NEW HAMPSHIRE TRACK CHAMPIONS HONORED AT BANQUET by Mike Twist
Track is Unique Among Speedways With Its Point Fund
By the time that most drivers graduate to a touring series, the thought of winning a track championship becomes a distant memory.
What neither driver was apprehensive about though was their appreciation for what NHIS does for their two NASCAR Touring Series.
“New Hampshire International Speedway is very special to all of the Modified drivers,” said Christopher. “For us, it’s our Daytona and Indianapolis all rolled into one. The Bahre family has built the best race facility in New England and they’ve never stopped working to make it better. To sweep both races here was the highlight of my career.”
“When New Hampshire comes up on the schedule, we are always looking forward to going there,” said Stefanik.
However, there is one facility out there that offers touring competitors a chance at a track title and points fund. New Hampshire International Speedway has a $20,000 points fund in place that is split between competitors in the NASCAR Busch North Series and Whelen Modified Tour. The program has been in place since 1991 for the fendered cars and since 1996 for the Modifieds and is decided by the average finishes of both NHIS events during the year.
Last week, Ted Christopher was honored for his second consecutive Modified championship while Mike Stefanik was a first time winner in the Busch North Series at the annual NHIS awards banquet.
It was far from the first time that either veteran driver had been to an awards banquet, but oddly enough both were a little apprehensive about speaking in front of an audience.
“I always hate doing these things, but I guess that somebody has got to do it,” said Christopher.
“I’d much rather race than speak,” said Stefanik. “I’ve been here several times. But I’ve never gotten to speak before.”
And both drivers look forward to coming to the annual banquet as well.
“[My wife] Julie and I always like coming up here for a little holiday season gathering with the Bahre family,” said Stefanik.
For their efforts, both champions were given $5,000 of the point fund.
Ironically, both Christopher and Stefanik competed in both touring series at NHIS in 2005. Christopher was the most successful, sweeping both Modified races and winning the September Busch North event, while Stefanik won the July Busch North race.
The three victories in 2005 now makes Christopher the winningest driver in track history. However, up until the beginning of the 2004 season, he was winless in a Modified at
Christopher is so much of a racer that his tie matched the paint scheme on his #13 Modified.
Mike Stefanik (L) and Ted Christopher (R) accept their hardware from NHIS. (51 Photos)
the track despite a slew of Busch North victories. After
taking his first checkered flag in a Modified at the track last
July, nobody has beaten Christopher in a Tour event there.
“It’s almost like Stafford, I couldn’t win there either, but once I did, I didn’t stop winning,” said Christopher.
Also honored at the banquet were Tony Hirschman and Brian Hoar who finished second in the Mod Tour and Busch North points respectively and was awarded $3,000 each. Chuck Hossfeld and Ryan Moore finished third in the Mod and Busch North divisions, which was good for $2,000 each. Neither driver could attend the banquet because of previous commitments.