Stafford Springs, CT – With the big money, big prestige NAPA Auto Parts SK 5k just over the horizon at Stafford Motor Speedway, one driver that is looking forward to the race is 8-time SK Modified® track champion Ted Christopher. In his SK Modified® career, Christopher has won 5 100-lap features and 2 150-lap features. Christopher has also won a 75-lap feature in 2012 and he won the 80-lap extra distance SK Modified® feature last season. He has also won a 100-lap event driving a ProStock in 1995 and he has 12 career NWMT victories at Stafford, so Christopher is very comfortable when it comes to extra distance racing at the Connecticut half-mile facility and he is coming off a thrilling victory last week that saw him outduel Ryan Preece.
“We have the car going pretty good and Bob Fill and my crew chief Mike O’Sullivan really have the car working well,” said Christopher. “Last week was the best that car ran in the past three years so I was beyond happy. It’s always good when you’re coming off a win and you have a car that is going good. Last week we only put 3 tires on the car and this week we’ll have four, so we’ll have a little extra. It’s really great that NAPA has stepped up and it’s a big paying race, everyone is talking about it. It would mean a lot to win that race and it would be nice to put that $5,000 in the bank.”
Christopher says that he and his #13 Freightliner of Long Island team had been struggling with the car but that last week they finally found a combination that allowed Christopher to take his car anywhere on the track that he needed to in order to make passes. A combination like that could spell trouble for the rest of the SK Modified® field.
“We finally made the right adjustments where the car was working” said Christopher. “It was good on the outside, it was good on the bottom, I was really happy because it was good everywhere. It went anywhere I wanted it to go and that’s all I need.”
The duel that Christopher had with Preece last Friday night was reminiscent of the duel he waged several years ago with Keith Rocco in the 100-lap SK Modified® feature. While Christopher will be looking to make his life behind the wheel a bit easier and be able to pull away from his pursuers, he says that the close racing is a lot of fun.
“It’s pretty fun,” said Christopher. “I’m glad we came out on top last week, but like I said in victory lane it was a great race no matter what. It was really great for the fans and I’m glad we were able to win the race. The next night at Riverhead I had about 15 people that came up to me and told me that it was a tremendous race. When you hear things like that from people, it makes you feel really good. As a driver you’d like to be able to pull away and not have to worry, but it is fun racing like that.”
As much as Christopher is looking forward to the race, he and the rest of the field face an unknown factor in preparing their car for the race. The lap number for the NAPA SK 5k will be decided by a fan vote and a draw from a hat. The top-3 choices from the fan vote will be placed in a hat and the polesitter will draw a number from the hat to determine how many laps the race will be. The top-3 choices currently are 76, 80, and 100-laps.
“The thing is you won’t know how much fuel to put into the car and that should be an interesting deal,” said Christopher. “If you know you’re only going to use 15 gallons of fuel, you don’t want to put 20 gallons in the car, or if you’re only going to use 12 gallons, you can add weight to the car to make weight. There’s a couple of different things you can do. I don’t really like to pack my car with fuel because it makes the handling of the car different. One gallon of fuel is 6.8 pounds, so if you add an extra 5 gallons to the car, that’s over 30 more pounds in the tail of the car.”
Tickets for the July 25th NAPA SK 5K are available and on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $27.50 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for kids ages 6-14, and kids 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating will be priced at $30.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Speedway offers free parking with free overnight parking for self-contained RV’s available.
-Stafford Motor Speedway Press Release. Photo Credit Rick Ibsen/Speed51.com