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Wilton's Fensler wins Pro Series West race in Roseville

He takes lead from BMR driver Smith seven laps from the end
By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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Jason Fensler of Wilton took the lead seven laps from the end Saturday night at All American Speedway in Roseville and drove to his second career checkered flag in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.

Fensler, in the first of what is supposed to be an abbreviated schedule this year, made a move on the inside and passed Bill McAnally Racing driver Moses Smith on lap 143 and led the final seven laps to win the Toyota/NAPA Auto Care 150 in front of a packed house.

Fensler was fastest in a practice session earlier Saturday and qualified 15th at 14.142 seconds around the one-third-mile oval. He started in the eighth row and avoided several yellow flags in the TCR/Pick-n-Pull/Simple Green Chevrolet.

“I can’t thank (team owners) Jim and Terri Cass enough, the whole TCR racing team, for working hard today to get what we just did,” Fensler said. “Man, we just kept ourselves in position the whole entire race.”

Greg Pursley, who won the Pro Series West opener in Phoenix, started on the pole with a quick qualifying lap of 13.781 seconds and led until three-time series champion Eric Holmes of Escalon passed him on the inside on lap 134. Coming out of turn two, however, Holmes and Pursley came together long enough for Smith to take the lead.

Three laps later, Fensler tapped the back of Holmes’ No. 20 NAPA Toyota Camry, sending Holmes into a spin. Fensler moved into third and passed Smith six laps later.

“Once we got bundled toward the end of the race there on the last restart, Moses was tight off the turn so I knew I just had to keep it on the bottom to get the best run I could and hope it would stick because I knew that was my only shot,” Fensler said. “It worked out. And after that, we just drove three qualifying laps. I just drove my butt off to hold it.”

Smith finished second, Pursley third and 15-year-old rookie Dylan Kwasniewski fourth in his series debut.

Eric Schmidt of Roseville started in the third row and finished fifth, and Holmes was sixth. Greg Rayl of Roseville finished 17th in the 24-car field, and Thomas Martin of Auburn was 21st. Martin’s car began to smoke, and he drove to the pits on lap 80.

The race will be televised on the SPEED Channel at 3 p.m. Thursday, May 5.

In other races, Derek Thorn of Bakersfield won the SRL Southwest Series World’s Champion Hand Cleaner 140, and Micah Parmer of Anderson passed Jeremy Wood of Tracy on the 35th and final lap to win Legends main event.

On Friday night, defending track champion Matt Scott of Pine Grove led from start to finish in winning the season opener – the A-All Mini Storage Bonus Challenge 100. Ron Chunn of Elk Grove was second and Gary Glenn of Orangevale third.

Read Wednesday’s edition of the Roseville Press Tribune for more coverage and pictures of the season-opening weekend at All American Speedway.