Stefanik And Christopher Take Tight
Points Race To Martinsville
For the second
consecutive year Ted Christopher is headed to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in
a heated points race for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship.
Christopher, of Plainville, Conn., is sandwiched between two
Tour legends in pursuit of his first championship. He trails Mike Stefanik,
a six-time Whelen Modified Tour champion from Coventry R.I., by 71 points
and is only 42 points ahead of two-time defending Whelen Modified Tour
champion Tony Hirschman, of Northampton, Pa. Christopher has an edge
however, as the defending race winner at Martinsville.
“This race is crucial to the championship,” said Christopher.
“It’s a long race and with 43 cars starting you can’t afford to be out of
the race early. If you do, it can ruin your chances for a championship.”
Despite changing teams at the beginning of the season,
Christopher is the only three-time winner on the series in 2006. He is
hoping to add another one of the famous Martinsville grandfather clocks to
his trophy room.
“I’d sure like another one of those clocks,” Christopher
said. “I think we’ll have a pretty good shot at Martinsville. Eddie Whelan
has won a couple of times here as a car owner and my crew chief Brad
LaFontaine has won here about five times. I’m looking forward to going
The Made in America Whelen 300 is the only combination race
on the 2006 schedule. The teams from the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified
Tour will join their northern counterparts for this prestigious event which
includes a 50-lap qualifying race sponsored by Chatlee Boats & Sporting
Goods on Saturday, Sept. 2 at 7:00 p.m., prior to the featured 250-lap race
at approximately 8:30 p.m.
Bud Pole Qualifying for the event is scheduled for Friday,
Sept. 1st at 8:30 p.m. and will be followed by an autograph session to allow
fans a chance to meet their favorite drivers.
MADE IN AMERICA WHELEN 300 NOTES:
* Martinsville Speedway has hosted 30 Whelen Modified Tour races since 1985.
Four drivers – Mike Ewanitsko, Jeff Fuller, Reggie Ruggiero and Mike
Stefanik – have scored four wins each, to lead all drivers at Martinsville.
Other multi-time Martinsville winners include Charlie Jarzombek (3), the
late Tom Baldwin (2) and Brett Bodine (2). Bodine, now NASCAR’s Director of
Cost Research, also scored two NASCAR Busch Series wins at Martinsville.
* Chuck Hossfeld, of Ransomville, N.Y., is the defending Bud Pole winner at
Martinsville. In this weekend’s event, the fastest 20 qualifiers from
Friday’s time trials will automatically advance to the 250-lap main event.
Positions 21-28 will be awarded as provisional starting positions while the
remainder of the starting field (positions 29-43) will be determined by the
50-lap “last chance” qualifying race on Saturday.
* As of Aug. 24, 57 teams have entered the Made in America Whelen 300.
Eighteen teams are from the Whelen Southern Modified Tour while 39 entries
are listed from the Whelen Modified Tour.
* NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Top 10, after 10 of 16 events: 1. Mike
Stefanik 1560, 2. Ted Christopher 1489, 3. Tony Hirschman 1447, 4. Eddie
Flemke 1387, 5. James Civali 1345, 6. Todd Szegedy 1343, 7. Jerry Marquis
1256, 8. Donny Lia 1240, 9. Chuck Hossfeld 1234, 10. Eric Beers 1182.
Up next: Following the Made in America Whelen 300 at Martinsville,
the Whelen Modified Tour travels to Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway
on Sunday, Sept. 10.
Mark Mockovak/NASCAR WMT PR
August 29, 2006