Fresh off a much-needed race win, Michael Christopher Jr. is shifting his sights to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (CT) and the always busy weekend that is the Sunoco World Series. While he will make his return to the track’s Sunoco Modified division, Saturday night he will make his debut at ‘The Big T’ in a Tour-type Modified car with the same team he has shown promise with at his home track of Stafford Motor Speedway, Tommy Baldwin Racing.
Before scoring his first win of 2020 in the Stafford SK Modified division, Christopher’s win previous to that was his first at Thompson in the Sunoco Modifieds in early 2019. Now, he is looking forward to beginning the endgame of 2020 by taking the Tour-type plunge at Thompson in the 75-lap, $5,000-to-win Open Modified show on Saturday night.
“I love Thompson, got a win there, and I’m always fast whenever we go there. World Series is one of my favorite parts of the year, big crowds, lots of cars, and lots of races. It’s always a lot of fun. Tommy builds a fast racecar, unfortunately I’ve only run it twice this year with what’s been going on. But we’re running Thompson on Saturday, and then the Tri-Track race at Stafford. First time at Thompson in a Tour-type car, it should be a lot of fun,” Christopher Jr. told Speed51.
Despite running less than a handful of races the past two years in the TBR No. 7NY at Stafford, the second-generation Connecticut driver feels like he has already built a close relationship with the powerhouse team.
“The relationship we’ve built up has been great, Tommy and I get along, Dixon, Scott, and all the guys that are involved with the team, I think we work really well together. I’m really calm on the radio, I’ve seen Tommy get fired up too, but overall when we’re racing, it’s usually pretty calm. It usually results in good finishes with this car, we’re going to go to Thompson with that same game plan.”
For many drivers, making the transition from an SK Modified to high-powered Tour-type Modified for the first time a certain track is quite the challenge. But, Christopher Jr. feels that he can breeze through the process this weekend.
“I think I got a good amount of experience at Thompson and again Tommy brings a great car. I don’t think there will be too much to worry about, we get the two tires like we have with the Stafford Open races. We had a chance at the last one before the engine blew up. It’s 75 laps, a fast track, and a faster car, so we need to save the tires. Tommy and I will go over things, I’ll go along with what he says, he’s the kind of guy that wants me to get up on the wheel and race. So if he wants me to, I will.”
Showing that same confidence that many have seen in has father Mike Sr. and uncle Ted through their racing careers, Christopher Jr. knows he’s got a real chance of seeing his name on that $5,000 check.
“No doubt in my mind we’ll have a winning racecar. I haven’t been in a Tour-type there, but I don’t think it will take time to calibrate to it. It just comes down to everything else in racing, how will the cautions fall, how lucky are you, how will pit stops go, and of course will the engine stay together. If we can make it to the end, we’ll have a shot to win.”
Even with a heavy workload from Friday to Sunday, at two different tracks, the excitement level is still high.
“We just got sponsorship for that, so we’ll be racing Sunday with the SK. I’m excited, I’ve never done World Series booked full of racing. Friday we’ll start practicing at Thompson and race Stafford that night. We have a hotel in Thompson Friday night, and practice starts early Saturday. Going to practice the Tour-car and the SK. Wait around all day, heat race both cars, and race the Tour-car at night. Go to bed and race the SK again Sunday. Biggest issue is hauling all those cars, but I’d say it’s not too much on my plate. I’m very excited, racing is the easy part in all this.”
Join Speed51.TV this Saturday and Sunday, for a live broadcast for 13 of the divisions in action this weekend at Thompson Speedway’s Sunoco World Series. Order a two-day pass now for $50 by clicking here.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51Photos.com