There are plenty of terms for a race car driver’s driving style and 2010 Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Champion Preston Peltier fits the definition of charger to a “T”. He’s a hard nosed racer that expects to win every time he takes the green, and sometimes his drive to win has left more than one angry driver in his wake.
In 2010 Pettier raced as hard as ever, but on those nights that he didn’t have the fastest car he took what the race gave him. His team didn’t have an unlimited budget, and they needed to bring the 26 home in one piece at the end of the night, win or lose.
That attitude and approach served them well. Peltier scored three wins and accumulated nine top tens in thirteen starts, a record that translated to a hard earned PASS South championship for Peltier and his Johnson Motorsports team.
Peltier trailed Ryan Blaney by four points when the traveling super late model stars headed to the season finale at Newport Speedway. The racing gods frowned on Blaney and smiled on Peltier at the Mason-Dixon Meltdown. Blaney suffered a flat tire under green and could only muster a sixteenth place finish while Peltier raced home in fourth to beat Blaney to the crown by twenty points.
Despite having to settle for second in the championship chase, Blaney had a stellar season by anyone’s standards. He got his year off to a strong start with his first PASS South win at the season opener at Dillon Motor Speedway and followed up with victories at Greenville-Pickens and Newport. The 2009 PASS South Rookie of the Year landed in the top five seven times and nine times he was in the top ten.
Third place points man and 2010 PASS South Rookie of the Year Andy Loden was the third member of the three win club, earning his during a mid season tear that saw the three time Hickory Motor Speedway track champion in victory lane at Concord, Ace and Orange County, all in a row. Loden came within a whisker of setting a consecutive series win record, finishing second to Blaney at Greenville-Pickens.
Jay Fogleman didn’t score a win in 2010 but a consistent season gave him fourth in the standings. Fogleman’s best result was a second at Hickory in April and he earned nine top tens in his thirteen starts. Texas Trey Mitchell missed one start and still managed to finish fifth in the standings Consistency was also the key for sixth place points man Heath Hindman, with five top tens and a fifth at Wake County topping his results.
How do you score two wins, enter all the races and finish seventh in the final PASS South standings? Ask Justin Wakefield. The PASS regular had a roller coaster season to put it mildly. His team visited victory lane at Wake County Speedway and capped their season with a big win in the Mason-Dixon Meltdown, but in between they suffered more problems than any one race team deserves. Eighteenth at Dillon put the team in a hole from the get go, but a 23rd at Hickory in the Easter Bunny, 21st at Orange County really put them deep in the standings. Better results followed, and his team never gave up. In reality, seventh in the points is a testament to this team’s dedication and their win at the season finale will help carry them to a better 2011 start.
John Batten finished eighth in the points with a best result of seventh at Dillon and Hickory, and Vermonter Steve Legendre drove his Shark Racing Development Ford to one top five and four top tens for ninth. Jimmy Weller scored at South Boston Speedway and added two more top fives and four top tens to his 2010 tally to complete the top ten.
The PASS South top ten is an elite group that successfully took on the best super late model racers in the east. 104 drivers attempted to qualify for one or more PASS South events in 2010 and you can bet that that the 2011 schedule will draw even more teams to the fold.
PASS South will kick off their 2011 campaign at Anderson (SC) Motor Speedway on Saturday March 12th, 2011. THE RACE at Historic North Wilkesboro will pay the winner a minimum of $75,000.00 on April 9 2011.
The complete 2011 PASS South schedule is on line now at www.proallstarsseries.com .