Ryan Preece Wins Shortened SK Mod Feature At Stafford; Ted Christopher Questions Track Decisions

STAFFORD – The sprinkles came under caution with nine laps left and the red flag and checkered flew simultaneously on the SK Modified field at Stafford Motor Speedway.

It made for an elated Ryan Preece and an annoyed Ted Christopher.

Preece, of Berlin, scored the victory in the weather-shortened SK Modified feature, which was stopped after 31 laps. The race was scheduled for 40 laps.

Ted Christopher of Plainville was second and Dan Avery of Somers third.

It was the second victory of the season at Stafford for Preece.

“We haven’t had much luck lately this year,” Preece said. “It seems like things kind of turned around for us. We’re just going to keep working on this car and trying to get better and better every week.”

With no raining falling on the track after the race was called, Christopher skipped out on the celebration of the top-three finishers in victory lane.

The sprinkles that ended the event subsided almost immediately, though lightning was lighting up the sky through most of the running of the event.

The circumstances of the night left Christopher angry with not only the track for the decision to stop the event, but also for the call by track officials to allow Preece to keep the lead after contact in a battle for the top spot sent Michael Gervais Jr. spinning on lap 31.

“They throw a red checkered?” Christopher said. “We don’t even attempt to race the last laps? That’s a [expletive] joke. We should have finished. We had nine [expletive] laps to go. I’m [expletive] pissed.”

A nasty cell hit the trackthe track less than 15 minutes after the race was called bringing heavy downpours and lightning.

Preece took the lead from Avery on lap 19 with Gervais following to second place. On lap 31 Gervais was ahead of Preece in turn four when contact between the two sent Gervais spinning.

“How about the guy takes the [expletive] leader out?” Christopher said. “If I [expletive] did that I’d be thrown to the [expletive] back in a second. Oh my god they kiss the kid’s [rear].”

Preece offered his own explanation of the contact with Gervais.

“He got a run on the outside and I did what I could to stay on the bottom and I got on the brakes real hard,” Preece said. “He tried, I wouldn’t say to come down on me, but you know, he ran it to the bottom like where the white line was. I got on the brakes hard and the back of the car got loose and when you get loose you kind of just chase your car up the hill.

“What I could have done to avoid that was giving up the lead and I don’t know, when you’re the leader right there and you’re in that situation, you don’t think of ‘Should I just let him go.’ You’re doing what you’ve got to do to keep the lead. Did I feel that when I got into him it should have spun him? It was probably just the angle of the way we touched and it sent him sideways and I was sideways. I could barely feel when I touched him. Obviously he’s going to be mad. I don’t know, it is what it is.”

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