Honoring TC: Dave Sapienza Rolls To Stafford With Special Ted Christopher Whelen Mod Tour Tribute Car

Dave Sapienza unveiled his special Ted Christopher Whelen Modified Tour tribute car Saturday morning at Stafford Motor Speedway

STAFFORD – NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour driver Dave Sapienza prides himself in having one of the best looking rides on the series week after week.

Saturday at Stafford Motor Speedway the Riverhead, N.Y. driver showed up at Stafford Motor Speedway for this weekend’s NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour NAPA Fall Final 150 sporting a new look for him, but one very familiar to many around the series.

Sapienza put together a tribute car to the late Ted Christopher. The car memorialized Christopher’s 2008 Whelen Modfied Tour championship run with team owner Ed Whelan.

“It was an honor to be his friend,” Sapienza said. “We became real close over the past two years. I just wanted to do this for him.”

Sapienza said he and Christopher had talked in recent months of teaming in up in multiple ways.

“He’s been breaking my balls for years. He’d say, ‘Come on, let me run your car’” Sapienza said. “I’ve told him, I’m not ready to get out.”

He said they had talked about possibilities of working together on the Whelen Modified Tour, but that Christopher was excited to make a championship run in 2018 with Danny Watts Racing, the team he began competing for mid-way through this season.

“He told me he was excited to go to [New Smyrna [Fla.] Speedway] with [Danny Watts Racing],” Sapienza said. “And that he wanted to run for a championship for them next year. He felt like things looked good.”

Sapienza said he was surprised about a month ago when Christopher asked him to run an SK Modified for him weekly next year at Stafford Motor Speedway. Sapienza said they already had a plan for him to run a Christopher owned SK Modified at the Sunoco World Series of Racing at Thompson Speedway in two weeks.

“He said ‘I want you to be my teammate.’ I said to him ‘Are you [messing] with me? Why me?’” Sapienza said. “He told me, ‘I consider you a friend.’ I thought he was pulling my leg. But he wanted me to come and run the SK here [at Stafford]. I was just honored for him to ask me to be teammates at Stafford. … If he wanted to do that, I was going to make it work.”

Sapienza said he last spoke to Christopher in the morning on Sept. 16, the day he was killed in a plane crash flying to that night’s Whelen Modified Tour event at Riverhead Raceway.

“He asked me, ‘What’s the weather like?’ … He said ‘I’ll see you in a few hours. I’m gonna carve your eyes out.’ And he said ‘Wait a minute, you got my shrimp?’ I was like ‘Yeah, I got your shrimp.’ And that was the last I talked to him.”


  1. darealgoodfella says

    The car looks great!!

  2. Seeing that car again is awesome. Great tribute and great stories by Sap. If the 36 wins on Sunday it will bring the place to it’s knees.That rainbow over TC’s pit stall was freaky enough as it is.

  3. Brings back some great memories, thanks to the 36 team.

  4. I thought it would be cool if the Sapienza team did something like that, but I had no idea they were close and it would actually happen. I never rooted much for the original version of that car only because TC won so much with it. I root for Dave Sapienza’s team anyway, as I spoke to him once and he seemed like a really nice guy, but I will be an even MORE HUGE fan tomorrow!! Great job #36, “carve their eyes out”!!

  5. Gordon Scott says

    36 Team one of the best all time with all the driver

  6. Stuart Fearn says

    Thank you for sharing those couple slivers of your life with Teddy. Those are personal moments and must be very difficult. It feels good to hear though and brings both a smile and tear to my eye at the same time.
    Thank you again and good luck today.

  7. Dave I never met you before today’s pit party ,when I told you the car looked great, you shuck my had and said how much you appreciated that , you went above and beyond, you have a new fan Thanks

  8. You got my shrimp? Yeah I got you’re shrimp.
    Thanks for another great Teddy line I guess.

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