After a week which included a disqualification from a Valenti Modified Racing Series victory and a spin while leading in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Budweiser 150 at Thompson (CT) on Wednesday, Ted Christopher returned to the New London-Waterford Speedbowl looking to get things pointed back in the right direction on Saturday night.
Despite some inconsistencies at “The Bowl” in 2015, it has been vintage TC for most of the way through the SK Modified season. With the help of a brand new Troyer chassis provided by the Prestige Motorsports team, Christopher had collected four wins coming into Saturday night.
When the green flag flew Saturday it took just five laps for the veteran driver to assume the lead, and that’s where he would stay for the remainder of the 35-lap feature. Christopher held off Rob Janovic Jr, Diego Monahan and Keith Rocco for his fifth win at the track this season.
“Having a new car means everything,” Christopher explained. “We basically have what Keith (Rocco) has, so we have a really good racecar. It suits me the way I drive. It does what I want it to do, that’s all that matters as a driver. It was unbelievable tonight. My hands were moving from like 2 o’clock to 12, a little brake, turn the fans off.”
Things would get tight on a restart with three laps to go following a fluid cleanup in the restart zone off turn four. Despite having the car to beat, Christopher decided to exhibit a little caution.
“We were a little loose and there was a lot of stuff on the racetrack,” Christopher stated. “The rear tires cooled down a little bit, but once I could get a good rhythm going it was like don’t do anything stupid, bring it home and win.”
Christopher also indicated that the week’s past events had been put far behind him before arriving at the track.
“I have a saying, as soon as 12:01 hits I clear my hard drive, which is my brain, and start over again for the next day. I got too much to be worrying about something that happened at the race track.”
Christopher, who now has 38 career wins at New London-Waterford Speedbowl, most coming in the late 80’s and 90’s, has found a lot of enjoyment just being back at the track, especially this particular season with the new track ownership and management.
“It’s always fun coming here on Saturday’s. Most of the time you come down, it’s not a bad ride. It’s a different atmosphere, you’re closer to the racing here. There’s more camaraderie with people. It was always like that when I was here years and years ago and it’s still the exact same way. Shawn and Mr. Bemer are doing a great job with the track, you can see it, people are happy with it and the racing. There’s a lot more cars, full car count for me tonight for a win so that helps with national points. I’ll be here at the Bowl for a while.”
Also on Saturday night, Keith Rocco would find better luck in the 50-lap extra distance Late Model feature, taking the win over Jason Palmer and Jeff Smith. Al Stone III won in the Limited Sportsman, Ken Cassidy Jr in the Mini Stocks and Joey Ternullo in the Legend Car feature.
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Rick Ibsen/Speed51.com