Veteran Query Nearly Flies Out Of Concord Track by J. Troiano & M. Dillner
Peltier qualified second but started the race in fifth due to the mandatory six-car inversion used by Concord. So in turn, Peltier used consistency, a little good luck and attrition following a very serious and scary accident to capture the win.
“I hate to get a win this way because we've been competitive and running up front all year long,” said Peltier. “We've had fast cars at the beginning of the race and at the end of the race. But we'll take them how we can get them. Our whole mindset from the start of the race was take it easy. I am not that kind of driver and think I can win the race in the first couple of laps.
Hendrick Motorports employee Preston Peltier has only been behind the wheel of a Super Late Model for eight races, but has already found Victory Lane. Peltier captured his first career Big 10 Series Super Late Model victory on Saturday night at Concord Motorsport Park and was one of only two cars to finish on the lead lap when the checkers flew.
“I started racing in these type of cars for a race or two last year after racing in shifter karts all my life. This is probably about the sixth or seventh race. That is all the time I have in these cars.”
Peltier was one of only four cars in the field of 12 that finished the race after a scary start to the event that saw one of the wildest Super Late Model crashes in years.
Veteran driver and Big 10 dominator and points leader Freddie Query was working his way through the field from his sixth-place starting spot (which came as a result of Freddie being the fastest qualifier and starting sixth because of the invert) and was up to third when he got together with fellow veteran Big 10 campaigner Dennis Schoenfeld.
Schoenfeld got loose coming through the ultra-fast dogleg and slipped up the track just as Query was passing to the outside. The resulting contact between the two cars sent Query's famed #8 airborne, over the backstretch rataining
wall and into the outside fence, which wasn't catch fencing but rather just regular, 10 foot tall fencing that is used by the track to hold up banners and track advertising.
Query's car did a series of mid-air spins, tearing down the fencing along the way, reminiscent of Bobby Allison's Cup crash at Talladega years ago. Thankfully, the fencing kept Query's car from completely leaving the track.
Freddie Query's car was destroyed in a dramatic and scary looking accident.
As Query's car came back to earth and the track surface, he clipped the car of second-place points man Jimmy Simpson, who slammed the outside wall and then was hit nearly full speed by the car of Ted Musgrave Jr.
When all of the cars came to a stop, Query's car sat battered in the middle of the track, with Simpson's and Musgrave's cars on fire against the inside wall. The minor fire was quickly put out by track officials and all three drivers climbed out of their cars under their own power.
“I don't know what happened,” said Query after the wild accident. “It was a long wreck. I just kept on wrecking. I wasn't hitting anything too hard but I just kept hitting a lot
of stuff. I didn't know where I was. I figured I was over the wall then I realized I was tangled in the fence. Once I slowed down I realized where I was and what was happening.
“The race car is tore up and I don't know if it can be fixed. It is just a mess.”
Preston Peltier won his first career Big 10 Series event. (51 Photos)
Query (far left) surveys the damage to the catch fence and looks for parts of his car following his wild ride.
“I was coming out of the dogleg and I saw what looked like a car that was flying out of the race track,” said Musgrave, son of Craftsman Truck Series driver Ted Musgrave. “I didn't know who it was or what was going on, but I tired to go low to miss the disaster and with all of the debris, oil, fencing and stuff that was on the track, I just didn't have a chance to slow down and I hit (Jimmy) Simpson pretty hard. I'm glad he is ok and I'm alright, so I guess that is good. The car is hurt pretty bad though.
“It was pretty bad. I just saw a car flying straight up in the air. I saw the #8 on Freddie's roof. I could read the number. That is pretty big. I saw fencing and everything flying. You are running so fast through the dogleg here, you are not just going to stop so we didn't have much of a chance to miss it.”
“We were just going and racing,” said Simpson, who has just one car, which was really destroyed in the wreck. “Freddie got by and we were just going to follow him. There was a guy in front of us holding us all up. We went down into the dogleg, the #43 car (Schoenfeld) jerked sideways and shot back up and knocked Query up in the air and on the wall. Query hit me in the rear quarter panel when he was coming back down and the #72 (Musgrave) ran into the front of us. We were just pretty well into a bad spot.
Ted Musgrave's car is towed off with significant damage following the wreck.
“That is definitely the worse crash I've ever been in. I saw Freddie out of my right window. I almost was completely under him.”
The crash resulted in a very long red flag period while they got all of the battered machinery off of the track, as well as much of the fence that was torn down in the accident. Several other cars received minor damage in the wreck, which latter forced several cars out of the event.
Query was quick to point fingers at the invert as the cause of the accident.
“It is a perfect example of what happens when you put people in the front that don't need to be in the front,” said Query. “This inverting six cars is dumb. They've done it three times now and two times it has cost me a race car. I don't know what happened. I think maybe Eddie Massengill started it being three laps down up there in the front. You just have a couple of cars that don't belong up there and they think they are going to win the race and there is a big wreck.”
Schoenfeld counted Query's comments and said it was just a racing deal.
"This is what happens when you invert" said Jimmy Simpson of his wrecked racecar.
“I don't think the invert matters,” said Schoenfeld. “Somedays you are going to be happy with rules changes and some days you are not. You can change things and someone will always be pissed off about it. It is just part of racing.
“Our car was really loose. I thought I was going to lose it out of the dogleg. I got out of the gas and got run over. This place is so fast, sh** happens in a hurry.”
Schoenfeld returned to action after the wreck, but eventually fell out with damage caused in the wreck.
Kevin Stimberis finished second, the only other car on the lead lap. Massengill, who missed the start of the race while sitting on pit road fixing a mechanical problem, finished several laps down in third spot.
The wreck knocked a hole in the fence and ripped the fencing from their posts nearly all the way down the backstretch.