Mike Christopher Jr. Gets Third Straight SK Mod Win At Stafford; Michael Wray Tops Late Models

Mike Christopher Jr. celebrates his third consecutive victory following the SK Modified feature Sunday at the NAPA Fall Final at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)

STAFFORD – Mike Christopher Jr. has had quite a few chances before to celebrate in victory lane at NAPA Fall Final weekend at Stafford Motor Speedway.

Though before Sunday those chances all came celebrating with his late uncle Ted Christopher.

Sunday Mike Christopher Jr. got the chance to be the one celebrated.

Mike Christopher Jr. drove away from the field over the late stages to win the 40-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature at the NAPA Fall Final Sunday at Stafford.

It was the third consecutive victory for Mike Christopher Jr. and his fourth overall this year. The teen from Wolcott is driving for the team previously run by his late Uncle and now owned by his aunt Quinn Christopher.

Ted Christopher was killed in a plane crash on Sept. 16, 2017 while flying to a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway.

Mike Christopher Jr. got his first SK Modified at Stafford on June 15 at Stafford.

Ted Christopher is Stafford’s all-time winningest driver overall with 131 career victories. He also leads the SK Modified division all-time with 109 victories. Mike Christopher Sr. is fifth all-time on the track’s SK Modified win list with 28 victories.

“It’s been one of the best seasons of my life, especially to get three in a row in a row here at the end of the season and especially winning on a Fall Final weekend,” Mike Christopher Jr. said. “It’s been a dream of mine since I was kid. I’ve been coming here watching Ted and my dad race here since I was little.”

Keith Rocco of Wallingford was second and Todd Owen of Somers third.

Owen used the outside lane on a lap 18 restart to go by Rocco for the lead, with Mike Christopher Jr. moving to second.

On a lap 22 restart it was Mike Christopher Jr. getting the jump on Owen to take over the lead.

Mike Christopher Jr. credited the high-lane grip for his stout performance.

“There’s a bunch of grip up there,” Mike Christopher Jr. said. “I saw Owen took the outside on that restart but we had a good restart thanks to the Jericho [transmission] and the Pettit [Racing Engines] power. We were racing hard and finally got by him. [Shawn] Waddell, my spotter, was giving me lap times and I saw that the top was just rolling. You could run the outside, send it in out of control and get in the throttle way before the center [of the corner] and go right to the bottom. That was a clinic right there.”

Mike Christopher Jr. checked out from the field. Rocco moved to second on lap 30 but never had a chance to challenge the lead again.

“I think we were running the same exact lap times,” Rocco said of he and Mike Christopher Jr. “We were both pretty close. We always take the bottom on the restarts and today with the hot weather and the track grippy like it is, the top was the place to be. We got stuck on the bottom there and struggled and worked our way to get back up to second. But we needed a restart. It would have been a good battle. It would have been good to race side-by-side with him. … Not the showing we wanted but we’ll take it.”

Michael Wray of Northford got his second win of the season in the 30-lap Late Model feature. Kevin Gambacorta of Ellington was second and Darrell Keane of Enfield third.

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  1. To win 3 in a row is very hard to do… the 82 camp found something!!!

  2. Great job 82!

    I hoped the 50 enjoyed being “parked”, he enjoys wishing that of others.

  3. CONGRATS to MCJ 3 in a row, very impressive.

  4. The question at the beginning of the season I posed was can Mike Christopher take a superior team and produce superior results.Results that exceed the mediocre finished he had in the old 82.
    The answer is yes.
    From the start I never thought Mike had the competitive spirit his uncle did nor was it fair to expect anyone to have it. Thought he was a safe, competent driver that would do OK but not drive up to the cars potential. The early races and the Opens in the 13 seemed to prove my point. But seasons aren’t about a couple months they are about the season.
    My perfect record of being wrong is well in tack.

  5. Congratulations Mike!

  6. Fast Eddie says

    I’m sure there is a guy that looks very much like Mike’s dad looking down at Stafford yesterday with a smile on his face bigger than anyone after Mike Jr.’s third in a row! Congrats to Mike Jr., family and crew!

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