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Ruggiero Wins Featherlite Race

September 30, 2000

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) _ Reggie Ruggiero nudged Ted Christopher off the lead with nine laps to go Saturday and won his second straight NASCAR Featherlite Modified Series event at Martinsville Speedway.

Ruggiero, who also tangled with series points leader Jerry Marquis with 21 laps to go, won the Goody’s 200 by .231 seconds. Ruggiero is now 8 points behind Marquis in the championship race with one event left.

The season wraps up in Thompson, Conn., on Oct. 15.

Both spins produced cautions that gave Ruggiero the time he needed to post his 41st career victory and third straight in Virginia. He also won a Featherlite series race at Richmond International Raceway in June.

The first spin came after Ruggiero and Marquis had battled for about 15 laps, a duel that allowed Christopher to open a commanding lead of more than 2 seconds. But when the caution flew, the big lead was gone.

Then, after starting second behind Christopher on the restart with 14 laps to go, Ruggiero followed on Christopher’s rear bumper until he tried to pass him on the inside heading into the first turn on lap No. 192.

Christopher apparently didn’t see the move, and when he continued hugging the inside curbing on the tight, .526-mile oval, Ruggiero’s car bumped Christopher’s, which spun around and backed into the wall.

``I got a really good run coming down the frontstretch,″ Ruggiero said of hitting Christopher. ``You don’t get wins by being careful.″

The spin brought out a race record 11th caution flag, produced a race record seventh lead change and sent Ruggiero back to Victory Lane.

Marquis rallied to finish second, followed by Tom Baldwin, who started last in 34th position, pole-sitter Rick Fuller and Kenny Woolley Jr.

Christopher wound up 19th.

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