Spokane, WA - Preston Peltier made the trip from Brighten, CO worth the effort, as he scored another marque victory to add to his trophy case. Peltier took the lead for the final time on a lap 56 restart. He was never headed again, to take home $10,000 in the 53rd Annual Bonney’s Tracker Trailers Apple Cup 125”. The ninth season opener for the Northwest Super Late Model Series (NWSLMS) was a tail of two halves, but the Super Late Model star was up to the challenge, scoring a 2.823 second victory over 2019 NWSLMS champion Trevor Cristiani.
Mike Longton drew first blood setting the AFCO / Longacre Racing Fast Time Award over the 23-car field. Dylan Caldwell qualified fifth, but drew the Pole Position when the top-eight redrew for position. Haeden Plybon would line up alongside Caldwell but would jump to the lead upon the Troy Blanton Green Flag. The Red would come out on lap 10, as Caldwell began to fall back with fluid leaking from his #40 Super Late Model. Tyler Brown spun in the fluid in Turn 1, with BJ Tidrick unable to miss the spinning #8, suffering the most damage.
After the Red, Peltier battled to the lead, as Plybon began to fall back with another fluid leak, which resulted in an incident involving Scott Walker, Brown and Nick Gibson on Lap 13. Plybon proceeded to the pits as another lengthy Red was required for the clean-up. The drivers involved in the spin were given their positions back for the restart. As the field restarted, Christopher Kalsch spun for another Yellow on Lap 17, to bring out another caution, as Peltier now led Fast Timer Mike Longton, Cristiani, Randy Marshall Jr. and Scott Walker.
Another caution came out on the restart, as Jason O’Neil found himself hard into the Turn 3 tire barrier, with significant damage. The caution negated a pass for the lead by Longton, but the ensuing restart found Longton repeating the move and securing the top spot. That lead was not long lived however, as Peltier and Cristiani both raced under a fading Longton on lap 29. Randy Marshall Jr. and Trenton Moriarity followed a few laps later, as Longton dropped to fifth.
In the meantime, Cristiani had moved to the back bumper of Peltier, making his move for the lead on lap 41. Cristiani would lead the same top-five duo to the caution on lap 56, as Scott Walker began experiencing suspension problems, pitting from 10th.
The restart proved to be the pivotal moment of the event, as Peltier powered by Cristiani for the lead. The battle for the top-five, behind the lead duo, began to heat up as the field approached the scheduled lap 75 break. Kaiden Anderson began to flex his muscle moving his crate engine powered #37 to third, with Marshall Jr. holding on to fourth as Nick Gibson planted himself in the top-five. Cristiani had closed on Peltier on the long run but ran out of time at the break of the rough first portion of the event.
Coming out of the break, Peltier was able to jump out to a short lead over Cristiani, as Marshall and Longton were able to get back by Anderson, with their two fresh tires. The field ran green until lap 100, when Kalsch spun again for a caution. Cristiani had once again taken advantage of the 25-lap run to close on Peltier, but the restart would doom Cristiani’s opportunity for the win.
As the green waved, Cristiani got a poor restart, allowing Longton to use the outside groove to move by the former leader for second. Cristiani was able to get back by the former Apple Cup winner, but by that time, Peltier was gone as he led to the lap 127 checkered and the rich victory, in the clean second portion. Cristiani finished a strong second with the “Moxee Missile”, Longton third. Randy Marshall Jr. brought home his ride fourth with Moriarity rounding out the top-five. The second five consisted of Kaiden Anderson, Nick Gibson, Jim Franklin, Andy Beaman and Dan Nelson.
The next event for the Northwest Super Late Model Series will be at the Wenatchee Valley Super-Oval for the “Leonard Evans Memorial 150”, on May 1st. It is one of the most popular events on the schedule, with 26 cars attending in 2021. Haeden Plybon will look to rebound from his 12th-place finish and repeat his win from the 2021 event.
Apple Cup 125 Results:
1. Preston Peltier, 2. Trevor Cristiani, 3. Mike Longton, 4. Randy Marshall Jr., 5. Trenton Moriarity, 6. Kaiden Anderson, 7. Nick Gibson, 8. Jim Franklin, 9. Andy Beaman, 10. Dan Nelson, 11. Braeden Havens, 12. Haeden Plybon, 13. Christopher Kalsch, 14. Ken Bonney, 15. Todd Connell, 16. Max Schroeder, 17. Dave Garber, 18. Scott Walker, 19. Tyler Brown, 20. Ed Vecchiarelli, 21. BJ Tidrick, 22. Jason O’Neil, 23. Dylan Caldwell.
ABOUT THE NORTHWEST SUPER LATE MODEL SERIES
The Northwest Super Late Model Series is the premier regional touring Super Late Model series in the Northwest. The series has many valued partners including Hoosier Racing Tire, McGunegill Engine Performance, AR Bodies, Leonard Evans Used Car Superstore, Racing Dynamiks, Joes Racing Products, Penske Racing Shocks, Five Star Bodies, AFCO/Longacre Racing Products, RaceCals, Wheel Chill, Atomic Screen Printing and Embroidery, Franks Racing Radio, BLP, Jefferson Racing, American Racer, Gibson Diesel Performance, and The Ti Company. For more information on the series visit www.nwslms.com or on Facebook and Twitter.