Ted Christopher Wins Valenti Modified Racing Series Wings And Wheels 100 At Waterford

Ted Christopher celebrates his Valenti Modified Racing Series victory Saturday at the Waterford Speedbowl

Ted Christopher celebrates his Valenti Modified Racing Series victory Saturday at the Waterford Speedbowl

WATERFORD – With the clock just about to strike midnight, Ted Christopher put a decade’s worth of frustration at the Waterford Speedbowl behind him Saturday.

Christopher, of Plainville, drove away from Justin Bonsignore on a restart with three laps remaining and held on to win the 100-lap Valenti Modified Racing Series feature at the Waterford Speedbowl.

It was the first victory at Waterford for Christopher since winning in an SK Modified at the track on July 4, 2004.

Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville, N.Y. was second Steve Masse of Bellingham, Mass. third.

Christopher went by Masse for the lead on a lap 43 restart and never trailed again.

“It was satisfying,” Christopher said. “To pass a guy on the outside for the lead was fun. I could see him getting loose and I just knew it was a matter of time. … The thing just goes really really good on the restarts.”

It was the third career Valenti Modified Racing Series victory for Christopher, who runs part-time in the division. His last win with the series came on July 29, 2012 at Thompson Speedway.

The race red-flagged for 10-car pileup on the frontstretch set off when Tommy Barrett and Woody Pitkat tangled in a battle for third place with three laps remaining.

A long cleanup left the series in a rush to get the race restarted before the midnight curfew to throw a green flag on any event at Waterford. The race restarted five minutes before midnight and Christopher drove away from Bonsignore over the final three laps.

“It’s midnight,” Christopher said in victory lane. “I’m glad the fans still stayed out for this. You’ve got to appreciate them for staying out the whole night like this.”

Chris Pasteryak of Lisbon rallied from being involved in incidents in his heat race, the consolation race and started at the back of the field and finished fourth.

Todd Szegedy of Ridgefield, who came into the event in fourth in the standings, 10 points behind Bonsignore at the top of the standings, was disqualified from the event. Szegedy’s car was ordered off the track by series officials just before the final restart.

Valenti Modified Racing Series officials were not available immediately following the event to explain the penalty. According to multiple sources, Szegedy’s car owner, Kevin Stuart, was involved in a verbal disagreement with series officials during the long caution period over teams were allegedly working on cars in the pits while under a red flag.

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  1. The whole issue with Todd Szegedy was really uncalled for! The truth is this whole incident would not have happened if the MRS officials followed the RED FLAG RULE “you can not work on a car during a red flag”, PLAIN and simple!! That is standard in racing – nothing something new in racing. MRS caused this not the angry car owner. . By the way that car owner was not the only car owner or drivers unhappy with this. This was a slap in the face to all the competitors who support this division every week, to see that cars were allowed to work on there cars during the red flag and then go back and finish the race. MRS you need to follow the rules, remember you have no SERIES if you don’t have CARS!! These car owners are the one’s spending the money to support your division every week. START PLAYING FAIR !!!

  2. CAM this is not NA$CAR many short track series do have a rule that does not have a “red flag rule” To enforce that they would have to have an official for each pit stall. I would rather see the money go to the purse and support the race teams than pay more officials. Under the “red flag rule” many teams will not be able to fix their cars in time or they will have to run more caution lap to give them time to. Either way it makes the show not as good for the fans. If you want to spend more money to watch or race boring NA$CAR go ahead the short track fans and drivers wont miss your whining. The MRS rule book says you CAN work on the car during a red flag I guess CAM thought he was too special to read it.

  3. Frank Franklin says

    The no working on cars during a red flag rule is flat out the stupidest rule in auto racing.

  4. Frank Franklin says

    And score one for the quinquagenarian – a solid win. He now has as many victories as fellow combatant Nichole Morgillo at Waterford in the last decade! Now if he can just beat Keith in the SK division…

  5. DB – MRS has nothing to do with a short track. You best go back to the MRS rule book section 2:16 which states you can ONLY work on your car during a red flag if you were already in the pits PRIOR to the RED Flag, which in this case came out right away. If you were towed in because of this accident you were not in the pits prior to the red flag. Since you have no idea the MRS teams are all in the area of the near the race track exit with there pit boxes in event there car needs adjustments/repairs and there is MRS officials there monitoring what is going on. The cars that were working on them during the red flag were cars that were in the accident, not cars in prior to red flag. Remember DB the car owns are the ones spending the money so you have something to watch no matter what division it is. So I guess DB you can’t read or understand what you read!

  6. The “red flag” rule is customary to NASCAR touring series. Thats one of the many reasons they have an official for each pit stall. It is customary with most non NASCAR short track series do not count caution laps. Its assumed they dont unless otherwise stated. Whether you go to a MRS race or a NEMA race you assume they are only counting green flag laps. The rules do not say you cant work on your car after being towed to the pits. It only says you cant pit during the red flag because of safety reasons. It is not talking about cars being cleared from the track. but cars pitting under their own power. If this were the case the wreckers would wait at the pit entrance until the red was lifted.

  7. CAM- Without the fans there is no place for the car owners or drivers to race. Many tracks with decent to good car counts have closed due to decreased attendance by fans. Also many times some of those fans are tomorrows car owners and drivers.

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