Shannon Mansch of Roseville, CA took her first career Late Model championship, coming home second Saturday at Stockton 99 Speedway to claim the Westcar Late Model Series championship.
Mansch persevered from starting ninth due to a 10-car inverted field, as well as a first lap crash at the front of the field, to challenge eventual race winner Eric Schmidt of Roseville, CA.
Her championship sets her as the only female to ever win a touring late model series title in motor racing history and paid $4000.
“Being the first female to do it is awesome,” Mansch said. “I was determined to win this and I knew we had to be consistent.”
On the opening lap of competition, Bobby Hodges and Paul Hansen tangled, with Mansch narrowly avoiding disaster. Mansch suffered minor damage to the door of her car.
Gary Glenn of Orangevale, CA, who entered the event just eight points back from Mansch, suffered damage to the rear-end of his car that affected the handling.
“I knew on the wreck at the start, I was done,” Glenn said. “I was just trying to finish high. It was one of those deals.”
Schmidt moved past Bobby Butler of Sacramento on lap 17 to take the lead position.
Mansch battled forward through the field, passing Glenn for fourth on lap 44 after a great battle, as Glenn clinged to his hopes.
“I told my spotter ‘Don’t tell me where she is until the end of the race’ so I didn’t even know it was her behind me,” Glenn said. “After the incident I was a sitting duck.”
Mansch began her charge at Schmidt on lap 54 when she took second place from Butler.
Glenn saw his chances completely fizzle on lap 66 when he made contact with Butler into turn one, sending Butler spinning. Glenn was sent to the rear of the field for the incident.
Mansch exchanged blows with Schmidt throughout the final 34 laps of the race in a great duel between the top drivers in the SRL and Westcar series.
“I wasn’t as good on the short runs and Shannon really ran well,” Schmidt said. "I know what this means to me since the track is closing at the end of the season. It means a lot to me to win, too."
Mansch came home with the championship and Glenn finished 10th and second in the points chase to conclude the 2006 season for Westcar.
“I wanted the race to be here with the track going away,” Mansch said. “I don’t consider myself a woman, I consider myself a driver.”
Glenn wasn’t disappointed with second in the championship.
“I can’t complain about anything,” Glenn said. “Shannon’s a great driver and next year we’ll go out and try harder.”
Chris Monez of Turlock won the Scott Performance Wires Fast Time Award. Glenn won the Competition Carburetion Dash For Cash.
Main – 100 Laps 1. 05 Eric Schmidt ATT/Yellowpages.com Chevy Roseville, CA $1350 2. 61 Shannon Mansch Big Dawg Transport Chevy Roseville, CA $950 3. 44 Brock Monroe Roy Reeves Sand & Gravel Escalon, CA $625 4. 11 Chris Monez Ayers Racing Dodge Turlock, CA $600 5. 16 Andrew Livengood West Construction Chevy Richmond, CA $450 6. 25 Randy Reeves Scenic Autocare & Towing Chevy Modesto, CA $425 7. 3x Chet Danburg RE/Max Darrell & Patti Page Chevy Carson City, NV $400 8. 98 Byron Gonzales La Placita Mexican Food Chevy Carmichael, CA $375 9. 89 Bobby Hodges Nevada Automotive Test Center Chevy Carson City, NV $350 10. 50 Gary Glenn G. Glenn Plastering Chevy Orangevale, CA $425 11. 1x Troy Shirk JME/Microsoft/XBOX Chevy Oakley, CA $300 12. 9 Craig Swim Swim’s Auto Repair & Towing Dodge Orangevale, CA $290 13. 88c Michael Clarke Saki’s Spin A Yarn Chevy Pleasanton, CA $280 14. 56 Bobby Ray Butler Auto Brake & Muffler Pontiac Sacramento, CA $270 15. 2 Michael Wendt Wendt & Sons Construction Chevy Lodi, CA $260 16. 51 Brian Koski Groth Bros. Chevrolet Chevy San Ramon, CA $250 17. 18 Eddie Laws Lincoln Auto Body Chevy Lincoln, CA $240 18. 11x Tim Bost Pontiac Paradise, CA $230 19. 3x Dan Cherry Parker’s Hot Dogs Chevy Sacramento, CA $220 20. 20 Paul Hansen West Construction Chevy Richmond, CA $210 21. 55 Zane Lovelace Sidelifter.com Chevy Roseville, CA $210
Scott Wires Fast Time Award - $ 100.00 – Chris Monez Competition Carburetion Dash For Cash - 1st place - $ 100.00 – Gary Glenn Jim Courage Pools Hard Charger Award - $ 100.00 – Shannon Mansch California Door Most Laps Led Award - $ 100.00 – Eric Schmidt John L. Sullivan Highest Finishing Crate Motor Award - $ 100.00 – Shannon Mansch