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HOME COOKING: Winger defends home turf with Victory at Senoia
Winger rose from his car with excitement, pounding his fists on the roof before dropping his steering wheel in celebration. It’s a win he thought might not have happened as his team hustled to make sure the car was ready.
“We didn’t even know if we were going to get the chance to race; this thing was in a million pieces [Friday] night,” Winger said. “I felt like at the middle stage of the race I had a good rhythm, but early I felt like I was kind of dead in the water.
“When we got to lap traffic the first time, I didn’t feel as good as I needed to, so I’m glad everything worked out the way it did.”
Even though he led all 40 laps, Winger didn’t dominate the race. Chris Madden and Mark Whitener challenged the Georgia campaigner for the lead on multiple occasions. Winger held them off by taking an aggressive approach to dealing with lap traffic.
“[Senoia] is one of the places where if you get bottled up behind someone for a lap, it’s half a second,” Winger said. “When I’m looking on the [scoreboard], and I see Madden on there, and Whitener and guys that are pretty good in this area, I can’t sit there and mess with [lap traffic] for very long.”
Saturday’s win is Winger’s second World of Outlaws triumph of the season, and third of his career.
Madden crossed the line second—his 26th top-five of 2021. The Gray Court, SC driver made a late charge at Winger but fell short on the final lap.
“Smokey” stated his car’s setup played a role in keeping him out of Victory Lane.
“We made a couple of runs at him there, and I just left my car too free tonight, and it cost me,” Madden said. “I thought we were going to have a shot at him at the end.”
Mark Whitener finished third, matching his best finish with the World of Outlaws in 2021. The Middleburg, FL driver stated his car was too tight to have a chance to win.
“We were almost there tonight, we worked on it all night long, and I don’t think we started tuning our motor quick enough,” Whitener said. “We overworked our car, and when we killed the horsepower, we were snug and tight in the Feature.”
Tyler Bruening, the top rookie of the race, finished fourth after starting 12th. The Decorah, IA driver now has a top-five in three of the last four Morton Buildings Features. Ricky Weiss rounded out the top five.
Winger’s excitement of winning at home is something he likely won’t forget. It’s an accomplishment the Hampton, GA driver can look back on. A moment he can cherish with friends and family for the rest of his career.
UP NEXT: The Most Powerful Late Models on the Planet head to The Dirt Track at Charlotte for the NGK NTK World Finals November 4-6.
If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch all the action live on DIRTVision – either online or through the DIRTVision App.