Christopher Ready For
Martinsville Speedway Effort
Ted Christopher left
Martinsville Speedway last Labor Day weekend sitting on top of the world.
He’ll return in the same position. But in between there were a couple of
Christopher made history a year ago with a victory in the
Made In America Whelen 300 NASCAR Modified Tour race, the first race ever
under the lights at Martinsville Speedway.
The Plainville, CT, driver will bring a hot streak to
Martinsville in a couple of weeks for the second running of the Made In
America Whelen 300 under the lights on Saturday, September 2. He won the
NASCAR Whelen Modified event at Thompson Speedway in Thompson, CT, Thursday
night. He’s won two out of the last three races and has three wins on the
season, the only three-time winner this season on the NASCAR Whelen Modified
Statistics can be misleading, though. In this case, they
don’t show the emotional highs and lows Christopher has endured this season.
Two races in the season he was sitting second in the points
after a fourth and a sixth. Then the rug was jerked out from under him. His
long-time car owner was arrested by the FBI. All of the team’s cars were
confiscated. Christopher was without a ride and left to wonder if he really
wanted to continue.
“It’s been a weird year. I was really looking forward to
running this year. We got off to a good start and we were second in the
points and just starting to scratch the surface with some of the things were
were doing,” Christopher said the day after his most recent win. “Then all
this stuff happened.
“I really didn’t want to race the rest of the year. I had
been with that guy for 10 years. We had built a great team together. He was
a great car owner. I was totally not wanting to race after all that.”
Christopher caught a break with two off weeks in the schedule
after the team was shut down, though. While he was mulling the future he got
a call from another car owner, Eddie Whelan.
“Eddie called me and he said ‘why give up second place in the
points. You’re sitting second in the points, why don’t we just go to the
next race and see what happens’,” recalled Christopher.
“Then, we win that race and it’s been pretty good since
Switching teams midseason wasn’t the easiest job Christopher
has ever faced, though.
“It’s been working well, but when you don’t start out the
season together, it’s like a work in progress. These other teams we race
against have been together for years. We work on a lot of stuff from week to
week, but the plan is coming along real good,” said Christopher.
Christopher turned in a masterful performance in the Made In
America Whelen 300 last year. He led three times for a total of 164 laps on
the way to his first Martinsville Speedway win. And despite all the turmoil
he’s faced in the past year, Christopher believes he’ll be up to speed for
the under-the-lights event on September 2.
“I’m looking forward to the race, especially the way it’s
going with this team now,” said Christopher. “We’ve got a brand new car for
Martinsville and I really like the way it drives. It fits my driving style.
I think we’ll be as good or better than last year.”
The first on-track action for the Made In America Whelen 300
will be a 90-minute practice session at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 1. Time
trials are scheduled for 8:30 p.m. followed by an autograph session in the
Happy hour is set for 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 2. The
50-lap Chatlee Boats last chance race is scheduled for 7 p.m. with the Made
In America Whelen 300 set to take the green at 8:30 p.m.
Tickets for the Made In America Whelen 300 are $20 and may be
purchased in advance by calling 877.RACE.TIX or visiting
www.racetickets.com online. Tickets
for pole day are $5 and may be purchased the day of qualifying.
August 18, 2006