Jason Fensler Opens SRL Season With First Career Win
SRL Public Relations/Eddie Alves - Date: April 7, 2005

Stockton, California - In his first career SRL Wild West Shootout start, Wilton’s Jason Fensler led the final 61 lap en route to the 100 lap SRL Wild West Shootout race Sunday afternoon at Stockton 99 Speedway. Crossing the finish-line right behind Fensler was Joey Zampa, Troy Ermish, Eric Schmidt and Ken Boyd. Tracy Bolin finished sixth, with rookie Angelo Queirolo seventh, Mark Smith eight, rookie Rusty Buholz ninth as Jeff Anthony rounded out the top ten.

The SRL drivers hit the track just after 10:00 AM for the first of two practice sessions as rained threatened all day. Thirty drivers attempted qualifying as Jeff Belletto and Jason Fensler each ran a 14.035 second lap. Fensler was awarded quick time as he qualified before Belletto. Fremont’s Troy Ermish qualified third with a quick lap of 14.037 seconds just two one thousandths off the pole. Harold Rieker Jr. qualified fourth as he stopped the clock with a 14.048 second lap. Napa’s Joey Zampa rounded out the top five with a 14.049 second lap. The top sixteen cars were locked in on time as Aaron Days and Ray Lawson Jr. took provisions. Modesto’s Harry Belletto crashed heading into turn three on this second lap of qualifying and retired his car for the rest of the afternoon.

Eric Graham and Rusty Buholz transferred from the 25 lap non-qualifiers. Greg Potts, Carl Pearce, Shannon Mansch, Wes Banks, Charles Perreira, Jamie Dick, and Chad Pais failed to transfer to the feature event. Rookie’s Brian Smith and Joey Stearns retired their cars early Sunday afternoon and did not compete in the 25 lap non-qualifiers race.

The eight car invert placed 2002 Series Champion Jeff Anthony on the pole, along side Victory Circle Chassis and Parts Rookie of the Year contender Jeremy Wood of Tracy. As the green flag waved Wood and Anthony raced side by side with Wood taking the lead for good just after the completion of lap one. As the field begun to run single file Jeff Belletto spun exiting turn two on lap nine, one lap later last years champion and Jeff’s brother Steve Belletto also spun in turn two. Lap 16 brought out the first yellow flag for debris on the racing surface. As the race restarted on lap 18, Jeremy Wood continued to lead Jeff Anthony, Joey Zampa, Jason Fensler and Angelo Queirolo. Jason Fensler continued his charge to the front as he took the third position away from Zampa on lap 28. Jeff Anthony spun a lap later giving up his third position.

Wood continued to pace the field at lap 30 as Troy Ermish passed Queirolo to break into the top five. Fensler raced his was up to leader Wood as the two former legends drivers raced side by side. Fensler took the lead for good away from Wood on lap 38. Two laps later Wood’s car broke loose exiting turn two and spun around untouched. Fensler continued to set a blistering pace as Wood was forced down one lap. Roseville’s Eric Schmidt moved into the top five from his 11th starting position as Ken Boyd followed from this 10th starting position. With 19 laps to go the red flag was thrown as Eric Graham’s car came to a stop in turn three as flames were visible as a result of an electrical fire.

As the field restarted six cars remained on the lead lap. Aaron Days spun in turn four and settled for a 13th place finish as Ray Lawson Jr. also spun and finished 15th. With two laps to go Jeremy Wood spun and the hit wall exiting turn two as his car came to a stop on the backstretch throwing out the final caution of the day and setting up a green, white, checkered finish. Fensler restarted the race with Joey Zampa right behind him as the two drove into turn one. Fensler exited turn two with a half of a car length lead and led the final lap to win his first career SRL Victory.

“We just made sure we saved our tires and did not abuse the car. Eric (Holmes), Ty (Joiner), Victory Circle, Brad Peters motors, Joiner Motorsports, Paul Oil Co, and Beebe Racing Enterprises made this all happen, if it was not for them I wouldn’t have won tonight.” Fensler said.

After winning the first race at Stockton 99 Speedway in the 2004 season Joey Zampa crossed the finish line second behind Fensler. “Our car was not as good as his, but to finish second to that team says a lot about our team. Our car started going away at the end and we were no where near as good as Jason (Fensler) in lap traffic. This is a good way to start off the year, we struggle sometimes in qualifying but we qualified well today and raced well. All my guys worked hard over the winter to get me where we are right now.” Zampa said.

The SRL Wild West Shootout heads to Madera Speedway on Saturday, April 30th.

For more information visit the SRL Wild West Shootout’s website at http://www.srllatemodels.com

Davey Hamilton’s SRL “Wild West Shootout” would like to thank their 2005 Sponsors, which include: Afco, Apex Financial Group, Bassett Racing Wheels, Brodix Inc., Casciaro Homes, Dynatech, DPI, Eibach Springs, FRE, Five Star Stock Car Bodies, Frank’s Radio Service, G. P. Fabrication, Hoosier Tire West, Impact Racing, Fensler Racing Inc., Paul Oil Co., Perry Race Cars, Peterson Fluid Systems, Pit Stop USA.Com, Sunoco, Total Seal Inc., U. S. Brake, and Victory Circle Chassis and Parts.

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