Racing Legend Ted Christopher Killed In Plane Crash Saturday

Ted Christopher waves to the crowd after winning an SK Modified feature on Sept. 10 at Thompson Speedway

Local auto racing legend Ted Christopher was killed in a plane crash Saturday in Connecticut.

Christopher was 59 years old.

Christopher was flying to Long Island to compete in a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway in Riverhead, N.Y.

Christopher was one of two people killed on the plane, which crashed in a wooded area near the town line of North Branford and Guilford.

Christopher was known as one of the leading and most diverse short track drivers in America over the last two decades. He was also known for a confident bravado like few others in the local short track racing scene. In the ranks of New England Modified racing he was most commonly referred to by two monikers, either simply “TC” or “The King”.

He was the 2001 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national short track champion. He also won the 2008 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship.

Christopher was the all-time winningest driver at both Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson Speedway. He was also a longtime regular competitor at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.

At Stafford Motor Speedway he competed weekly in the track’s premier division, the SK Modifieds. He had a division leading six victories this year, with his last win coming on Sept. 8. He finished fourth in the SK Modified feature Friday at Stafford.

He had 109 career SK Modified victories at Stafford Speedway and nine championships in the division. Overall he had 131 victories at the track overall since 1986. His next closet competitor on the all-time wins list at the track was Woody Pitkat with 77 victories.

At Thompson Speedway he had won one of two SK Modified features at the track in the last event there on Sept. 10. It was his 99th victory overall at the facility.

At the New London-Waterford Speedbowl he had 48 career victories.

He was the third winningest driver of all-time on the Whelen Modified Tour with 42 career victories in 372 starts dating back to the 1987 season.

Christopher long had a reputation for racing anything anytime. From local Midgets divisions, to SuperModifieds, to indoor events in Three-Quarter Midgets to competing twice at the top level of Sports Car racing at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.

He had made six career starts in NASCAR’s top-level Monster Energy Cup Series. He had 21 career starts in NASCAR’s second level Xfinity Series.

In NASCAR’s regional K&N Pro Series East he had 10 career victories in 92 starts from 1990 to 2008.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration Christopher was traveling in a Mooney M20C, a propeller-driven plane, which crashed at 1:53 p.m.

Ted Christopher celebrates his sixth SK Modified division victory of the season Sept. 8 at Stafford Motor Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont)

Ted Christopher celebrates victory in an SK Modified feature Sept. 10 at Thompson Speedway


  1. TC you will be missed by all

  2. TC's Biggest fan says

    Words escape me at this monumentally sad day. My heart is broken for his family and his fans, myself included. I’m not sure I will ever be able to accept this. 💔 RIP to the legand that is TC. Racing will never be the same.

  3. A sad day for all. Condolences to Quinn, Michael, and the rest of the Christopher family. Rest In Peace, TC. Thank you for many years of magic.

  4. By No means a TC FAN BUT I am saddened and shocked, My condolences to the Christopher FAMILY!
    Godspeed TC

  5. RIP TC. You will be missed by all. Whenever Teddy was there, you knew you were in for a show.

  6. He was the dale of short track racing.The sport lost a legend!

  7. I am in shock. He will be missed. Thinking of his family and friends.

  8. I’m in absolute shock. The news floored me. RIP TC. Modified racing forever changed today. My thoughts go out to his family.

  9. Couldn’t believe it when i heard the news earlier but since it’s been confirmed its even more devastating. One the best, and always a contender,even at 59 yrs old. Heel to some, idol to others he will forever be missed. Thoughts go out to his family and friends. RIP T.C.

  10. Whether you were a fan or not, the Northeast racing world has suffered a huge loss.

    Condolences to the friends, family and fans.

    Godspeed Ted.

  11. This is so heartbreaking to hear of teddys death . One of the best I ever got to see drive a open wheel car. Ted will be missed …my heart go out to his family going to the track won’t be the same.

