Mike Christopher Jr. Wins TickMike.Com SK Mod All-Star Showdown; Father Retires After Event

Mike Christopher Sr. and Mike Christopher Jr. following Saturday’s TickMike.com SK Modified All-Star Showdown at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)

STAFFORD – Mike Christopher scored the big payday, but the payoff was about more than money for the 22-year old from Wolcott Saturday at Stafford Speedway. 

The pre-show for the long anticipated debut of the Camping World Series SXR Series was the special invitation only showdown event for the SK Modified division Saturday. 

It meant when Christopher took the checkered after the 50-lap event he got out of his car and got the chance to salute about 10,000 fans in the grandstands. 

It was an experience like nothing else the 22-year old has ever experienced in his short track racing career. 

“It was awesome,” Christopher said. “It’s just incredible. Not only were we able to race out there and show what the SK Modifieds are, I was able to win. That’s something that every one of us wants to do. It’s just another level. It feels awesome with all those people there. It feels like a [huge] event.” 

Christopher took home $5,000 for the event, scoring $1,000 for winning stage two and $4,000 for winning the event overall. 

The event featured two 20-lap stages and then a final 10-lap stage. 

Christopher went from fifth to first on the first lap of the final stage and never trailed again.

Tyler Hines of North Haven was second and Teddy Hodgdon IV of Danbury third. 

The event was open to the top-15 in the SK Modified standings at Stafford and any past SK Modified champions at the track. 

It meant Christopher got to share the track with his father.

The pair got to race at one point in the second stage side-by-side for the lead. Mike Christopher Sr. finished fifth in the event. 

“That was the best part about it was all those people,” Mike Christopher Sr. said. “I don’t even know if they’re short track racing fans, but it was great to see that. And especially to run good. To have both cars wheel like that, it was great. A lot of fun.” 

The 63-year old Mike Christopher Sr. has raced sparingly over the last two decades in events at Stafford and on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. He said Saturday’s event at Stafford was his last behind the wheel.

“I’m pretty sure that’s it,” Mike Christopher Sr. said. “I really really enjoy building them and making the kid go fast. I really do like that. It’s a lot of freaking work. But I like that part. But I’m good, to go our running good like this, I’m good, I’m fine with that.” 

Mike Christopher Sr. was a three-time SK Modified champion at Stafford and had 28 career victories in the division. 

“He has to be pretty pumped to be out there battling with Junior,” Stafford chief operating officer Paul Arute said. “It’s pretty cool to see them both get huge applause. Half these people probably haven’t been to the track before and he got the biggest applause out there.”

Mike Christopher Jr. celebrates in front of the packed house Saturday at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)


  1. Congrats to Mike Jr. on your win and Mike Sr. on your 5th place finish. This is great stuff. 63 and can still wheel an SK with the best of them.

  2. Seeing the stands full for a change gave me goose bumps.
    Was this SK race a success? You tell me. I don’t think the format has legs for the future outside something like this mainly because the division is so competitive and passing so hard. You can offer the biggest bonus in the world to come from the rear but if it takes divine intervention to pass 5 cars in 20 laps then you’re not really offering much are you. I don’t think the TC13 is that great either. In fact I’d say what they offer, the 40 lap main is pretty much the ideal for the division. At least in those races Rocco and Williams are a little more serious in getting to the front with points on the line and time to get there.
    Not surprised Mike Sr got such a kick out of the event seeing as how whatever that was on the start saved Mike Jr a whole lot of trouble actually passing cars that could race him back. Looked to me like the old man cost Owen a shot at the big money on the start of the final segment but we’ll see on the replay. Owen was polite post race but he didn’t look too happy.
    As for the night as a whole my view is that it was an unequivocal success for the first time out and am hoping they get decent ratings.

  3. Hudson Swafford says

    Who in the world thought it was a good idea to have Jerry Pearl and Bo Gunning on the track “racing” yesterday at full speed. Good god man, that was terrible. Set up a card table and have them sign pictures but keep them off the track for crying out loud. That was a problem waiting to happen. No hate for Mr Pearl, great guy and great family. Bo on the other hand…

  4. Well, well, well. All the crap printed about Mike Sr on previous threads and you all know who you are. Then what does the “old man” do? Rips off a top 5 against the best of the best in the SK’s at Stafford. I am surprised you can type this morning seeing around your foot that is shoved down your throat. God I love it!

    A little toe jamb with your toast this morning Douglas?

    PS Douglas, Owen will get right over it as if he never wronged anyone in his career. That’s if in your opinion it did indeed happen. As the great TC would say, I’m not here to make friends.

  5. WeldingWonders says





    Doug says
    June 9, 2021 at 8:35 am
    What we have so far is Mike Christopher who is fully qualified to race not just because of who he is. He’s raced in the current era and he’s intimately familiar with every aspect of SK’s building the darn things. Everything surrounding the Christopher’s is compelling an extraordinary addition to this special race. Jerry Pearl is not in the same class at all.

    You don’t have to have raced a car to appreciate just how hard driving one of them is. We have the video. They’re going really fast in a pack, literally inches away from each other. Even for the youngest and best it’s almost impossible to react in time to some the the racing challenges they face in every race they run. Now you’re telling me you’re serious about putting an old man (JERRY PEARL) who hasn’t done it in decades in the same field with the drivers competing for a lot of money and say have at it. COME ON MAN!!!!


