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Christopher Ready For Another Strong
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 rough patches.
    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 Tour.
    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 then.”
    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 infield.

    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.

Source:  Mike Smith/Martinsville Speedway PR
Posted:  August 18, 2006




















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