NASCAR & Auto Racing

Peltier, Church and Timm are fierce competitors on the track, but family off it

Preston Peltier, Tyler Church and Cole Timm assisted each other throughout the 2014 Pro All Stars Series South Super Late Model season.

But when it came to the championship, Church and Timm fiercely battled for the title.

A PASS South and national Super Late Model champion, Peltier helped the two young drivers due to “their background and their talent.” So the full-time Hendrick Motorsports employee precluded himself from bonus points in the PASS South Series and didn’t register as a PASS driver in 2014.

“I really wanted them to go at it for the championship,” the 37-year-old Concord resident said. “I didn’t want to tempt myself with the possibility of winning it again, so I just took myself out of the equation and let those guys battle for it. You’ve got to help people out sometimes.”

Church eventually emerged as the 2014 PASS South Super Late Model champion, but not before he and Timm traded the point lead during the season finale due to broken axles on their respective cars. Peltier didn’t compete in the event because he was preparing for the Snowball Derby. However, he and friend Ryan Turner attended the event at Southern National Motorsports Park near Kenly to assist Church and his father.

“If it hadn’t been for them (Peltier and Turner) working as hard as they did, I don’t know if we would have won it,” says the 26-year-old Church, a Hickory native and Hendrick Motorsports employee.

Peltier described Church and the 15-year-old Timm of Mooresville as “very talented drivers.”

“They’re kind of in the same boat I am,” Peltier said. “They don’t have a ton of money, so that’s really what attracted me to them. They have the ability, and they just need a break. I help them as much as I can. Everybody knows I don’t help just anybody.”

Church considers Timm, whose father works at Hendrick Motorsports, a teammate and said it’s Peltier who got him involved in super late model racing.

“Preston is the first person to give me a shot at driving a good car and put me in some good equipment,” Church said. “The first time I got in his car we tested at Concord Motor Speedway (in 2012). I had never made a lap there. I was just as fast as he was. He took a gamble with us, but he believed in me. He’s about the only one that’s given me a shot at anything.”

Peltier admitted that watching his prodigies battle for the series championship was “kind of exciting and bittersweet because I knew one of them was going to win and one was not.”

“It was good to be a part of it, but somebody had to lose,” Peltier continued. “When Cole did lose it, I told him he’s a whole lot younger than Tyler; he’s very talented and that definitely won’t be the last. He’s going to be right there, win multiple championships and races and not to worry about it. It’s just the way that it goes.”

Even though Peltier assists the young men with their cars’ setups, it’s certainly not all one way.

“When we are at the track the three of us actually work together,” Peltier said. “If someone is struggling with something, we do the best we can to help them find out what the issue is and remedy it. We all work together well. We all park together and we work on each other’s cars. At South Boston I bumped the wall in practice and both of those guys and their teams were over there helping me get my car back together. I went out there and won that race that night.”

Peltier said the relationship he has with Church, Timm and their teams reminds him of the family atmosphere that existed in his karting days.

“When I went to stock cars it never felt that way; it was you against the world,” Peltier said. “When those guys came along that’s the first time it’s felt like family again. There’s no tension. We can talk among ourselves. We’re fierce competitors on the race track, but we’re friends and we’re family.”

Cindric to make history in Australia

Mooresville resident Austin Cindric will make history next month when he becomes the youngest driver to compete in the Feb. 8 Bathurst 12 Hour in Australia.

The 16-year-old son of Penske Racing President Tim Cindric will drive for Erebus Motorsport, which will field a two-car team. The younger Cindric will join Australian Formula 3 drivers Simon Hodge and Nathan Morcom in the No. 63 SLS AMG GT3 in the amateur class.

Last year, Cindric raced at 17 tracks across five series in the United States and Canada.

Kimmel joins Venturini

Ten-time ARCA champion Frank Kimmel will drive for Concord-based Venturini Motorsports in 10 ARCA races this year. Development driver Brandon Jones will compete in the other 10 events.

They will drive the No. 25, which is considered the Venturini Motorsports’ flagship car. Jamie Jones will be the crew chief. Ansell Protective Products and Menards have moved their sponsorship to the team.

Carolina Speedway season tickets on sale

Carolina Speedway is offering four plans this year to season ticket buyers. Anyone purchasing a season package by Jan. 31 will have a chance to win a 10-ticket package.

Five grandstand tickets for $49 and 10 tickets for $94 are only for the weekly events. The $249 season pass is for all of the weekly events and the Skyler Trull Memorial. It does not include special events such as the Shrine 100, Fall Sprint Race and King of the Carolinas.

A season pit pass for $499 covers the same events as the season grandstand pass.

Carolina Speedway’s 2015 season begins March 6 with the Skyler Trull Memorial.

Powell signs with Team BCR

Cole Powell has signed with Mooresville-based Team BCR Racing and Development Team to drive the No. 88 Ford Fusion in the ARCA season opener at Daytona International Speedway. The Lucas Oil 200 is scheduled for Feb. 14.