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Mark Smith Wins First Career SRL Race at Altamont Raceway & Arena
Photo: Race Winner Mark Smith #52, Mark Smith and crew in victory lane
Photo Credit: David Misco
Tracy, Calif. (Aug 21) – The SRL Wild West Late Model Shootout returned to Altamont Raceway & Arena Saturday night under the lights and under a full moon. When the Sunoco Checkered flag waived 2004 Victory Circle Chassis and Parts Rookie of the Year Mark Smith and team celebrated their first career SRL Wild West Late Model Shootout victory. Jeff Anthony who made his 50th career SRL start finished second followed by rookie Jeremy Wood, two time winner Eric Schmidt, as Eric Graham rounded out the top five.
“This is by far the biggest
win of my career. I’m so proud of my crew.
This team was put together at the beginning of the year and each race we got
better and better. The last three or four races we have been real close to
winning and tonight we finally did it. Everywhere we go we always seem to have a
lot of fans in the stands and to win at Altamont my home track it made it that
Jason Fensler set quick time in qualifying. Fensler’s lap of 18.263 bested Jeremy Wood who stopped the clock 18.297 seconds. Troy Ermish qualified third, Mark Smith fourth, and Joey Zampa fifth. After setting quick time Fensler drew a six to determine the invert for the 100 lap feature event.
Ken Boyd would lead the field to green with Joey Zampa on the outside. The first caution came out on lap three as Jamie Dick, Troy Ermish, and Chad Pais collected each other exiting turn two. Boyd continued to lead as Fensler charged from sixth to second by lap six. Mark Smith ran third, Jeff Anthony fourth and Jeremy Wood fifth. Fensler took the lead away from Boyd on a lap 12 restart. Boyd passed Fensler on lap 15 to take control of the race. However three laps later Fensler made his way around Boyd to take the lead once again. The top four drivers continued to chase Fensler as Eric Schmidt ran sixth followed by Aaron Days, Tracy Bolin, Rusty Buholz, and Eric Graham. Jeremy Wood passed Jeff Anthony on lap 39 to take the fourth position. Anthony fought back on lap 60 to make his way around Wood.
Greg Potts moved into the ninth position on lap 65 as he passed Eric Graham as Aaron Days fell back to 11th. Fensler continued to lead as Boyd and Smith closed the gap. Boyd made contact with the rear of Fensler’s car on the exit of turn four as Fensler spun in the infield. Boyd was put to the rear of the field for spinning the race leader. With just 10 scheduled laps remaining Mark Smith inherited the lead followed by Jeff Anthony, Jeremy Wood, Eric Schmidt, and Eric Graham. Boyd and Fensler restarted in the eight and ninth position. Fensler made his way to the pits under caution to change a flat front tire. On lap 96 the final caution came out as the Checkered and Yellow flags waived due to length of the event. Mark Smith celebrated by climbing the fence on the front straightaway. Jeff Anthony finished second, Jeremy Wood third, followed by Eric Schmidt, Eric Graham, Kyle Gottula, Tracy Bolin, Jason Fensler, Greg Potts, and Aaron Days.
“It was pretty wild out
there those last 15 laps. I’m just glad we came home in second and the car is in
once piece.” Second place Jeff Anthony said.
Jeremy Wood earned his best career SRL finish Saturday night as he earned his second straight top five finish. “It was a great run for us tonight. We battled with the 76 (Jeff Anthony) most of the night. I felt I had one of the fastest cars but those cautions near the end of the race did not help me much. My car was very tight on the restarts and took me about four laps to get going. It was a lot of fun and I can’t wait for the next race.”
The SRL Wild West Shootout heads to Stockton 99 Speedway in Stockton, California on Saturday, September 3rd.
speed: 83.006 MPH
Best lap time: 18.619 Speed 96.675 MPH (Ken Boyd)
Margin of Victory .425 seconds
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., Madera Auto Center, 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.