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WINDNAGLE, GEORGE SEIZE FIRST VICTORIES OF SEASON IN LATE MODEL, DIRT

After a winless first half of the season, Tim Windnagle and Scott George both won their first races of 1997 over the weekend.

Windnagle won the 25-lap Late Model feature Saturday at Lancaster Speedway, while George took the checkered flag in the 20-lap DIRT Sportsman main event Friday at Ransomville Speedway.

At Lancaster, Brett Scherrer was passed by Windnagle coming down the front stretch on Lap 23. Scherrer took the lead from the pole in the Late Model event. Bobby Weber jumped into the second spot and began to apply heavy pressure to the leader.

On a Lap Five restart after a caution, Scherrer and Weber ran side-by-side for more than a lap. Scherrer eventually nosed in front, as Windnagle, who started 10th, moved into third.

On a Lap 16 restart, Windnagle moved into second. John Julicher, who started 17th, moved around Weber and into third after a lap 18 restart.

Scherrer tried to fight back after Windnagle passed him on Lap 23, but he was also busy fending off Julicher. Windnagle won the torrid battle, followed by Scherrer and Julicher.

"Coming out of the corner (turn four) he got a little loose and that gave me the opportunity," said Windnagle of his winning pass of Scherrer.

"I know that John was right there behind us, but I wasn't trying to pay any attention to what John was doing. If he got me, then he got me."

Windnagle won six races at Lancaster in 1996, most before the halfway mark.

Scherrer has now finished second twice this season at Lancaster.

"They're tough runners," Scherrer said of Windnagle and Julicher. "My car was actually a little loose tonight. It could have been better."

Other Lancaster winners: Chuck Hossfeld, Modified; Rick Kluth, Sportsman; Mike Catalano and John Durso, Street Stock; Wayne Stephens, Strictly Stock; Loren Fish, Trucks; and Annette DiPasquale, Ladies.

Sometimes in racing, a driver provides his own break that spells victory. Other times, as George suggests, that break comes from a decision made by another driver.

At Ransomville, Dan Habuda passed Mark Feor on Lap Four to gain the lead, with George moving into second a lap later. Habuda was leading by 10 car-lengths when the caution flag waved on Lap Eight.

When the cars line up for the restart, under DIRT rules, the leader can restart from either the inside or outside of the front row. Habuda elected to take the outside, relegating George to the inside.

On the restart, George immediately motored by Habuda and into the lead. Meanwhile, Kevin Wills was moving into third. George held off Habuda and Wills. Habuda and Wills battled for second with Wills prevailing by a bumper.

"He chose to go to the high side and gave me the chance to start from the inside and I thought 'boy, this is great,' " George said of Habuda's decision. "I knew I had a little more horsepower, so he (Habuda) handed it to me right there.

"We've been competitive all year. Last week, we were leading with three laps to go and got tangled up with a lapped car and ended up second."

With his second-place run, his best this season at Ransomville, Wills reversed what he has termed a bad-luck season.

"My car was working good on the bottom (inside) and it seemed to be the fast way around," Wills said. "We bumped a little bit (with Habuda) and didn't mean to do that but, yeah, we got him. Considering our luck so far, second's real good."

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