STAFFORD – On Friday evening Ted Christopher scored an emotional milestone victory in the 44-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature at Stafford Motor Speedway.
Christopher carried the momentum right on the through the evening, in dramatic style.
Christopher, of Plainville, lost the lead late and then rallied right back to win the 80-lap Valenti Modified Racing Series feature Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway.
Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford, Mass. was second and Dave Etheridge of Portland third.
It was the first victory for the iconic 00 team that was formerly owned by legendary team owner Joe Brady, who was killed in December when he was hit by a car while walking across a street in Stoughton, Mass.
Christopher is running with the team part-time this year in multiple divisions.
“I’m glad to win for Joe,” Christopher said. “It’s been a tough year trying to keep that thing running with the races I want to run with it. Just a good night. Some nights you have those.”
Christopher dominated much of the early going in the event but conceded the lead during the mid-stretch to Woody Pitkat.
With Christopher stretching his lead, McKennedy went by Pitkat for second on lap 66 and began catching the leader.
On lap 77 McKennedy got under Christopher into turn three and come off turn four with the lead.
But one lap later Christopher clawed back to the front. With the lapped car of Roy Seidell Jr. on the inside, Christopher got under McKennedy who was riding the high line into the corner to avoid the lapped car.
Contact between the two sent McKennedy up the track in turn two and allowed Christopher to roll onto the backstretch with the lead once again.
“He was just a little bit better through the middle I guess,” Christopher said of McKennedy. “We still had great drive. I just want to thank [crew chief Scott Anderson] and everybody. Usually we lose drive in it. It had tremendous drive in it.
“I think I had a good run [on the pass for the lead] because I was underneath him. But more importantly that sort of helped me because we got together and that sort of ran him up and gave me the distance I needed to get away from him for a while. We weren’t rolling the center [of the corners] as good as him. We had great drive up off [the corners]. It’s fun. I’ve used lap car picks for many years. I’m a little bit more experienced that way than he is.”
McKennedy made a valiant effort to get another run at Christopher over the final two laps, but couldn’t get back to him.
“We had a real good car,” McKennedy said. “A few laps to go there I had the lead and we caught that lapped car into [turn] one and sometimes eight wheels go better than four. But hey, it’s hard racing. I kind of knew it was coming. I did the best I could. Ending up second overall is a good night.”