Mike Christopher, Jr. and Tommy Baldwin Racing have not been together very long – there are just four races under the belt of this relatively new partnership. But that didn’t stop these two legendary names from quickly finding victory lane, as Christopher wheeled the famous No. 7NY to the win in the Budweiser Open Modified 75 on Saturday night, part of the 58th Annual Sunoco World Series at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
An early pit stop buried Christopher back in the pack, but a savvy tire call meant he could get his head down. He charged forwards, moving from 11th to 4th in just 14 laps. He took the lead with just 10 laps remaining, quickly gapping the field and crossing the line ahead of Chase Dowling and Keith Rocco.
“For the pit stop, Tommy decided, which was a good move at the end, to swap the left side tires,” Christopher said. “At the end, the car had a lot of drive, and I saw over probably the last ten laps that Chase was losing his. At the end of the day, I think the tires helped us, and we were able to get around him and pull away. I was praying that no caution would come out, and here we are.”
Chase Dowling led the entire race up to Lap 65, but was no match at the end for the faster car of Christopher. Dowling did everything in his power to keep Christopher behind him, but Christopher had the outside lane working made quick work of Dowling.
Eight-time track champion Keith Rocco finished third, an impressive feat considering his car kept jumping out of gear. Stafford Motor Speedway regular Joey Cipriano finished fourth, and New Hampshire’s Andy Shaw finished fifth.
Matt Swanson, Dave Etheridge, Trevor Bleau, Eric Goodale, and Brett Meservey rounded out the top 10.
The next big open Modified event is October 24, 2020, when the Tri-Track Open Modified Series makes its debut at Stafford Motor Speedway.
-Story by Ian Pettigrew, Speed51.com Northeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51