Quick Work: Mike Christopher Jr. Wins SK Modified Feature At Stafford

Mike Christopher Jr. celebrates victory Friday in the SK Modified feature at Stafford

STAFFORD – The first two weeks of the season wasn’t exactly the start of 2021 at Stafford Speedway was Mike Christopher Jr. was hoping for.

The Wolcott driver kicked off the season with an 11th place finish in the SK Modified feature on April 24 and then finished ninth in the second event on April 30. 

Friday Christopher found the fix he was looking for when it came to 2021 results at the historic half-mile. 

Christopher went from fourth to the lead on the first lap and was never heartily challenged again on the way to victory in the 40-lap SK Modified feature Friday at Stafford. 

“Big turnaround,” Christopher said. “The first couple weeks of the season we were struggling. … But we pretty much just went back to basics. That’s kind of the rule of thumb here in racing. We were fast in practice, fast in the heat race and it came down to a long green flag run there. I just hit my line. I felt something coming apart in the rear. It kept getting worse. But you know at that point you’re not pulling off. It’s either it brakes or you win and here we are.” 

Keith Rocco of Wallingford was second and division points leader Tyler Hines of North Haven was third. It was the third podium finish of the season for Hines, who won the season opener and was third last week. 

Christopher made quick work of Tyler Leary, Mikey Flynn and Bryan Narducci in front of him on the first lap. 

The race went from a lap 10 restart to the checkered caution free. Rocco went to third on the lap 10 restart and then got by Todd Owen for second on  lap 14. Rocco was all over Christopher’s bumper on lap 18, but Christopher staved off the threat and was able to keep Rocco comfortably at bay for the final 20 laps. 

“I knew he was there,” Christopher said of Rocco. “He had that moment where he was real close and then he backed off. It came down to just hitting my line and being real focused on that. This thing was very line specific so if I got off a little bit I knew I was losing ground. But here we are.” 


  1. It’s nice to see Mike happy. He sucked it up after the Thompson disappointment with an epic quote and now he wins the brass ring. And when I see it happen I think of Mike senior. Prickly old, my way or the highway Mike that last time I checked was doing his own engine assembly as well as the car. Out of his iron fortress guarded by razor wire and attack dogs. Just kidding. About the attack dog, the razor wire maybe not. Old school still works apparently and you have to respect it any time the 82 grabs the checkers first.
    Narducci, Rufrano, Hodgdon, Gervais and Dowling all with clearly disappointing results wrecked or otherwise. Moeller, Korner, Williams and Arute all great nights passing a lot of cars.
    We’ll have no more one hit wonder talk on Tyler Hines. He’s the real deal now and a permanent threat at the top of the standings. If you missed it credit Chase Dowling in his Unmuffled interview singling out Hines in his emotional venting of an example. And example of a driver toiling year after year in obscurity that has talent and can finally show it having gotten a competitive car. That’s what it’s all about isn’t after all with our talk of great drivers. Come on man, it’s about the car first and foremost. Williams, Dowling, whomever. The great drivers aren’t great unless they build or can land in a great car.
    Honorable mention to David Arute. Jumping right into the fence repair and staying busy from beginning too end doing his job including pushing a broom like he’s had a lot of experience doing it. Well done Mark and Lisa.

  2. Tyler is wheeling that car for sure. It shows, you need a combination of talent AND good equipment

  3. Neither Ben nor Matt mentioned that Williams was sent to the back after his contact with Narducci. Let’s hope that trend doesn’t continue for Ronnie.

  4. Great call Rafter fan. Missed it completely. Viewed the video, the announcers said Williams sneaked by the wreck, never mentioned the penalty as Williams went to the back. That the camera person nailed following Williams and they still didn’t mention it talking about Narducci’s “bad luck”. The kicker, Chase Dowling for the second week in a row gets sent off course by Williams impatience.
    Perhaps fear that the Williams faithful would get after them for reporting Williams being less then a saint two weeks in a row.

  5. Every once in a while a NEW DRIVER enters the Competition with the Establishment.. Tyler Hines shows up with a new piece… A DISRUPT-ER shakes up the whole apple cart. Like in the Stock Market, new Company comes along and DISRUPTS an entire Industry … TESLA … Google….ZOOM….
    We will see if Tyler can continue to IMPRESS under the weight of the Handicapping System used in the NORTHEAST… The higher your Points / Money Won..THE HARDER it is to qualify…You start further to the rear in heat races and Features… It’s Amazing how Rocco, Owen, Williams continue their HIGH LEVEL of Finishing in the TOP 5 week after week and dominate the Win Column YEAR after YEAR…!!! Not only against the Competetion , But the Handicapping system..!!Now we will see if Tyler Hines and His new Team can be a DISRUPT-ER to the BIG 3 ??? WE will see ….. LOTS of Racing to GO ….???

  6. Coming up the first Stafford open next week. Ben Dodge mentioned the possibility of 35 to 40 cars at the event. He was right about the Tri Track race at Stafford last year so this might not be Ben Dodge hype.
    That’s a big deal in my view. First because we are watching the impact of rules changes and the NWMT spec being excluded at Stafford. A big car count means the open base of teams has fully moved on from the spec regardless of rules changes.
    In view of the purse and the fact it’s a track open the idea of anything approaching 40 cars exceeding Tri Track is insane. 37 cars are registered and even that seem over sized.
    Finger crossed it happens.

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