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FIDANZA OUTDUELS KNOLL TO WIN DRUAR EVENT

Sege Fidanza pulled into the lead on the 32nd circuit and went on to capture his second consecutive Lancaster victory -- and $5,000 -- in the Hutchins Automotive Tommy Druar Summer 50.

Fidanza fashioned his sixth win of the season at Lancaster Motorsports Park Saturday night after battling side-by-side with Danny Knoll Jr. for 17 laps. Fidanza has won four of his last five asphalt Modified races.

"He was running really good tonight and for a while I didn't think that I could get him," Fidanza said of his joust with Knoll. "He just seemed to slow up enough and I could keep up my momentum enough to pull by him.

"The outside groove was the only one I had to race in as he was slowing down in the turns and I didn't want to get in behind him. He left it open on the outside. He knew what he was doing. He's a good racer."

Knoll started ninth in the 50-lapper but worked his way to the lead, passing Jim Flanigan following a race restart on lap nine. Meanwhile, Fidanza was charging from his 17th-place starting assignment.

With the field under the race's third caution on lap nine, Fidanza was eighth. He went by Flanigan for third on lap 12 and then past Tom McGrath for second on lap 15.

Knoll kept the inside position and Fidanza the outside through the ensuing laps. The race was interrupted by three more caution periods.

The race restarted for the final time on lap 30 and Fidanza raced past Knoll on the frontstretch of lap 32. Fidanza was the victor by five car lengths, with Knoll, Chuck Hossfeld, Danny Knoll Sr. and Bill Putney completing the top five.

"It seemed like we were running out there like that for an eternity," Knoll said of the side-by-side duel. "I started getting a little bit loose and rather then get him all tangled up, I was hoping we could just run a clean race.

"I raced him as hard as I could, hoping he might have worn his tires out in the outside lane and I would have had a chance to come back and pass him. It didn't happen, but we were quick."

"My power-steering broke on lap five," Hossfeld said of his dilemma. "It was a tough drive. The car wasn't exactly undriveable but believe me, power steering is the way to go."

The MBNA Cup Lite Racing Series ran at Lancaster for the first time on Saturday night. The 20-lap feature was won by former Lancaster Modified racer Dennis Tybor.

"I raced here in 1991 and '92," Tybor said after his first career MBNA win. "The cars go good here and I'm looking forward to our next visit here and to try to win another race."

The MBNA Cup Lite series returns to Lancaster during the U.S. Open on Sept. 27.

The MBNA cars, in their initial season, appear to be a hit with the fans. The cars' fast speeds, the close racing and Winston Cup paint schemes seem to add to their appeal. Tybor drove a car painted in the Dale Earnhardt colors of black, red and silver.

"This is our sixth race and things have been going great," said Tim Bender, the series creator. "We had a good race tonight here at Lancaster. We're getting more and more interest every week. Other tracks, such as Oswego, are calling and are interested in hosting one of our races."

Bender says that he will be careful as the series gains momentum about how many races there will be each season and where they will run.

"A lot of these guys don't necessarily want to run every week or twice a week. A lot of them are business owners," Bender said. "So we'll take a look as we work on our schedule for next year."

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