Jay Fogleman Wins Close to Home at Wake County
Jay Fogleman has found his new racing home and it’s the PASS South Series. Fogleman’s second career PASS win might be more memorable than his first because he came from the back after a poor qualifying run and he did it just a few miles from home at the Wake County Speedway (NC) in the Capital City Clash 150.
“We were just extremely lucky,” said Fogleman with a smile. “Everything went right tonight. The Lord looked after us getting through all these wrecks and all these crashes. I just can’t believe it, being this close to home with my wife and kids. Winning is nice, but there is nothing like winning close to the house.”
Fogleman came from mid pack to gain the top spot as the rest of the field played pinball with each other on the tight quarter-mile track. Even with the beating and banging, Fogleman still enjoys racing just as much as he did the first time he raced.
“I have as much fun racing today with PASS as I did the first time I ever got in the car,” said Fogleman. “I told my wife 'I promise you I’ll quit when I am not competitive. If I can still win a couple of races I am not going to quit any time soon.'”
Fogleman also praised the sponsors that supported his efforts and the other drivers that showed to race for their support of the series on such a tough track.
“I am going to run all the races in PASS this year and maybe this is where we will end our career. Its all sponsor dictated now and Speedco has been really good for us. I don’t know if any of us could do it without sponsors. All the teams that are here need to be given a hand because with out them and the time they put in and the money we wouldn’t be racing.”
Preston Peltier Angers Many During and After the Race
A fourth-place finish is a solid finish after a 150-lap Super Late Model race on a small quarter-mile oval where only six cars finished on the lead lap, but that wasn't what Preston Peltier was talking about at the end of the night. He spent the time trying to defend his on-track actions and accusations that he was a one-man wrecking ball on the track, then had to explain his side of why a crew member from another team claimed he ran over his foot, breaking it after the event.
Round One: Peltier vs. Blaney
Around the one-third mark of the race on a restart, Peltier appeared to miss a shift as Ryan Blaney got to the lead on the outside going into turn one. Going into turn three, Peltier dove low on Blaney, sending Blaney for a ride, which also collected up Ben Rowe.
"I don’t know what Preston was thinking," said Rowe. "I know everyone is mad at him, but you have got to use your head. The #10 car (Blaney) beat him on the restart. Big deal; you're going to have more. He flat ran over him in turn three and caused a big mess."
Peltier was asked after the race what happened on the track. His answers early on in the night were quite short.
"It is what it is," said Peltier. "I banged some people around (and) I got banged around."
Blaney was fairly matter-of-fact with his opinion of the situation.
"We went off in one and two and we had a good run on the high side," said Blaney. "We had Preston going into the corner and he did the same thing he did at Orange County and drove up over the side of us and knocked us out of the way. I don’t know; it’s just racing at Wake County. It’s just tight racing and this is going to happen."
A bit later, Peltier offered up a bit more on his thoughts of Blaney.
"The consensus up and down pit road from everybody was that Blaney was the firecracker out here," said Peltier. "That kid is good. He is 14 years old, and for him to handle this kind of pressure, that is good. Everybody has bad nights. This was his bad night."
Round Two: Peltier vs. Hindman
Around the two-thirds mark of the event, Peltier had a run-in with Heath Hindman. While running in the top five, contact was made, sending Peltier around in turn one. Who was to blame? It depended on which side of the coin you were on.
"We went off down there in turn one and Hindman spun me out," said Peltier. "I don't know what the deal was. He was one of the few people I didn't run into tonight. They said I turned across his nose. I didn't hear "inside" and as far as I knew everything was good. The next thing I knew is I was turned around and can't get the thing fired up and I went a lap down."
Hindman felt he had the position and it was Peltier that wrecked himself.
"I was under Preston and he chopped me off and he wrecked," said Hindman. "He thought I wrecked him. He tried to put me into the inside wall on the back straightaway once, then under caution he run into me. He run into everybody out there and wrecked half the field. He needs to be in a hobby car."
Round Three: Peltier vs. Wakefield
With just a handful of laps remaining, Peltier's next run-in was with Justin Wakefield. Peltier made contact with Wakefield, sending the #98 for a ride.
"He (Wakefield) got run over by Preston, like normal," said Jeff Fultz. "You have the same normal people running over people."
Even though Wakefield didn't address the situation with Peltier, an apology did come from the driver of the #26 for the incident.
"I have to apologize to the #98 (Wakefield)," explained Peltier. "I flat out run him over. I make mistakes like that and I think everyone out here did tonight."
Round Four: Peltier vs. the Foot
When the checkered flag flew, tempers were still high in the pit area. As Peltier drove off the race track and down pit road, he had a run-in with Dustin Golden, a crew member for Heath Hindman's team. Golden claims Peltier ran his foot over - breaking it.
"The #26 of Preston Peltier looked like he wrecked two or three cars out there," said Golden. "Going down into turn one, Heath got a run on him. We had the position and he (Peltier) came down and cut him (Hindman) off and spins us both. Under caution he was banging Heath in the door and pointing at him thinking that we wrecked him when he clearly wrecked us.
