Ted Christopher Personal Remembrance: Joe Skotnicki

Ted Christopher (Photo: Fran Lawlor)

Joe Skotnicki is a longtime Whelen Modified Tour crew member, former NASCAR official and owner of the Race Of Champions Modified Series. He shared these thoughts below with us at RaceDayCT … 

By Joe Skotnicki 

The emotion of the last week, beginning Saturday, September 16, 2017 will not go away quickly.

I took a look at someone I consider a legend in the sport’s Facebook page to see what he had to say;

From Mark “Bones” Bourcier personal Facebook page;
“Ted Christopher could make you laugh, make you mad, or make you crazy, all in the course of one night at the track or one phone call. But, by God, he had natural talent to burn when it came to driving a race car. As has been pointed out in recent weeks, after he’d gotten feisty at a Connecticut track and had his hand slapped as a result, he had more passion at 59 than most eager rookies do. He loved his sport, his family, and his wife, Quinn, and he damn sure loved life. Teddy died in a Saturday-afternoon plane crash. Naturally, he was traveling to a race. Thanks, amigo, for the thrills and the fun times. They won’t soon be forgotten. – Bones”

Only Bones has the ability to get it this right. There are days and nights when I can remember questioning what he did, but that was just Ted being Ted.

If you’re reading this, Teddy Christopher had the gift that we are all born with but then our makeup takes over and determines how we use that gift. We were fortunate enough to be able to watch Ted hone his gift into something so special right in front of our very eyes. Some of us were fortunate enough to become his friend. When he was booed in New England, I would always take notice because some of the people booing had no clue about the real guy and then some of the people booing were people the man actually helped. He dealt with it all, that’s what made him that guy.

The comparisons to others and to other times happen, but they shouldn’t. Different eras represent different times. Ted Christopher was our generations Ted Christopher, simple as that and we were lucky to have him.

Everyone has their memories with him, I’ve had my share, but one in particular jumps out. I was spotting for Ryan Preece at Stafford during a NASCAR Tour race on a Friday night and I had my son with me, he was around 10 at the time. Earlier in the night Ted had asked about him and said “send him over, I want to see how he’s grown…” After the race, Zachary walked over to Teddy Christopher’s trailer as if he’d known Ted for years. He came back a little while later with a question.

Zachary – “Dad?”

Me – “What’s up?”

Zachary – “Ted wanted to know why my ‘Old Man’ didn’t get that kid out of the way quicker when he was lapping him tonight?”

Me – Jaw on the ground type look, with a smirk, “He really asked you that? (I got a head nod in response) Well you go and tell Ted I did the best I could.”

We didn’t run well that night, it no longer mattered.

Zachary went off into the night, presumably back to Ted’s trailer. I never asked. Every race after that, that same kid went off to an autograph session or over to see Ted and always came back with a smile, a little story, whatever it was, there was that Ted connection. They had bonded and that’s how Ted did things. Ted had this amazing ability to make you a part of something, I watched him do it often.

Some things would be easier to explain if they happened differently. Saturday, September 16, 2017 will be one of those days, but we will pick up and move on. It will never be the same, we all know that. We really need to be thankful that we had as much time with him as we did. I know I am. I said it a lot of times to him for things he did, but I’d like to add something, Thanks Ted, I’m going to miss you.


  1. Well said friend

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