  12. My heart goes out to the Christopher family and friends. Tragic loss for them. Terrible loss for the racing community. It was a strange evening at the Speedbowl as word spread through the grandstands, then the announcement and tribute. I was never less interested in what was happening on the track. All I could think of was how much we are all going to miss him. How we’ll never see those classic battles between TC and Rocco which seemed to happen week in and week out. The fog that rolled in was sort of how we all felt tonight at the Speedbowl. In a fog. Not fully grasping the tragic loss. Rest in Peace Ted Christopher.

  13. I heard that an airplane crashed in Branford but I never believed it was anyone we knew. sad.

  14. Ken Conrad Jr says

    I was not a TC fan. But he always put on on hell of a show.
    A lot of respect for TC, you love him or hate him.
    A true racer. RIP


  15. Ginny Graham says

    Very well said. Today was a very sad day for racing in the Northeast.

  16. So sad man
    I’m in shock like most.

    This guy is the reason lots of us follow racing..

  17. I was and will always be a TC fan. I’m still in disbelief my boy is gone! Love him or hate he put on a show. Just like Dale he never gave up. TC would race anything with a steering wheel,4 tires and a motor. He truly loved racing. My prayers go out to the Christopher family. This a Sad Sad Day for the whole Northeast Racing Family. Godspeed Teddy Christopher (You will be missed) TC drove a lot of different race cars with different numbers, but I will Always remember #13 forever!!!

  18. carter mcnabb says

    Every man dies but not every man really lives. (William Wallace) Ted really lived. Ill miss watching him race, my heart goes out to his entire family. RIP

  19. While we certainly will mourn the loss of, and terribly miss TC, lest we forget the other life lost in the crash alongside of Ted.

  20. What a loss. Teddy will be sorely missed. God bless you Mr. Christopher. I pray for his family.

  21. Jinbinct I agree with you. I think everyone was stunned in the stands. Almost like you wanted it to be one of those fake news articles. Especially since it had not made the local news and was a surprise to many because of how recent the accident was. RIP Teddy heaven gained another racing legend far too soon.

  22. Raymie noonan says

    Go easy driver!!

  23. “Local auto racing legend”. Inaccurate. Judging from expressions of sympathy from some heavy hitters from around the country Ted Christopher was anything but simply local.

  24. With everything going on in the world today,this is the last thing I needed to hear. ted christopher made you Foget the nonsense and witness a talent so few have in a modified..R.I.P.

  25. My heartfelt condolences go out to Quinn, Michael and the entire Christopher family. We have lost another racing legend way to young. May you rest in piece Ted and God speed.

  26. R.I.P Ted

  27. Jari Georgia says

    I don’t know how I’m going to be able to watch Modified racing anymore…TC was the greatest Modified driver of our generation. I put him right up there with Richie Evans. One time at Thompson I was listening to another younger drivers radio…on a restart the young driver’s spotted instructed him to “stick like glue to Teddy’s back bumper and follow that bulldozer to the front.” TC will always be P1 in my book. #originalBadAss #GodspeedTC

  28. Saddened by this news. My favorite driver ever. Thanks for the memories and your tire off you car. Never forgotten. RIP TC

  29. I am in disbelief. We loved watching TC at waterford interacting with him at driver and fan days. You will be truly missed. RIP TC

  30. Prayers for family, friends and fans…

  31. Duane Stonier says

    I’m in complete shock and totally bummed Anyone who knew Ted off the track knows he was such a nice guy and had so much going for him. Such a horrible loss. I pray for Quinn, Mike, Mike jr, Jen, Nicole etc. We will all miss you Teddy. Hope your in a better place.

  32. Johnny Strawser says

    Raced against him in Karts He and his brother were really good

  33. darealgoodfella says

    I was traveling on Saturday and heard this news in the evening. Haven’t been right since. I still had about 4-5 hours before I got home, and I don’t remember a thing about those last few hours on the way home. It’s going to be tough finishing this season. All the series and tracks TC ran… all missing him.

    I wish all the best to Woody, no pressure. Just do the best you can.

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