    Doug says
    June 3, 2021 at 9:49 pm
    This race won’t have any easy cars to pass. For a guy in his 60’s that hasn’t been honing his reaction time and muscle memory on a weekly basis he’s going to need the 82 and a couple Red Bulls wouldn’t hurt either.. If we’re putting on our prediction hats I’m sticking with what I said. Age makes a difference. Advancing age requires more commitment to training (example Tom Brady) which in this case is turning laps and he hasn’t been able to do that for obvious reasons.

    Doug says
    June 5, 2021 at 6:42 am
    The headline won’t be former modified champion returns to shock the SK world and win the pre SRX high paying SK prelim. It’s a heart warming story. One of a dad doing what every father dreams of doing. Competing against their son or daughter under the bright lights in a high stakes contest.

    Doug says
    June 11, 2021 at 9:33 am
    Not interfering with the regulars should be the main goal and having a good time next in line. Top 5 there is just no way short of some exigent circumstance like half the field wrecking. It’s an older Chassis Dynamics car with no recent record of keeping up with the current pace. Billy (Bo) Gunning raced twice in 2016 and 2017 with nary a top 10. There is a prior champion that could have a big night however and it’s not Gramps Pearl.

    I’m on pins and needles waiting to see if Mike Sr will take the 82 for tomorrow night. My goodness he’s the guy that owns and built it. He’s been stuck in Ted’s shadow forever even though when they raced together he was the better driver. He’s worked advancing Mike Jr’s career tirelessly and unselfishly for oh so long. This is his night and the car is one that can win or at the very least compete hard in the front at one of more of the three segments. I can’t say if taking the B car would be once again deferring to a son he loves or perhaps being afraid that he may not be able to drive it as well as Mike Jr having been on ice so long. What I can say is if it’s the latter you’ll be supported and appreciated for the memories it brings back regardless of the finish. I can say that while everyone and his brother remembers Ted Christopher and heaps praise on him Bo Gunning, Jerry Pearl, myself and many more remember just how good Mike Christopher was in his prime. If it’s only for a moment seeing the 82 at the front racing hard with Mike Sr driving it will be a moment to treasure.
    Race the 82 Mr. Christopher. This is your night.

  6. 🌈🦄2020 says

    Who in the world thought that Gunning would get a top ten?

  7. I will be at Thompson Wednesday night Doug. Come on up a have a beer (I’m buying) with old cactus Earl. Would really like to meet you and chew the fat in person, heck you might like me once you meet me. I’m really not a bad guy. Would be fun.

    Mike Sr showed em how to get it done and I for one am dam proud of his effort.

    And you are right 2020, Bo a top 10? Go figure.

  8. Hey Earl, I’ll be at Thompson on Wednesday. I have no interest to meet you whatsoever.

  9. Bo got a top 10 ? Good thing dreams are free I remember four or five years ago when he was a regular at the bowl he would start on the pole and he still couldn’t finish in the top 10

  10. Freakin WeldingWonders busting my chops. We’re watching the race last night and he’s saying like Earl that I got it wrong on Mike Sr. I tell him to prove it and now this. And he’s doing it on my computer.
    Don’t believe me believe Mike Sr. On Facebook before the race he said a driver needs to race weekly to be competitive and he was right. He drove into Owen, finishes the race and supposedly retires……again. That was spur of the moment so it may or may not be the case. Dad unintentionally clears a path for his son to take the lead with pretty much no effort at all and you’re telling me that’s some kind of racing skill. Tell you what it was it was blind, unadulterated, completely random good fortune for the Christopher clan. You couldn’t have written a script more perfectly on that one.
    You’re wrong Cactus Earl I like you already and actually a lot even if we agree on pretty much nothing. I won’t be at Thompson and may not ever be at any race again for that matter. Last night I watched the Stafford SK special, switched to the Supers at Oswego on FloRacing then the NWMT race. After that the SRX recorded on the DVR and with all the data provided on Race Monitor and NASCAR Live Timing it was near the perfect night of racing for a geezer.
    Jerry Pearl may not know his limitations but I do. I could say I have my Speed51 ticket already for Wednesday and it would be true but it’s not the real reason I won’t be at Thompson. Long drives, exhaust fumes, beer and late nights not a good combination for a guy in his 70’s when the same product is a click away. I’ve driven a Street Stock at Thompson, drank a lot of beer at races and been to a lot of races. The Barkalounger is the place for me now.

  11. Trust me dacellardweller the feeling is mutual. You aren’t all that and the bag of chips you think you are.

  12. “drank a lot of beer at races and been to a lot of races. The Barkalounger is the place for me now”.

    Don’t blame you bud, saves a lot of money as well. Like I tell my wife, if I had all the money back I spent on racing over the last 3+ decades I could have retired many years ago!

  13. Actual Racer says

    Hate the format. Why on earth would the track give you 4 inventory tires for a non points race. Guys like the 50 and 88 took the opportunity to say thank you and put the new tires aside for points racing and run old ones in a race that should be packed with action. I assume they weren’t the only ones either. We want action. Now the 88, 50, and guys that ran old tires will have an advantage all year.

  14. Must have been a great day for the SK teams – Plenty of $$$ from Tick Mike to go out and put a show on for the fans in a relaxed atmosphere. Meeting with all the old timers from all racing circles, great weather too.

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