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SRL Public Relations / Eddie Alves
Jason Fensler Wins California Welding Supply 100
Photo Credit: David Misco
Photo: Jason Fensler & crew at Stockton 99 Speedway

Stockton, Calif. (May 28th) -- The SRL Wild West Late Model Shootout returned to action Saturday night at Stockton 99 Speedway in Stockton, California. After 100 laps around Stockton 99's high-banked 1/4 mile track, Wilton's Jason Fensler crossed the finish-line first as he won his third event of the 2005 season. Eric Schmidt who won at Mesa Marin Raceway two weeks ago finished second, followed by Harold Rieker Jr., Jeff Belletto, and Mark Smith. Ken Boyd of Ceres finished sixth, Steve Belletto seventh, Victory Circle Chassis and Parts Rookie of the Year contender Jeremy Wood finished eight, followed by Jim Courage Jr., as Aaron Days rounded out the top ten.

"Once again we had a really good car tonight,
I keep saying that, but my crew does an awesome job."
Eric Schmidt had a really good car tonight, I kept trying to pass him
on the inside but couldn't so we went up high on em and ended up getting around him." Fensler said. "If it was a 30 lap race we would have won. We had a second place car tonight, if it was a 105 lap race we would have finished third." Stated Eric Schmidt.

Twenty-five drivers attempted qualifying for the twenty starting positions. Jason Fensler qualified first as he was the only driver to break into the 13 second bracket. Fensler stopped the clock with a lap of 13.941 seconds. Roseville's Jim Courage was second right behind Fensler with a lap of 14.024 seconds. Napa's Joey Zampa qualified third (14.051), followed by Troy Ermish (14.062), as Harold Rieker Jr. rounded out the top five with a 14.068 second lap. Aaron Days and Angelo Queirolo transferred from the non qualifiers race as Joey Stearns, Wes Banks, Harry Belletto, Carl Pearce, and Rick Ruzbarsky failed to make the 100 lap feature event. Tracy Bolin and Rusty Buholz each used a provisional to lock themselves into the California Welding Supply 100.

The eight car inversion put Roseville's Eric Schmidt and Ken Boyd of Ceres on the front row. As the green flag waived Schmidt and Boyd ran side-by-side heading into turn one. Harold Rieker Jr. got a slow start as the field checked up behind him. Rusty Buholz and Ryan Foster both spun in the middle of turns one and two but continued without losing a lap. Boyd led lap one before Schmidt took over on lap two. Mark Smith followed Schmidt and Boyd in the third position. Ripon's John Gaalswyk spun on lap 10, but the race continued caution free. Schmidt led Boyd, Troy Ermish, Harold Rieker Jr., and Jim Courage Jr. Ermish made his way around Boyd on lap 21 to take the second position. Jason Fensler marched his way into the top three on lap 22 as he made his way around Ken Boyd. Fensler challenged Ermish for six laps before beating Ermish to the start/finish-line as the first caution of the evening was thrown for Dave Byrd who suffered a flat tire.

With 30 laps complete Schmidt held off Fensler, Ermish, Boyd and Jeff Belletto. Fensler started putting pressure on Schmidt and later passed him for the lead on lap 36. Fensler, Schmidt, and Ermish ran very close around the historic quarter-mile racetrack. Ermish made his move into second on lap 42 and now followed Fensler. Napa's Joey Zampa spun on lap 45 and went a lap down. After qualifying second earlier in the day, Jim Courage spun in turn two on lap 48. Fensler continued to lead at the halfway point with Ermish, Schmidt, Rieker Jr. and Boyd rounding out the top five.

Troy Ermish suffered a right front flat tire on lap 53 and spun in turn four bringing out another caution. Jason Fensler led the lap 55 restart with Schmidt, Rieker Jr., Boyd, and Jeff Belletto right behind. Belletto passed Boyd on lap 59 to move into fourth from his ninth starting position. Ryan Foster made his first start of 2005 in a Bob Strandwold owned racecar. Foster spun in turn four on lap 65 as the yellow flag was displayed once again. Foster exited the racetrack and finished 19th.

The race restarted on lap 68 for the final restart of the evening. Fensler continued to lead Schmidt, Rieker Jr., Jeff Belletto, and Ken Boyd. Jeff Belletto and Mark Smith each made their way around Boyd to move into the fourth and fifth positions. Boyd fell back to sixth. Schmidt was unable to pass Fensler for the lead in the final 10 laps as Jason Fensler won the "California Welding Supply 100" for his third SRL Wild West Late Model Shootout victory of 2005. Schmidt finished second, just beating Rieker Jr. to the line. Jeff Belletto finished fourth earning his first top five of 2005 as Tracy's Mark Smith finished fifth, earning his first top five finish of 2005 also.

Ken Boyd finished sixth, followed by Steve Belletto, Victory Circle Chassis and Parts Rookie of the Year contender Jeremy Wood of Tracy finished eight, Jim Courage Jr. ninth, as Aaron Days rounded out the top ten. Rusty Buholz finished 11th as Tracy Bolin, Mike Mendenhall, Joey Zampa, Angelo Queirolo, John Gaalswyk, Troy Ermish, Dave Byrd, Ryan Foster, and Jeff Anthony completed the field.

"There were a lot of yellows tonight, I kinda wished we didn't have that last one.  We did real well on the long runs tonight." Harold Rieker Jr. said after finishing third Saturday night.

Next Race: Saturday, June 4th at Shasta Raceway Park.

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

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