Drivers from as far away as Texas traveled to Concord Motorsports Park (NC) this past weekend to enter the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Mobil1 Hutch BSR Pro Late Model 100 for one simple reason - the purse. The winner of the event received a cool $5,000 prize. With that attraction also came a very competitive starting field.
At Concord Motorsports Park, Preston Peltier has been on top of his game all season as he entered this weekend's event with five wins in his five starts there this year. Naturally, many assumed that Preston would be the one to beat; however, the only person Preston needed to worry about was himself as mechanical troubles took him out of contention early and allowed Colt James to snag the victory.
Peltier held a dominating lead until lap 65, when he experienced a mechanical failure that caused his car to climb the turn two wall before coming to rest.
“We've been good out here all year,” recalled Peltier. “But I guess you just can't account for stuff like this happening. We were going good and then through the dogleg, it let go. Not quite sure what happened yet exactly but it's just disappointing how things happen like that when you have such a good car.”
As Peltier was forced to give up the top spot, Texan Colt James was waiting ready to assume the position. James held off many challenges by late model veteran Jeff Fultz to carry his #15 all the way to victory lane at the end of the night for his first ever win at Concord Motorsports Park.
“Well, when the 26 [Peltier] fell out there we knew we had a shot at it,” explained James. “So we just kept digging and running our line. The outside seemed faster on the restarts so that was working for us and then we had Fultz behind us and I think we were just handling better than he was. But we kept them behind us to bring home the win, we've never won here before so this is really great and the $5,000 doesn't hurt either.”
Unfortunately, the winnings were not adjusted through the field and the runner up finisher received the same amount handed down for the typical Pro Late Model shows. One might think that that might invoke a “win it or spin it” attitude into the rest of the field but that was not the case as the event was relatively calm with very few cautions.
Second-place finisher, Jeff Fultz came out looking forward to taking home the winner's prize but also knew that the runner up pay-out wouldn't pay for a wrecked racecar.
“We could've gone up through there and been really aggressive but doing that probably wouldn't have done much for our finish and also probably wouldn't have gotten us the $5,000. So, I was just racing hard and we just couldn't get it hooked up like he was. We didn't come out here for second but the car's still all in one piece so that's good.”
Concord Motorsports Park's regular Pro Late Model division will be back in action September 12th with the NASCAR Whelen All American Series. In the meantime, both the ASA Late Models and the USARacing Pro Cup Series will visit the track in coming weeks.