Dominator: Mike Christopher Jr. Wins CBYD Open Modified 81 At Stafford

Mike Christopher Jr. celebrates victory in the 811 Call Before You Dig Open Modified 81 Friday at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

STAFFORD – On May 7 Mike Christopher Jr. scored his first SK Modified victory of the 2021 season at Stafford Speedway.

Friday Christopher rolled that momentum into a $5,000 payday at his home track. 

Christopher drove away from Ryan Preece over the final 20 laps to win the 811 Call Before You Dig Open Modified 81 at Stafford. 

It was the first victory in a Tour Type Open Modified event at Stafford for Christopher

“It’s unbelievable to be at Stafford and win in an Open car and on top of that it’s for Tommy Baldwin Racing and [],” Christopher said. “It’s a dream come true.” 

Preece, of Berlin, was second and Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park, N.Y. third. 

Preece was third for a lap 49 restart with Christopher in fifth. Anthony Nocella held the lead on the restart with Preece moving to second and Christopher to third.

On lap 50 Preece got under Anthony Nocella for the lead going into turn one. But Christopher rocketed under Preece through turn two and came out with the lead down the backstretch. 

Caution flew once again on lap 52 but Christopher was able to fend off Preece on the ensuing restart and then drive away as the event went green the rest of the way. 

“The car was great from the beginning,” Christopher said. “… Preece and I got into it off of [turn four on a restart]. It might have been a racing deal. It probably is a racing deal. I had that opening into turn one and everything stuck. He drove up high and the hole was there and we [took] the lead.”

Said Tommy Baldwin Jr.: “It’s been a long time coming. I try to remember the last time I won here. I think it was ’95 or ’96. … The car was good tonight and obviously Michael did a great job on the restart there.”


  1. David Fisher says

    Pretty good race. Looked like Preece walled him off 4 on a restart (unintentionally, I mean); I thought MC’s day was over. But he dug in and got it done. Good job.

  2. Awesome run for mike jr and yes he is a christopher

  3. Viva Race Fan says

    And didn’t wreck anyone to get there . Not a chip off old block ..
    Kid has talent and great numbers there for sure.

  4. *The 9ct was the fastest car and by a lot. You only get to be in that position so many times. Dowling couldn’t be interviewed since he was so hot knowing what opportunity he lost. I’d bet he’d be blaming himself since he is responsible for prepping the car. The owner Dodge was professional announcing the premature retirement of the car but it must have been tearing him up inside knowing they had the car to beat until it expired.
    *Seriously Stafford if you want more people to attend the races you’re going to need to dial back the quality of the FloRacing product. It’s clearly the best race production by far for a small track including NBC Sports Gold. More camera angles, fast and slow replays, post wreck analysis and interviews.
    It’s petty but at least race related petty as opposed to the political pettiness often seen here. That speed shot……..paint the top of the wall for about 30 feet. Everything looks so good the peeling paint looks uncharacteristically shabby. I don’t know if CBS will use that camera but the SK special event will so let’s cross that T what-a-ya-say guys?
    *Second isn’t winning which is what Preece is there for but it’s progress. He’s doing these drop ins with high expectations and for the most part have garnered disappointing results. You can’t do this stuff part time with part time help and expect consistent winning results. Now that they’re racing more often the results are showing. Second in that particular field that was strong was good.
    *The Partridge/Preece 6. What is it? All we know is the driver. Started as a Mike Paquette experimental collaboration a few years ago. Then one of a couple Partridge Troyers at some point. Now it’s a Fury? What’s that all about? And the engines. Spec for NWMT events like tonight but what built variation were they using at Stafford? Preece THE biggest name in these events. Shouldn’t we know more then then the name of the owner, sponsor and driver?
    *The dominance of the Stafford gang may be over. An especially tough night for the Rocco stable of presumed dart steel head engines including Lutz, Gervais, Moeller, Ruffrano and Rocco himself. Were I a conspiracy theorist I’d suggest that the compression ratio rule was followed to a T this year and thus the so-so power. But I’d never suggest that since there’s no way I could know it.
    *Outperformed in my view: Emerling, Nocella, McDermott and Goodale. Goodale not for the finish of 6th but having so many issues and charging back to a solid 6th. Underperformed: Dowling and Rocco obviously and Williams.
    *Did the rules changes affect the results? I do believe they did to some degree. One thing that was a concern but is now dead and buried is the notion that the rules changes would drive more teams to using NWMT specs for opens and pass on Stafford. Stafford had Tri Track type numbers an amazing accomplishment for what was considered a lesser open when it all started in 2018.

  5. I like where they listed at the Icebreaker was it, for the entry list, he chassis make, don’t recall the motor being listed, but I really like that level of intel… and money won in the final results of course..

  6. The Atomic Punk says

    Membership has it’s privileges.

  7. Congrats to MCJ, Tommy.Baldwin and the 7NY team for the win. Great job.

  8. Very few bonus point fund cars attended, no Rameau,Silk,Hirschman,seems odd all those guys needed were decent Stafford finishes and Wins on Tri Track would easily give them the Bonus 8k$$$

  9. Fast Eddie says

    Nice job by Mike Christopher, Tommy Baldwin, and crew! Also a great turnout of cars as well. Looked like Dowling was going to run away and hide, maybe running too hard too early? Nice seeing Burt Meyers have a good run except for the late spin.

  10. Has Ben or Matt ever said “on air” that Ben owns the 9?

  11. Rafter Fan,
    I’m not sure.

  12. I’m listening at home fairly carefully and can recall no statement of ownership by Buckler or Dodge regarding the 9ct. On the contrary. Scrupulous in avoiding mentioning it.
    What was obvious was Dodge joining the celebration in victory lane after Dowling won the Tri Track final last October and beaming ear to ear.

  13. Fast Eddie says

    I meant to ask this question before and lost track of it. The #34 of Dave Ethridge looks very much like the #33 of Wade Cole, primarily yellow body with a black roof. Does anyone know if that was his intent? I’m guessing yes, because it’s very different from his usual car colors of a black body with a fluorescent green roof. If so I wanted to make sure people knew about it. I thought it was a very cool tribute by Ethridge and the #34 team!

  14. I have no recollection of a green top. Ethridge got on my radar coming in third in the first Stafford open. The bottom black, top yellow with those super easy to read huge yellow numbers. This year it’s all reversed but same colors as far as I can see. If it’s a tribute it sure has gone under the radar.

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