MADERA, California -- Joey Zampa knows it does not matter how many laps you lead, but it matters that you are there at the end. The Napa California driver picked up his first career SRL Wild West Shootout victory at Madera Speedway Saturday Night. The 2001 Stockton99 Speedway Late Model Rookie of the year passed current points leader Jeff Anthony of Livermore California on Lap 98 of the 100-lap feature. Zampa set fast time in his #92 Chevy Monte Carlo with a lap of 14.73 around the 1/3 mile paved oval. A six-car invert put Michael Carver on the pole with defending SRL Champion Nathan Tucker on the outside.
Tucker took the lead on the green flag and led until lap 11 when Ray Lawson Jr of Fresno California, motor let go heading into turn three. Unfortunately Ray collected Cory Petero and Troy Ermish. Petero’s car was done for the evening, but Ermish was able to continue and managed a top5 finish for the Fremont California driver. Anthony took the lead from Tucker heading into turn three on lap 13, as Tim Stratmeyer followed for second place. Stratmeyer began to pressure Anthony for the lead on Lap 20, as Zampa controlled the 3rd place position over Rick Ruzbarsky and Tucker. On lap 42 Stratmeyer made his move on Anthony and took the lead. As the race got closer to the conclusion Stratmeyer had as much as a five car lead over Anthony when he lost his breaks on lap 82 handing Anthony the lead again.
With 15 laps to go Anthony was setting the pace followed by Zampa, Ruzbarsky, Tucker, and Ermish. A caution on lap 89 bunched the field back together for a 10 lap shootout.
With 10 green flag laps left, Zampa knew he had to make his move. “We have had a few rough weeks lately, we came to Madera and we just wanted to finish, the car was real good on long runs” said Zampa as he started to put pressure on Anthony on lap 95, and with two laps to go Zampa got passed Anthony and went on to win his first career race at Madera Speedway.
Anthony finished a strong second. “ We were racing for the win, the car got very tight as the race went on, I guess he just had a better car then us” said current points leader Anthony.
Ruzbarsky of Tracy California held on to 3rd place, followed by Tucker and Ermish.
The series resumes at Stockton 99 Speedway’s ¼ mile track, Saturday September 14th 2002.
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#92 Joey Zampa
#76 Jeff Anthony
#51 Rick Ruzbarsky
#41 Nathan Tucker
#38 Troy Ermish
#98 Ed Coughenour
#29 R.B. Bracken
#28 Tim Stratmeyer
#5 Michael Carver
#14 Carl Pearce
#57 Randy Liles
#78 Chad Pais
#77x Joel Theisen
#11 Bobby Hurst
#06 Ray Lawson Jr.
#77 Cory Petero