Due to Thursday's torrential rains, the New England 100 starting order was determined by series point standings. As the point leader, Christopher started in the #1 spot for the third straight NHIS event. TC led the opening 26 laps despite constant early pressure from Chuck Hossfeld and defending Tour champ Tony Hirschman. A restart on lap 27 saw Hossfeld black flagged for jumping the green flag, earning him a drive-through penalty on pit road. Rick Fuller and Mike Christopher roared into the top two spots as Hossfeld pitted, and Fuller pulled away until a lap 49 yellow brought most of the field to pit road.
Following pit stops, Whitt held the lead over Donny Lia, Kevin Konopka, and Beers. Whitt, Beers, and Blewett waged a sensational battle out front, trading the lead several times. Blewett's day went bad as his engine expired on lap 77, bringing out the caution flag again. Just moments before, Coby moved in front of Beers after bump-drafting with Hirschman to the front of the pack.
how to draft than Ted Christopher,” said Coby. “He’s very good, but he’s not the only one. He’s scary at times because when he passes you, you know he’s passing you. He’ll take you to the limits of where the groove is. If you let him go by you, he’s got nothing to stop him.”
“At this place, anyone can win,” said Beers. “It’s a fun deal. I depends where you are in the draft.”
TC DENIES YOUNGSTERS, NARROWLY BEATS HIRSCHMAN AT NHISby Justin St. Louis and Mike Twist
Coby, Beers, Whitt and Blewett Put up Strong Fights for Their First Tour Wins
Near the close of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour's New England 100 at New Hampshire Int'l Speedway on Friday afternoon, it looked as though the Tour may have had its next first-time winner. Young guns Steve Whitt, Jimmy Blewett, Eric Beers, and Doug Coby each spent a considerable amount of time leading the field, trading positions and wowing the crowd.
Blewett was taken from the mix when his engine expired, but with just a handful of laps left, race fans stood and cheered as leaders Coby and Beers traded grooves in the turns, drag raced down the straightaways, and touched wheels looking for every inch. It looked like those two would settle the race among themselves.
Having several guys at NHIS racing for their first Tour victory was a little bit out of the ordinary – or was it?
“There are more teams that know how to set up a car than the #13 team and there are more drivers who know
"This was a lot tougher than last September when we won here," said Christopher. "Tony Hirschman helped me get by Doug Coby, and I have to thank him for that.
“It was a change for me, because usually we are so far out front here, I’m not with any of them. The car was so friggin’ loose. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. I worked real hard for this one.”
Beers, Coby, and Whitt crossed the line in order in tight formation behind Hirschman to complete the top five.
Fuller, Hossfeld, Jerry Marquis, Mike Christopher, and Nevin George completed the Top 10.
Speed51.com was at NHIS in full force on Friday; stay tuned for much more this week.
But it was the familar black #13 of Ted Christopher that took the lead from Coby late in the race,
Ted Christopher, Hirschman's new drafting partner, sped by Beers first and then Coby with only four laps remaining, and then battled Hirschman himself for the victory. Hirschman's last-gasp effort on the inside lane coming to the checkers nearly paid off, but fell about eight inches short at the line.
“That was cool,” Blewett said of his battle with Coby and Beers. “They are both good drivers and I feel privileged to run with those guys there.”
So the new guys had their moment in the sun, but then Christopher came in and took it all away.
Was that a surprise? Not really.
“Coby ran good and the #77’s always been fast here back to when Blewett drove it,” said Tony Hirschman. “Jimmy Blewett got up there and that was a surprise before he blew up. But, it usually comes down to the veteran guys at the end battling it out and that’s what it came down to here.”
Young drivers Eric Beers (#3), Doug Coby (#77) and Steve Whitt (#06) battled for the victory at NHIS... (Howie Hodge Photos)
There is usually one veteran at NHIS who stands out more than anyone else. When the Modifieds roll into "The Magic Mile", one thing is almost certain - count on Christopher to make some noise. In fact, he's won every WMT race there since 2003. But he had to work for it this time.
TC barely held off a charging Tony Hirschman at the finish.