Christopher passed Eric Beers, Rick Fuller and Jamie Tomaino to get near the front and then liked what he saw ahead of him.
“I said ‘let them dice and I’ll make it a three way battle,” said Christopher of seeing Coby and Hossfeld racing for the lead.
Meanwhile, Hossfeld now had to worry about what was in front of him and behind him.
“I didn’t think Teddy was going to go by us on the outside, so it was a matter of getting by the #77 [Coby],”
For the next 118 laps, Coby pulled away to a monster lead.
“I wasn’t even really pushing the car,” said Coby. “It was very stable and very comfortable. I needed ten laps after every restart to get the car going and I knew that I wouldn’t have that with those guys back there, so I just tried my best.”
GREAT FINISH REDEEMS ROUGH STAFFORD MOD RACEby Mike Twist
Ted Christopher on Top After an Ugly Day at the Track
The Haynes 150 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Stafford Motor Speedway (CT) was a tale of two races.
The second act, was what most everyone was talking about on the ride home was the spectacular final 10 laps where Ted Christopher came out on top of a great three-way battle with Chuck Hossfeld and Doug Coby. It doesn’t getting much better than that.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t usually get any worse than the first 140 laps at Stafford. Most of the race was a ugly wreckfest with several multiple-car wrecks and two red flag periods. Even veteran drivers were scratching their heads after that one. Three former Modified Tour champs were befuddled when they were asked why the day was so ugly.
“It should have been the Fourth of July today because the fireworks flew,” said Tony Hirschman after the July 3rd event.. “These guys were just driving like idiots.”
“I really don’t know what to say,” said Mike Stefanik. “The track’s got plenty of grip and the cars all drive pretty good. It’s just all the nuts behind the wheels going at it. I don’t know.” 00
“Is it a full moon? Is it a full sun or something?,” asked Jerry Marquis. “It’s really weird. I haven’t seen it this bad in I don’t know how long. You can’t blame all of the rookies because most of those guys did pretty good. It was one of those wolf nights, I don’t know. To me nobody was giving, they were all taking. That’s not the way to go.”
Doug Coby had an easy way to deal with all of the rough driving though – he stayed ahead of it for most of the day. The driver of the Curt Chase-owned #77 took the lead from Eric Beers on lap 25.
“He was probably being real conservative and there was some speedy dry down there to deal with,” said Coby of the pass. “I knew that I wanted the lead, so I took it. Eric is a really good guy to race with.”
After Christopher motored on by, he rolled to the checkered flag and ended a drought of sorts, at least by TC standards. His Modified Tour victory was the first one at Stafford since 2003.
“I hadn’t won a Tour race here in awhile. The car is back to working the way that I want it to work here. It was working good.”
The victory also helped Christopher add to his Modified Tour points lead. TC left Stafford with a 103-point advantage over Hossfeld.
Doug Coby puts his #77 out in front of Eric Beers on lap 25. It would be awhile before anyone else would be in front of Coby. (Howie Hodge Photo)
said Hossfeld. “He looked like he had used his car up. I was worried more about getting by him because usually when Teddy’s behind you, you know it. I did the best that I could trying to get by the #77 first.”
Hossfeld got by Coby with seven laps to go, but three laps later it was Christopher’s time to get under Hossfeld and take the lead.
“I was trying to protect the bottom and I couldn’t see well because I the sun setting,” said Hossfeld.. “I’m not making excuses, but that’s when Teddy got under me.”
Coby didn’t pit for tires either. Had the race gone green at the end, it was unlikely that anyone would have caught him. But with ten laps to go and the field bunched up after a caution, it was obvious that there was going to be a good race to the finish.
Chuck Hossfeld was sitting in second place. He looked under the #77 of Coby to take the lead. That didn’t work. He tried going high. That didn’t work either. The door opened for Hossfeld with seven laps to go when Coby drifted a little bit high and Hossfeld took over the lead.
“I don’t think that Chuck would have wrecked me for the win,” said Coby. “He kept trying and trying and I didn’t have it to hold him off.”
They were wrecking everywhere in the first 140 laps at Stafford. (Howie Hodge Photos)
Meanwhile, Christopher was sitting outside the top five with a dozen laps left, but he was also sitting on fresher rubber.
“I knew that everyone else had pitted early, so when it got to be 30 to go and I had new tires I knew that I’d carve these guys up,” said Christopher. “I’ve done that before here with probably 10 laps to go.
TC in victory lane for the third time in '05. (Mary Hodge Photo)
Speed51.com will have more from Stafford with our Modified Leftovers later in the week.
Ted Christopher took the lead late in the race from Chuck Hossfeld. (Ken Spring Photo)