99's DIVISION Points and Results DRIVER PIX Rosters WEEKLY Story
SRL Public Relations / Eddie Alves
Wire-to-Wire Win for Mark Smith
Photo: #52 Mark Smith, #52 Mark Smith and Team in Victory Lane at Stockton 99 Speedway, Mark Smith Celebrating
Photo Credit: David Misco
Stockton, Calif. (Sept. 3rd) -- Mark Smith won his second career and second SRL race in a row Saturday night at Stockton 99 Speedway. Smith led all 100 laps as Eric Schmidt finished second followed by Joey Zampa, John Gaalswyk, and Steve Belletto.
Joey Zampa was the fastest of 23 qualifiers and the only driver to get into the 13 second bracket. Zampa's lap of 13.894 seconds earned his second quick time during the 2005 season. Steve Belletto who struggled in the earlier practice session recovered to qualify second with a 14.039 second lap. Eric Schmidt qualified third and stopped the clock with a 14.059 second lap. In his first qualifying attempt this season, Josh Bews qualified fourth as he turned a 14.089 second lap. Ken Boyd rounded out the top five qualifiers with a 14.094 second lap. After setting quick time Zampa drew an eight to determine the invert for the 100 lap feature event.
Mark Smith and Troy Ermish would lead the field to green for the "California Welding Supply 100". Smith took the Green flag as Ermish raced along side. Wes Miller who made his first start of the year slipped passed Ermish on lap two. The first caution of the evening came out on lap three as Angelo Queirolo spun in turn four and went down one lap. Smith continued to after the completion of 10 circuits. Miller ran third, followed by Troy Ermish, Ken Boyd, John Gaalswyk, Joey Zampa, Josh Bews, Steve Belletto, and Jason Fensler. The second caution of the night came out on lap 12 as Troy Ermish went up in smoke and retired his Chevy Monte Carlo.
Smith continued to lead with Miller following closely behind. Jason Fensler moved from his 11th starting position to seventh by lap 18. Zampa moved from fifth to fourth on lap 27 as he made his way around Ken Boyd. Lap 32 saw the yellow flags waive for the third time as Tracy Bolin who was running eight spun exiting turn two and hit the inside wall hard. Bolin's night was over as he would finish 20th. Patterson's Aaron Days suffered a flat tire on lap 44 as the fourth caution of the night was thrown. At the half-way point Mark Smith continued to lead with Wes Miller following his every move. Schmidt ran comfortably in third with Zampa fourth and John Gaalswyk fifth.
Jason Fensler spun who was running in the eighth position spun on lap 60 bringing out another caution. Fensler pitted and rejoined the field in the 13th position with 40 laps remaining. Wes Miller continued to chase down Smith but could never complete the pass as the two drivers raced side by side for numerous laps. The final caution came out on lap 92 when second place driver Wes Miller spun in turn two because of a flat tire. Smith was able to hold of Eric Schmidt to win his second SRL victory in a row. Joey Zampa crossed the line in the third position, John Gaalswyk fourth, and defending series Champion Steve Belletto fifth. Ken Boyd finished sixth followed by Kyle Gottula, Jason Fensler, Joey Stearns, and Wes Miller.
"We were way off the pace earlier and this awesome team got it running. I can't say enough about these guys. Wes (Miller) is a great driver." Smith said. "We raced so close and so clean for so long you really are a great driver. It's to bad he bad some back luck there at the end."
"We got off to a slow start but lately we've put together some nice finishes
and were glad to get this finish here with two races left." Second place finisher Eric Schmidt said.
"With the way things have gone for us lately we'll take a third place finish." Joey Zampa.
"This is what we work hard all week for. We always want to win but we were
hoping for a top ten finish tonight and this feels real good." Said fourth place finisher John Gaalswyk.
The SRL Wild West Shootout heads to Altamont Raceway & Arena in Tracy, California on Saturday, September 24th.
Average race speed: 51.723 MPH
Best lap time: 14.196 Speed 63.398 MPH (Jason Fensler)
Margin of Victory .390 seconds
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.