Sailing Away: Mike Christopher Jr. Wallops Field In Sunoco Modified Feature At Thompson 

Mike Christopher Jr. celebrates victory in the Sunoco Modified feature Saturday at Thompson Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

THOMPSON – Outside of the folks pouring beers on the midway, there might not be anyone busier than Mike Christopher Jr. at the Sunoco World Series at Thompson Speedway. 

Christopher’s packed weekend slate includes appearances in six features, driving the three Tour Type Modified events for car owner Tommy Baldwin Jr. and all three Sunoco Modified features for his family owned team. 

Saturday Christopher made sure all the effort didn’t go without a trip to victory lane. 

Christopher, of Wolcott, checked out from the field to easily win the 30-lap Sunoco Modified feature Saturday at Thompson Speedway. 

“We have six races this weekend, that’s a lot of racing,” Christopher said. “I’m hoping to get at least one of them, or a couple of them, so this is good to get one now right at the halfway point.

“The car has been really really good for the past two months or so. We kind of struggled in the beginning of the year. … But we started figuring it out. It was even good [Friday]. We had engine trouble, that kind of hurt us.”

The Sunoco Modified division is running a 30-lap feature on each night of the World Series. 

Todd Owen of Somers was second and Cory DiMatteo of Farmington third. 

Owen joked after the race about his trip to the podium. Owen was moved out of the lead by Troy Talman late in Friday’s Sunoco Modified feature and pulled up on Talman in the post race ceremonies following that event. 

“I’m back in this podium area,” Owen said. “I was here last night but I wasn’t in the same frame of mind. It was a good finish for us. We were a little off, a little tight. But, all in all a good weekend so far for us.” 

The victory for Christopher It marked an end to the stranglehold on the division held in 2022 by Stephen Kopcik.

Kopcik had won all four of the Sunoco Modified events held at Thompson before Saturday. Kopcik was involved in a wild lap three wreck and settled for a 12th place finish. 

Owen went by R.J. Marcotte for the lead at the start with Christopher quickly following to second place. 

The first caution flew on lap three for a stopped car off track in turn three with Owen leading Christopher and Keith Rocco in third. 

The race restarted with Christopher getting the run past Owen for the lead, but the move was negated when mayhem ensued just behind the leaders as the field came off of turn four. Eleven of the 19 cars in the field were involved in the frontstretch melee which started with a battle between third place Rocco and fourth place Talman. 

The wreck saw Tyler Barry’s car end up driving over the top of Jon Puleo’s car, ripping the roof off of the Puleo. Also caught up in the wreck was Kopcik, who was running eighth at the time of the incident. Eleven cars were left on track for the restart. 

On the ensuing restart it was Christopher once again getting by Owen to take over the lead. Rocco was able to overtake Owen for second not long after, but in front of them Christopher was checking out. 

By lap 15 Christopher had opened about a 1.5 second lead over Rocco. On lap 17 found the way around Rocco to move back to second, but Christopher was still sailing away from the field. 


  1. Congrats to MCJ and team for winning the Sunoco modified feature Saturday. Great job.

  2. Hope pit road was ok for poor Tommy

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