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Landon Cling hangs on for PASS South win Saturday night

Landon Cling made his first-ever PASS (Pro All-Star Series) South Super Late Model race at South Boston Speedway a memorable one, holding off veteran drivers Preston Peltier and Jay Fogleman down the stretch to win the 150-lap race Saturday evening at the four-tenths mile oval.

Cling, a 17-year-old driver for Brad Keselowski Racing, qualified fifth but after a post-qualifying inversion started second behind Ross Kenseth of Mooresville, N.C. but worked his way to the front on lap 12, keeping the lead until Fogleman, a Durham, N.C. driver, passed for the lead on lap 84.

Cling, from Mooresville, N.C., driver took the lead back from Fogleman on lap 101 but lost it to briefly to Peltier on lap 129 before inheriting the lead on the restart following the fifth of six cautions.

Cling and Harrisburg, N.C., resident Peltier exchanged the lead on laps 145 and 146 following the race’s final caution, and Cling had enough to hold off the fast qualifier (15.329 seconds) the remaining four laps of the race for his first PASS South Series win.

Fogleman, a long-time South Boston Speedway competitor in several racing series, took home a third-place finish, with Brandon Ward of Winston-Salem, N.C. and David Quackenbush of Lorton rounding out the top five.

Nate Caruth of Mooresville, N.C., Gray Gaulding of Charlotte, N.C., Duane Linville, Kyle Grissom of Concord, N.C. and Stephen Bergh Jr. rounded out the top-10 finishers.

Cling was set to make his debut at South Boston Speedway in March, but steady rains on race day washed the series off the calendar until Saturday.

He worked hard to stay ahead of the veterans Peltier and Fogleman down the stretch.

“At the end I wasn’t sure if I could hold them off,” said Cling in Victory Lane.

These guys did an awesome job, and I’d like to thank Checkered Flag Foundation, all of these guys do an awesome job.

Cling said he hated to see the last caution come out.  Those restarts were a little work, and that last one I wasn’t too happy.

I thought he was going to get me on the outside, but I stayed down there and eventually got my line back.

Its been a long time coming since last year, and we’ve come a long ways since Hickory.

I’m so proud of all those guys.

The final laps produced close, fender-banging racing between the top finishers, and that’s what fans want to see, according to Peltier.

“Them guys work hard (Cling race team), and it’s good to see new people win these races,” said Peltier.

“I really wish I could have won, but we’ll get some more, it’s early yet.”

South Boston Speedway is a favorite track to Fogleman, and he used that knowledge to his advantage for a podium finish after a spin on the first lap.

“We just seem to come up with some opportunities for things to go wrong,” said Fogleman.  “We did something, and the car picked up a chatter after that, but I would have liked for the car to turn a little better so I could run with them at the end.

“But, I just couldn’t run with the top two at the end, so I guess I’ll go get them next time.”