PHOTO: Preston Peltier, the guy carrying the jack, has no one to blame for his PASS wreck at Thompson but himself. (Justin St. Louis/VMM photo)

-by Justin St. Louis
VMM Editor

This is the week where driver rosters and extra pens come in handy at VMM. Between the three of us monkeys running the show here, we’ll take in three major touring series, a big race full of last-minute entries, and a total of about, oh, 600 different racers from all over the country.

It’ll be fun, but we’ll have to keep copious notes. And a few maps.

God help you if you get lost in Connecticut. The scenery is beautiful, sure, but good luck a.) surviving, and b.) finding your way out alive.

There’s not a single route that makes sense in this state, major Interstate highways aside.

Turn left at Lake Road? I’d love to. Now, where is it?


The TD Bank 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway is just… just… It’s just so freaking cool. You have to go.


I had a whole ‘nother column written for yesterday, but there wasn’t any Internet service in the press box at Thompson Int’l Speedway last night. That’s fine, because it gave me a reason to share this opinion here:

I’ve only seen him race once, and I only met for the first time on Thursday, but after the five minutes we spent together talking and the hour that I watched him drive around Thompson, I know this: Preston Peltier just doesn’t get it.

For a guy who wins a lot of races down south, and for a guy that is the reigning National Champion of the Pro All Stars Series, Peltier has a lot to learn about not only using his head on the race track, he’s got a lot to learn about taking responsibility for what he does.

Peltier cleaned out polesitter Scott Chubbuck and almost half of the field IN THE FIRST CORNER of the 100-lap race, then walled himself and Johnny Clark while racing for the lead inside 20 laps to go.

Peltier’s response to the question, “On the very first corner, what happened there?”: “I don’t know, he just stopped. I got into the back of him.”

Peltier’s response to the question, “What happened for the lead with the 54?”: “My spotter said, ‘Clear,’ and apparently we weren’t clear by about three feet. I don’t know.”

Peltier’s response to the question, “Isn’t that something you’ve got to wear?”: “I don’t have to wear it, I’m not the spotter.”

Peltier’s response to the statement, “But you are the driver.”: “I can’t see, so all I can do is what they tell me to do. It’s about time to get a new spotter.”

If Preston Peltier can only make decisions based on what his spotter is telling him — especially at a track as fast and dangerous as Thompson — then he needs to move back to a hobby stock class somewhere back home in the Carolinas. Peltier’s been racing long enough at the top levels of short track racing that you’d assume he knew how big his car was, or at the very least, where the brake pedal is.

Scott Chubbuck didn’t “stop”. He was running at about 3/4-speed — like everyone else — because the race had just started 100 yards earlier. Chubbuck slowed — like everyone else but Preston Peltier — and turned into the first corner. Peltier plowed him and took out a bunch of good cars.

And after the race Peltier had with Johnny Clark lap after lap after lap (to Peltier’s credit, it was a good, clean battle) he should have known, whether his spotter said so or not, that he didn’t blow past Clark like Clark was tied to a stump. He should have held his line — partly because it’s the sportsmanlike thing to do, and partly because there is no need whatsoever to turn right in the middle of a straightaway — and waited until the corner to “clear” himself of Clark.

Peltier clearly had the fastest car at Thompson and should have won the race. Instead he wrecked his car and others, and put the blame on everyone’s shoulders but his own. When John Donahue screwed up at Thunder Road last week, he was the first to admit it and apologize. And you know what? Karma came around last night in the form of a win for Donahue. Preston Peltier could stand to take a page or two out of Donahue’s book.

Suffice it to say I’m not impressed.


If Ricky Rolfe wins the TD Bank 250 at Oxford on Sunday, he better get some sort of awesome new nickname.

It takes someone who’s a special kind of bad-ass to race while undergoing chemotherapy for colon cancer, beat that cancer and come back to win races, and then to have a legitimate chance to win the biggest race of the year, all within 12 months’ time.

Should he win, I suggest the following ten nicknames:

–Superman (the obvious one)
–Kryptonite (the powerfully dark and mysterious side of the same story)
–The Remissionator
–The Benign Bomber
–The Albany Ablation
–The Radiator
–The Rick Factor (“risk factor” is a cancer term used by doctors)
–Ricky Recovery
–Ricky “Special Kind Of Bad-Ass” Rolfe
–Ricky “We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Chemo” Rolfe

All joking aside, it’s an inspiring story and it adds one more special dimension to the Oxford 250. Rolfe is the type of guy that he’ll be the last person to bring up the cancer in conversation, but he deserves an “attaboy” for what he’s been through and continues to excel at.


As cool as it would be to see Eddie MacDonald take his third-straight Oxford 250 win and make his bit of history, I’ve got two words for you: Kyle. Busch.


Finally, a quick shout-out. I said I’d do it, and all I have is my word. Tony, the truck driver from South Burlington, you are the man. Thanks for reading, buddy, we’ll see you at the races.