One for the women: Mansch wins WestCar main event

Record Staff Writer
Published Sunday, May 28, 2006

STOCKTON - Take that, Richard Petty.

Shannon Mansch of Roseville won the WestCar Late Model Series main event on Saturday and became the first women to win a 100-lap race at Stockton 99 Speedway less than a week after Petty questioned whether women should compete in auto racing.

Mansch's victory in front of a crowd of 2,520 came in the first of two 100-lap main events.

In the second feature, Mark Holeman of Los Altos won an exciting duel with Pete Anderson Jr. of Stockton to become the first repeat winner in the Western Late Model division.

The event doubled as the first round of the Tri-Holiday Classic and the fourth leg of the Hotwood 1,000.

Mansch, 37, led the final 41 laps of her race, and after the win she respectfully disagreed with the king of NASCAR.

"I think more women should race. I think it's awesome that women are racing," Mansch said. "We need more of them in the sport."

Mansch finished second in the WestCar race at Altamont Motorsports Park a few weeks ago. She set the fast qualifying time at Stockton 99 at 14.328 seconds.

Mansch took the lead from Kyle Cattanach on lap 59 and was rarely challenged thereafter.

Holeman, who won the 100-lap race on May 13 had to work to catch Anderson, who led the first 81 laps. There was not a yellow flag until lap 61, and Anderson was in control until Holeman finally caught him.

The two drivers battled side by side for two laps before Holeman eventually passed Anderson.

"I was actually upset when the first yellow came out because he was getting worse and I was getting better," Holeman said. "I wasn't sure I would be able to get him after that yellow, but the car came back and he began to fade."

Anderson said he wanted the win but wasn't complaining about second place.

"It was a good race, he just had more at the end than I did," Anderson said. "He deserved it."

Dave Byrd of Pacific Grove was third, Pete Hernandez of Chicago was fourth and Guy Guibor of Manteca was fifth.

Donny Darter, #99, of Stockton regained the lead with a daring move to pass Joe Allen of Stockton with two laps to go and won the 30-lap American Limited Stock Car feature. After losing the lead to Allen on lap 19, Darter made his move when Allen got caught up behind Mary Saunders of Stockton.

Darter went high on the track to get the lead on lap 29 and captured the victory.

Allen set a new ALSC qualifying record with a time of 15.439.

Nathan McNeil of Oakdale won the Pro 4 Truck main event and Mark Henslee of Lathrop set a new qualifying record of 14.908.

Western Late Model driver Ron Strmiska Jr., #90,  of Stockton and WestCar Series competitor Michael Wendt of Lodi honored longtime track supporter and Stockton native Sandy Royce with a memorial lap before the racing program. Royce died May 21.

Contact reporter Scott Linesburgh at (209) 546-8281

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