Ted Christopher has turned many laps at the Waterford Speedbowl. He knows how to get the job done at the Connecticut oval. He proved that once again as he took down the win in the 100-lap Valenti Modified Racing Series event at Wings ‘N’ Wheels night.
A multi-car crash set up a restart with three laps to go. Christopher nailed the restart and cleared Bonsignore by turn one. Bonsignore fell right in behind Christopher and gave him a shot to the bumper as they came off turn two.
Bonsignore was able to get back to the outside of Christopher, but was only able to get up to his right rear tire. He tried to cross underneath Christopher in turn three on the final lap but Masse filled the whole. That was all Christopher needed to secure the win.
Christopher took the lead on a restart on lap 43. Steve Masse had the inside lane with Christopher to the outside. Christopher and Masse made a little bit of contact and that may have slowed Masse down as Christopher was able to power by on the outside.
“It’s satisfying because I passed the guy on the outside for the win,” said Christopher. “That was fun.”
After that it was all Christopher all the way to the end, but it wasn’t easy by any means.
He had to deal with multiple restarts and hold off Justin Bonsignore, the series points leader. But Christopher got the jump on Bonsignore on every restart. Most of the time he had Bonsignore clear by the time they made it to turn one.
“He knows what he’s doing,” said Bonsignore about the restarts. “With all the speedy dry out there he knew he had to get a good launch. He went early enough in the corner where it makes it hard for the outside guy to get a good, equal start.”
The 3/8-mile oval was covered in speedy dry from many different incidents that happened throughout the day. Much of the speedy dry in turn four was put down after Timmy Jordan’s SK modified leaked fluid during his heat race.
Christopher’s restart skills proved to be critical as he had to get one more perfect restart with three laps remaining. Waterford’s midnight curfew meant that it would be the final restart as the green flag came back out with four minutes to spare.
That restart came after a massive crash involving at least nine cars took place right at the start/finish line. Todd Szegedy, Tommy Barrett, Woody Pitkat, Keith Rocco, Richard Savary and more were involved. The race was red-flagged for 17 minutes to clean up the mess on the frontstretch.
During the red flag period an argument began between some of Szegedy’s crew members and series officials over some other teams working on their cars during the red flag. After the red flag was lifted Szegedy was summoned to the pit area and he was disqualified from the event due to what officials deemed to be unprofessional conduct by his crew members.
Bonsignore said he thought he he’d be able to make the move on Christopher in the final corner, but Masse filled the whole that Bonsignore was looking for.
“Masse kind of took away any shot we had at a crossover move,” said Bonsignore. “But we had a good points night. But it’s kind of still too early to be looking at that.”
Christopher was ecstatic after the race, though clearly exhausted after the long day at the Speedbowl that didn’t see the final checkered flag fall until 11:57 p.m. Christopher said his left front tire accumulated a build-up of rubber that caused the steering wheel to vibrate viciously.
“The thing was shaking the wheel out of my hand right in the middle of the turn,” he said. “So I just stayed on the bottom the best I could. But I finally got a win.”
By Rob Blount, Twitter: @robblount – Regional Editor (CT, NJ and Long Island) for Speed51.com
|5||32||Tom Abele, Jr.|
|6||38||Mike Willis, Jr.|
|15||9||Tommy Barrett, Jr.|
|23||50||Carl Medieros, Jr.|