One might think Preston Peltier, 2010 Pro All Star Series National and Southern Champion, has something to prove in this weekend’s “The Race” at North Wilkesboro Speedway (NC), but Peltier disagrees.
“I used to feel like in the past that we had something to prove,” said Peltier. “These days I don’t think I have to prove so much.”
Although Peltier doesn’t feel like he has to defend his title or his turf, that doesn’t mean he wants to win “The Race” any less. The team has been hard at work preparing for the April 9 event for weeks.
“The only thing we didn’t get to do was test, due to weather,” he said about what he and the Johnson Motorsports team have been doing. “Everything else that you can think of, we’ve done, right down to buying new wheels.”
With big money on the line, the No. 26 team has gone over the car with a fine-toothed comb to eliminate any problems within their control.
“Anything that can go wrong we’ve tried to eliminate. The only thing that can bite us now is either ourselves or a part breaking and I really don’t think that’s going to happen.”
Even though the purse is well over the regular sum, $100,000 for PASS Series regulars like Peltier, he isn’t going to let the pressure get to him. The money may be an added incentive, but that doesn’t mean he’ll drive his No. 26 Super Late Model any differently.
“You have to be really careful when you’re trying to work on somebody (at North Wilkesboro). If they’re trying to block you, it’s one thing, but if they’re running the bottom and staying on the bottom and giving you the outside, then I don’t think it’s right to just knock them out of the way.
“I think that you need to go around them on the outside,” Peltier continued. “I think if everybody thinks about past races they’d realize that’s how I am. I’m not about to change now, not for $100,000.”
Peltier’s past success and sometimes less-than-gentlemanly behavior on the track has given rise to a reputation that could work to his advantage this weekend.
“It’s kind of like Earnhardt,” he said. “If there’s someone behind you and you know that he tends to lay back and get it done at the end of the race, then yeah, I’d like to think they’d be a little intimidated of me.”
With the starting lineup swelling to potentially 40 cars or more, Peltier will have his work cut out for him. As the laps wind down Saturday, he will no doubt make his charge to the front.
“I’m confident in what I would do, but I’m not too confident in what everybody else is going to do. People can do some crazy things, especially when that kind of money is on the line.”