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Oates Wins First Race of 2005 Season

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2004 NASCAR Sunbelt Champ Justin Oates Wins First Race of 2005 Season, Sets New Track Record


San Antonio – Justin Oates started his third season of racing at San Antonio Speedway (SAS) Saturday by owning the night, setting a new lap record in qualifying in his Affordable Trailers Chevrolet Camaro, then racing from the sixth starting spot to win the non-points American Classified Sportsman 25. The 18-year-old La Vernia High School senior qualified on the pole but started sixth after part of the field was inverted.


"It was a good race, even though six of us broke away from the small field from the start," Oates said afterward. Oates, the 2004 SAS Sportsman Champion and NASCAR Sunbelt Champion, got by everyone except Tator Mason, who had jumped into the early lead. But Oates was patient, waiting for the right time, and took the lead about halfway through the race. That didn’t end it, as Mason kept taking shots at the teenager, but Oates held him off.


"I was surprised we got the lap record," Oates said. "We were running fast in practice, but I knew we'd be slower by the time we qualified. My first lap felt good, but not that good. Then I pushed too hard on the second lap and thought it was bad, but Dad said it was also under the record."


Dad Jason Oates should know: he set the old lap record in the same car qualifying for the 2004 "OktoberFast" post-season race at SAS while Justin was racing his new Chevrolet Monte Carlo late model stock car to an eighth-place finish in his first race in the car.


Don't look for Justin at SAS next weekend, though. Saturday night is prom night for the La Vernia High School senior.



Contact: T. Q. Jones (512) 261-5236

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