North and finished second four times last year. It is just weird to me that I can come down here and clean house at Orange County. It just amazes me that I haven’t been able to win in the North.
“We are going to run the rest of the national events. I really like coming down here. The race tracks in the south are incredible.”
Zach Stroupe's night ended with a trip into the wall in turn one. (51 Sports Photo)
While his team celebrated the win, many others wondered what could have been. Stroupe, who maintained third after the incident with Peltier, later backed it into the wall hard after a restart, putting him out of the event. Ben Rowe was looking for a great double weekend as he was also racing the Oxford 250 in Maine, but was never a factor the whole night after fighting power steering issues the whole weekend. Corey Williams, still carrying the Batman logo on the front of his car, didn’t make out on the track like the new Batman movie did over the weekend at the box office as he was just not a contender the whole day. And, of course, Hindman, Haase and Peltier suffered damage during the early incident on the track.
One of the most disappointed drivers though was Peltier. Over the last month he has been looking for a home series to race in. He has run races in the ASA Southeast Asphalt Tour and then the ASA Late Model Series prior to Saturday night’s PASS South series. Now he doesn’t know where or when he will race next.
“I am pretty disappointed,” said Peltier. “I have run with this group before and this is really unexpected. I know most of these guys are pretty good. Whether he (Stroupe) is going to admit it that he overdrove it in there or not, it doesn’t matter to me. I made those mistakes before when I was just getting started too, so I don’t hold it against him. I definitely don’t need people throwing up hand gestures and calling us out on something we really didn’t have control over (referring to Haase).
“At this point I really don’t care where I race; I just wanted to race. The main reason we were here was the money tonight and we didn’t make the money, so we probably won’t be around for a little while.”
Cassius Clark’s Hair Survives Another Weekend of Racing
Earlier this month, Cassius Clark told Speed51.com that he isn’t going to cut his hair until he wins a race. After finishing second to Trevor Sanborn, his hair survived yet another weekend and will not face the sheers.
“We were pretty decent early on. I was trying not to burn it (the tires) up,” said Clark. “We had a good race there. I knew I didn’t have much for him (Sanborn) so I decided to wait until 50 laps to go. I tried to drop the hammer, but the car was just too loose. I drove my ass off and that is all I had. The kid was fast.
“I didn’t want to lay back too much. We were up on the wheel tonight. We are knocking on the door. We will get one soon enough.”
Third Place A Victory For Tom McCann Jr.
While most fans were focusing on the big name drivers in the PASS Series at Orange County Speedway, one driver quietly worked his way towards the front of the pack from the back, taking a podium finish. That driver was Tom McCann, Jr., who celebrated along the front stretch with his team like he won the event, even though he finished third.
“We started 18th and by lap 20 or 30 we were running sixth,” said McCann. “The car was on a rail. We tried to maintain in the top five. We tried to pit smart. We came out eighth and worked our way back up to the front.
“I have to thank Robert Hamke. He built one hell of a car. Not a lot of people know this, but this is a stock crate motor, so I know we were down on power. Jeff Fultz got my car set up this week and got me ready for this third-place finish. We do not race that much, so this is awesome. I am speechless. That was outstanding.”
Tom McCann Jr. had a great night at Orange County, finishing third. (51 Sports Photo)
John Stancill Takes Over PASS National Points Lead
The PASS Super Late Model Series is split into two regions: North and South. Beyond the two divisions is a National tour, consisting of four key races throughout the year with three of the four residing in the South division.
With his win at Hickory Motor Speedway (NC) in March, Corey Williams took the early lead in the National tour, but his 17th-place finish at OCS this weekend dropped him to third in the National standings.
Consistency in the two races held so far to date has bode well for John Stancill. His third-place finish at Hickory, combined with his fourth-place finish at OCS, has vaulted the Aden, North Carolina racer to the lead in the National standings. In between Stancill and Williams sits Cassius Clark. Justin Wakefield and Perry Brown round out the top five.
The next national event will be September 21st at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Maine.