"After the race, I was standing in the middle of pit road and threw my hands up. He (Peltier) swerved at me and run over my foot. I guess they are saying it is broke. Then it escalated from there. He could have killed me if it would have knocked me down and he run over me or at least seriously hurt. It mad me mad. It is ridiculous that he runs over everyone on the track, then runs over a pedestrian in the pits."
The blame flipped the other direction, according to Peltier.
"We get down here on pit road and as soon as I pull up, that idiot (Golden) kicks the damn right front tire like he is going to do something to it," said Peltier. "That is what hurt his foot. Then he started to come around the car to me and I revved the thing up and lurched forward to let him know to stay right where he was at. Then he proceeded to rip the fender off and dent the whole inside of the car. He wasn't strong enough to rip the roof off. He tried to do that, but it is still intact, and that is a good thing. ARP Bodies are pretty strong."
Round Five: Peltier vs. Jeff Fultz
Some time after the event, Preston Peltier was seen attempting to discuss some issues with Jeff Fultz, but it wasn't about the race that just concluded, rather it was about the first race of the 2009 PASS South Season at Dillon Motor Speedway (SC). Fultz didn't want to have anything to do with the conversation, which ended abruptly before anything could get completely solved.
"We had issues at Dillon," said Peltier. "He (Fultz) is saying I ran him over. I never put a fender to him down there, and he swears by it. I have seen video of it and I know exactly what happened. These guys at Pro Photo Productions do a good job. It is clear as day what happened there. I have even had fans come to me and say he flat took me out and it is uncalled for. Well, whatever issues he has with me I want to put it behind. He said it is behind, but he doesn't want to talk right now, which is understandable. Everybody is tense and frustrated right now."
Final Round: Peltier vs. the Rest
After all the contact and all the verbal jabs flying back and forth, some would just think Preston Peltier would pack it in and race elsewhere, but that isn't his style. He will continue to race in the PASS South Series, and doesn't seem too awful bothered by being the "bad boy" of the series.
"I have always been an outsider and I will always be an outsider," said Peltier. "I don't have the money that half of these guys have. We race on a fraction of the budget of most of these other guys do. You can see we do not practice a whole lot and we are always fast. I know what I am doing with these cars. I am not saying I don't make mistakes because I clearly made some mistakes tonight, but I don't think there is anyone out there that didn't make a mistake."
While Speed51.com conducted interviews with Peltier, multiple groups of fans stopped by and gave Peltier congratulations on his run, thanking him for the show he put on. So, while the drivers might be upset with him, the fans backed his style of racing.
"It is a quarter mile, and that is what you get," explained Peltier. "Ultimately we are here for the fans, and I think we put on a good show."
Blaney Creating Supporters and Haters Early in his Super Late Model Career
Preston Peltier might have been one of the more aggressive racers on the track at Wake County Speedway Friday, but Ryan Blaney was equally on the end of harsh tongue-lashings from drivers after the race. Blaney had multiple run-ins with other drivers, which caused more than a few tempers to flare.
Devin Jones was running well in the event after a strong showing in practice and qualifying, but after contact with Blaney, Jones was driving frustrated, ended up caving in the nose of his car, ending his day. He was less than pleased with Blaney's on-track actions.
"Going into the main, I was very happy with the car and our whole team was ready for the 150-lap race," said Jones. "We redrew third, which was good. For the first 30 laps or so we were running in the top three, and at one time, getting close to the leader. When Ryan Blaney tried to turn me coming off of turn four, it did not work. Then he doored me and he got by. What goes around comes around. I've got nothing to lose. I'm not in the points."
Probably the most upset at Blaney was Jeff Fultz, who went for a trip into the wall after contact.
Immediately after the race, Fultz was nowhere to be found as he had to go to his rig to calm down. A few hours after the race, he was still not thrilled about the situation.
"We are having issues with kids right now," said Fultz. "Devin (Jones) did a good job. I think he knocked the front end and overheated. But this is two weeks in a row that Ryan (Blaney) has gotten into me and I am done getting run into. Last week at Orange County, I let it go because he is a talented little kid and his Dad is real talented and they are both good friends of mine. Here, Ryan ran up the bottom and doored me in three and four and knocked me up the race track. If I hit someone, I let them back in. That is just the way we race. He doesn't race that way yet, but he will learn it at Jacksonville. I will make sure he learns it real quick.
"My owner and I race to race and have fun, but at the same time, I am not going to get run into. I now have to put a clip on my race car, so I can promise you they will have to put clips on their cars. That is just the way it is going to be. He is going to succeed more than I will and I think he is one good racecar driver, but I saw him run into four people on the race track and finally cut his right front down. I hate it for him, but we work hard on our cars. I didn’t have a mark on my car, and the left side has been caved in two weeks in a row by a young kid."
After Fultz hit the wall, he was making his way back to pit road when it appeared he was going to try and retaliate on the track, but couldn't. After he got out of his car, he walked to Blaney's pit area to give the crew a piece of his mind before walking back to his pit area.
So, what was Blaney's opinion of the situation?
