Happy Returns: Todd Owen Snaps Long Winless Stretch In SK Modified At Stafford Speedway

STAFFORD – Todd Owen took the checkered flag and his crew chief had a question for him over the radio.

Todd Owen in Victory Lane Friday (Photo: Nicholas Teto)

“My crew chief said he wanted to know if I remembered how to get [to victory lane] because it’s been so long,” Owen said.

Owen held off Ted Christopher on a green-white-checkered conclusion to win the 40-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway.

It was the first victory in an SK Modified at Stafford for Owen, of Somers, since July 21, 2006.

“Unbelievable,” Owen said. “This thing was awesome. It drove to the front by itself. It was an awesome race. It was a lot of fun. I’m just happy for once to come out on the right end of the stick.”

Christopher, of Plainville, held on for second and Ryan Preece of Berlin was third.

Owen was battling at the front of the field for nearly the duration of the event, but in the late stages Preece looked to have the car to beat. But Preece’s shifter broke on lap 38 restart, giving Owen the lead and moving Christopher to second.

Another caution set up the final decisive restart. At the green Christopher jumped ahead of Owen going into turn one, but Owen fought back on the inside and came out of turn two back in front.

“You’ve got Ted next to you, you know he’s going to get a good restart,” Owen said. “He drove that thing in there, I was like ‘Oh I’m done.’ I think he forgot to lift, I don’t know what happened. But he’s been awesome to race with and I knew he wouldn’t do anything to compromise my chance to win.”

Said Christopher: “That was definitely tough. I’ve got congratulate Todd. He’s one of the best guys to race with here. It’s good to see him win.”

The second place unofficially gave Christopher a 46 point lead over Woody Pitkat in the standings with one event remaining, essentially clinching the record eighth SK Modified division championship at Stafford for Christopher, the track’s all-time winningest driver. Christopher needs only to start the last race of the year on Sept. 30 to guarantee the title.

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