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2013 Snowball Derby: Preston Peltier raises awareness for childhood cancer

Hendrick Motorsports fabricator and Super Late Model champion Preston Peltier will be raising money for childhood cancer awareness while in Pensacola for the Snowball Derby.

Geoff Burke

The driver with the most career wins in PASS South competition will make his first trip to the Snowball Derby this weekend with the intent of winning the Tom Dawson Memorial Trophy.

The winner of the 2013 World Crown 300, Peltier will drive the Robert Hamke house car with backing from the Jeff Gordon Foundation's Kick-It for Childhood Cancer organization. The 2010 PASS National champion hopes to raise his goal of $10,000 worth of donations before and during Snowball Derby festivities.

It's a cause that has recently affected Peltier.

"Well a couple of years ago, there was local girl named Angel Thompson," Peltier told SB Nation on Monday. "She had cancer on her brain stem at just 7 or 9 years old -- I forget. Their family was local to our church and it's just a tragic deal for any kid to have cancer.

"They were having fund raisers to get money because the cost for treatment is just outrageous. So we called the family to see if we could raise awareness. I've done it with the Jeff Gordon Foundation in the past and I don't get anything out it beyond the fact that we're raising awareness for these kids.

"That's pretty darn rewarding in itself."

Peltier is a fabricator at Hendrick Motorsports and moonlights as one of the more successful Super Late Model drivers of the current era. He has 13 wins in a combined 108 PASS Series starts and branched outside of the tour this past season, scoring a win in the World Crown 300 and a seventh at the All-American 400 -- his first start in both races.

He hopes to have similar success at Five Flags Speedway this week on yet another track he hasn't laid his eyes on before.

"It's hard to predict what it will take for us to have a good finish because I don't know what to expect," Peltier said. "I have a good feel for the car. But when the trailer closes, we're going to Pensacola with the goal of winning -- not to have a good finish.

"But don't get me wrong. If we have a fifth-place car, I'll get it the best possible finish that I can. "

You can donate to the Kick-It for Cancer Foundation by visiting the website. At press time, Peltier has raised $345 of his planned $10,000 goal.