"He (Fultz) twice tried to wreck me," said Blaney. "He ran me into the wall on the backstretch. I don’t know. People said he had his wheel turning left trying to hit me and spin me into the wall.
"We had a really good car. Because I am just 14, I feel like people can just boss us around and try to hit us out of the way. That’s going to happen when you’re just starting out."
Rowe Extends Points Lead after Second-Place Finish
Ben Rowe is having one heck of a start to the 2009 PASS South season. Four starts have resulted in two wins and two second-place finishes, leaving him as the early season points leader.
Rowe had to come back from a minor scuffle at Wake County to finish in the runner-up spot. Rowe actually went up and over the side of Preston Peltier’s car early in the race while battling in the top five.
“We went up in the air, got all stove up and went back to eighth or ninth. We just never stopped battling,” said Rowe. Nothing was rubbing and I didn’t feel like I had a tire going down, so we stayed out. We didn’t want to lose all the track position. It’s so tough to pass here, it took us forever to get back to the front and to get back to Jay, and I just had to use too much up to get to Jay."
Rowe would get back to second with plenty of time to chase down Fogleman for the top spot. He wasn’t about to take any shots at him though.
“I am not going to knock Jay Fogleman out of the way. I am not going to knock anyone out of the way. We're here to race. If I had a better car, I would have gone around him or beat him to the front. Tonight he beat me to the front, so he deserves to win.”
Rowe is looking to become the first driver to win both PASS North and South titles. The four-time North Champion has already set the bar so far early on in 2009.
“We can’t win them all,” joked Rowe. “Two wins and two seconds in the south is pretty stout. We’re looking forward to it and we’ll be back at Coastal Plains.”
Wakefield Quietly Steals Top-Three Finish
Even though he did go for a ride off the bumper of Preston Peltier, Justin Wakefield didn't even care about that contact at the end of the race. His third-place finish was just what he needed after a string of horrible finishes over the last few events in the PASS South Series.
After leading late in the race, Wakefield faded due to a mechanical issue, but was able to snag third.
"I just got a good jump on the outside of Fogleman there (and got the lead)," said Wakefield. "I thought we were going to be able to get away from them. I think we did there for a little bit.
"We started to have some battery issues. It started skipping there, so I cut all my switches off and the motor started coming back to me a little bit. I think we got away with one tonight. We were real close to having another unlucky finish, but I am pleased to be on the podium again and we will just get them next week."
Cassius Clark Has Crazy Night at Wake County
In our Trackside Now coverage, we told the readers that Cassius Clark was racing on the same day that his primary sponsor Coca-Cola was invented. We also went on to say that Sprint Cup Driver Kyle Busch won on his birthday a few weeks back. Apparently Busch used up all the birthday luck because Clark had a horrible night and didn’t even finish the race.
“Every time we would have a caution we would get jacked up from someone in the back and most of the time it was body damage,” said Clark. “We were trying to get things worked out, but the car was just so bad after getting messed up so much. We were running last and we stopped to avoid a wreck and I got run over from behind.”
Clark made countless pit stops, double digits by our count, and was really looking to salvage a finish out of the mess. After being involved in a caution for what seemed like the 12th time for Clark, they decided to park it for the night.
“Stupid stuff like that just doesn’t need to happen,” added Clark. “I don’t mind the track. They just had too many cars out here and too many guys who didn’t know what they were doing.”
Fogleman Tries Out Maine and its Vacationland Aspects
Jay Fogleman has taken to PASS racing so well that he went north to race in the most recent PASS North event at the Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME). He didn’t race a Super Late Model, but instead drove a PASS Modified at “The Ridge.” Perhaps the most memorable part of the trip was the sight-seeing tour he did the next day in the Pine Tree State.
“First time I had ever been to Maine and I really enjoyed that,” said Fogleman. “That’s beautiful country up there. We stayed over Sunday and drove all over the state on our way to Mount Washington. I liked it so much, I am taking my wife and kids back up there in about a month. We are going to stay a few more days this time.”
Fogleman also said he would like to race more events in the North, including some Super Late Model shows. One track he really wants to race is White Mountain Motorsports Park.
Grant Davidson Wins His Third Straight PASS Truck Race
The truck division has four races in the books. One driver, Grant Davidson, has really been putting the screws to the competition this year. After starting near the front thanks to the redraw, Davidson rocketed away to score his third-straight win.
“It was great,” said Davidson. “We usually unload fast everywhere we go and today it was terrible. My brother and I worked on it all day and we got it to turn a little too good. It was a little loose in the race. We got it fast and we got it out front. I just checked out from them after that.”
Clint King won the pole and finished second, which was a million times better than the first race of the season at Dillon where he was getting lapped after 20 laps.
“We have come along way since Dillon,” said King. “That was a real learning experience for us. Even coming off the Pro Challenge title, as a team we had to go back to square one to get things right. We qualified on the pole, had a real good lap and the truck was real good all night long. It just got a little free there on the long run.
"It’s good racing with these guys. They are the best truck drivers on the East Coast. I have just been having a whole lot of fun.”