King’s Ransom: Ted Christopher Scores Monster Payday With NAPA SK 5K Win At Stafford

Ted Christopher celebrates victory in the NAPA SK 5K Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway (Photo: Driscoll MotorSports Photography)

Ted Christopher celebrates victory in the NAPA SK 5K Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway (Photo: Driscoll MotorSports Photography)

STAFFORD – On June 24 Ted Christopher, the undisputed king of SK Modified racing at Stafford Motor Speedway, snapped a two-year winless streak at the track with his first victory in the division since June 27, 2014

Friday the Plainville driver rolled that momentum to take over the throne reserved for the winner of the biggest SK Modified event of the season at the historic facility.

Christopher, the track’s all-time winningest driver, held off the charges of Rowan Pennink in the closing laps to win the third NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway.

It was Christopher’s first victory in the event. Pennink won the first running of the event in 2014 and Ryan Preece was the victor last year. Christopher collected just over $11,000 on the evening between the $5,000 winner’s purse, contingencies, the additional $5,600 bonus money from the Dunleavy’s Gambler’s Challenge program and another $250 bonus from Wheeler’s Auto for winning his heat race.

“This is great,” Christopher said. “I could use the money. … It’s big. A shout out goes to [Dunleavy’s Truck And Trailer owner] Doug Dunleavy for putting up the extra money like he does and John Rufrano [from Wheeler’s Auto] for the heat races. It’s becoming a pretty good deal. A real good deal.”

It was the all-time track leading 125th career victory overall at Stafford for Christopher and the all-time leading 103rd career victory in the SK Modified division.

Pennink, of Huntingdon Valley, Pa. was second and Eric Berndt of Cromwell third.

Christopher, the nine-time SK Modified division champion at Stafford, took the lead from Berndt on lap 36 and looked on cruise control for much of the event before beginning to endure bunched up lapped traffic at about lap 70.

“I sort of tried to pace myself a little bit but I’m not too good at that,” Christopher said.

The most dramatic passing for Christopher on the night came in dealing with the maneuverings of his old rival at track, three-time Stafford SK Modified champion Bo Gunning, who was making his first start at the track in about four years.

Christopher held a nearly two-second lead over Pennink on lap 75 when he rolled up on Gunning at the tail end of the lead lap. Gunning gave Christopher all he could handle in keeping him from putting him a lap down. All the while, Pennink closed the two-second lead to two car lengths.

Christopher finally put Gunning a lap down on lap 78 and then was able to get some room again between himself and Pennink, the reigning SK Modified division champion. But Pennink was able to close again and on lap 90 the lapped car of Frank Ruocco gave Christopher more fits, allowing Pennink to make an outside run for the lead in turn three. But Christopher defended the top spot.

“You know they have spotters, I don’t know, they’ve just got to make it hard on you I guess,” Christopher said of the blocking by Gunning and Ruocco. “The problem with those guys is they’re never going to have it on the other foot so they just want to make your life miserable. I don’t do stuff like that. But I’ve got it. I’m just happy with that.”

Said Pennink: “I really wish we could have gotten the win for this team. We had to pit, I wasn’t quite happy with the car at the beginning of the race. I pitted and the guys did a great job in the pits. They gave me a car to drive back to the front. Then I got alongside Ted there for the lead and he kind of just cleaned me right out. That was that.”

The caution flew again on lap 95, but Christopher was able to stave off the advanced of Pennink over the closing laps.

“He worried me,” Christopher said. “I knew he pitted early and he made his car better. Right now it seems to be like him and I have two of the best racecars here. … I’ll take the money.”

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Comments

  1. NH MOD CHASER says:

    Teddy sure has been on a roll of late GO TEDDY !!

  2. NH Mark says:

    Oh jeez, did someone poke the bear? TC is on fire. I’m sure TC fans will be out in full force this week.

  3. 450mike says:

    I love it when the “old washed up guys win”.Congrats to the King!

  4. Richie O says:

    Great job by Teddy, The antics of Gunning and Ruocco are an embarrassment to racing. They both should have been parked for disregarding the passing flag repeatedly.

  5. TC did a great job holding off Pennink, who also drove a great race. I thought the 5K was more exciting than most of the tour races I see, regardless of tour.

    Kudos to the Stafford track management for efficiently keeping things moving, and cutting out things like driver intros, with the threat of rain looming.

    What Gunning and Rocco were doing last night was just plain weird to watch… They were video game jam cars.

  6. Let’s get TC a car for New Hampshire. He’s Hot as a firecracker.

  7. I think it will be the first time since 1994 TC Will not appear in the mod race at New Hampshire . That was the first year with Scott goodspeeds car .

  8. Justafan says:

    I couldn’t make the show but anyone that says tc is washed up just simply knows nothing about racing and id bet if asked he will he is having more fun this without the bore tour then he has in years…..and im not even a tc fan but I have enjoyed watching him for many many years

  9. Gunning is just a plain idiot. No reason to drive like that. Teddy would have breezed to the victory. Gunning washed up

  10. Bo Gunning shouldn’t have even been in the race……he finished a straightaway behind in his heat race, and was equally as bad in the last chance race. Giving him a “past champions” provisional was ridiculous!

  11. Congrats big guy, you’re the man!

  12. Some guy says:

    Don’t bash the Tour just because no car owner wants TC in their car.

  13. Andy Boright says:

    No, bash the tour because the car counts are weak, the competition is weak, and not many tracks want it.

  14. Jeffreyt1258@yahoo.com says:

    If he is not tell best
    Then please tell me what race you watch
    The guy is the best
    That’s a fact!!!!
    Hope keith gets his car rolling again
    Sure he will
    Eddy and pennick and berndt aerial the only 3 that fly
    Ronny w is a tick behind but dam good too

  15. Yup, nobody wants the tour yet somehow they only have two off weeks between now and early October. That includes a stretch of 8 different tracks in 8 races before they hit NHMS and Stafford.

  16. Justafan says:

    Hey some guy you clearly have no clue. Let me guess blewitt is in the 4 car cause he was the driver right….. Wrong he comes with a sponsor and $$$……fact is the tour blows chunks and as much as you want to deny it even at his age put tc in quality equipment he will simply out drive people because he is better….. Again im not even a tc fan but I don’t live in fantasy land either

  17. Some guy says:

    Well Justafan…For years the TC fans have told me how much money he has from his multi-million dollar business…..Just reacting to what I am told. I also never said anything about what he could or could not do in a race car. Fact is nobody really wants him in their car….and as a Tool I would not expect you to live in Fantasy land as Tools belong in a Tool box.

  18. Justafan says:

    Haha good one some guy. Ever think he turned down offers because of lack luster equipment. He has been there and done it so he is not going to drive a mid pack car just to be out there.

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