TC LEADS OFF NHIS DOUBLE WITH BUSCH NORTH WIN by Justin St. Louis
Christopher Wins Sylvania 125 presented by Lowe's
Ted Christopher made history on Friday at New Hampshire Int'l Speedway in Loudon, becoming only the second driver in history to sweep the NASCAR Busch North Series and Whelen Modified Tour events in the same day at "The Magic Mile". Christopher's daring 3-wide passes in the Busch North Series race were enough to leave people holding their breath, and were enough to land the Plainville, CT driver in the winner's circle, tying Mike McLaughlin's record set in 1990.
With Busch Pole qualifying cancelled due to rain on Thursday, the 37-car field was set by series point standings. Consequently, Christopher, a part-time Busch North competitor, was forced to start in 21st position.
No problem. After all, "TC" had already won in Busch North competition at NHIS four times.
Christopher quickly put his full-fendered knowledge to work, moving into 15th place by the race's first caution on lap 8. After pitting for tires on lap 49, Christopher moved ahead. On lap 68, a three-wide pass entering Turn 1 put Christopher into the Top five. On lap 83, he was the leader, having passed Brad Leighton shortly after a restart and just before the yellow flag flew again.
On the following restart, Christopher failed to come up to speed with the field, falling back to fourth behind Leighton, rookie Sean Caisse, and Ryan Moore. At first it looked like Christopher had missed a shift, but apparently he was caught off guard.
"(Leighton) just took off early," Christopher said, "They said in
the drivers meeting you can't jump the start, so I don't know. I get back to second and I figured they'd give me the spot back, but I don't race this series all the time, so I'm exactly not the poster child of Busch North."
Christopher wasted no time getting back on track, though, and another three-wide pass under Moore and Caisse brought him back to second.
Leighton began to pull away during the next 15 circuits, but another caution flag on lap 99 bunched the field, and set up what would prove to be the winning move for Christopher's Eagle Leasing/NDS Motorsports Ford. TC used the outside lane to retake the lead on lap 104, and ran off until the final caution flag came out for rain on lap 109.
With showers not letting up, NASCAR deemed the race official on lap 119, and Christopher took his fifth career Busch North Series win at NHIS.
Christopher makes the winning pass of Brad Leighton (25) for the lead on lap 104.
"I knew I was better like the time before when I beat him on the restart (on lap 80), so I said 'Okay, I'll have to try to do the same thing,'" a confident Christopher said about the final restart. "This car goes, it's got a good motor in it, and I ended up getting by him again."
A few hours later, Christopher was celebrating his second win of the day in the 100-lap Modified event.
Leighton finished second, Moore was third. Brian Hoar and Andy Santerre rounded out the Top five. Mike Stefanik, Tracy Gordon, Joey McCarthy, Ryan Seaman, and Kelly Moore completed the Top 10 in order.
Speed51.com will have all of the Busch North Series and Whelen Modified Tour Leftovers from the weekend soon, so stay tuned!