HOSSFELD HOLDS OF LIA FOR FINAL NIGHT WINby Matthew Dillner and Jeremy Troiano
TC Is Crowned King Of Speedweeks With 7th Title
Ted Christopher only had to take the green flag and the title was his. When the green flag dropped and the title was clinched, everyone's attention quickly shifted to the front of the field and to the black #22 of Chuck Hossfeld.
Hossfeld made quick work of pole-sitter Charlie Pasteryak and was the class of the field for the rest of the night taking his second win of Speedweeks.
“We had nothing to lose tonight. We were second in the points and Teddy needed to… I don’t know what! So I just had to take care of winning, you know? So I got out front as quick as I could and went as fast as I could. I just kind of wanted to be in control.“
But there was a point in the last 25-lapper of Speedweeks where it looked like Hossfeld would lose control. Richie Evans Memorial 100 winner Donny Lia was hot on his tail and the two made big contact heading into turn three.
“He got held up by the lapper and we got a little bit of a run,” said Lia. “So I said lets give it a try. I don't think I was up there far enough anyway. I would have done the same if I were him. I was just giving it a good try there. It was a good try. We got into him, but it upset my car too so we couldn't capitalize on him getting out of shape.”
“I was feeling the pressure from Donny,” said Hossfeld. “I was watching him in the mirror. I wasn’t going to let him make that bonzi move to the inside. So like I said, I was just trying to run away from it.”
And run away he did. Lia looked as if he would mount another charge, but after a yellow flag Hossfeld 's DeLange #22 took control and left Lia a runner-up.
“We were pretty even,” said Lia. “We were better than him getting off early on in the race. That yellow is what really helped him out a lot. It kinda evened us out. We are so good at long races. It's hard for us to come in here and adapt to 25-lap races. We showed that yesterday winning the Richie Evans race.”
Chuck Hossfeld hung on to grab his second win of Speedweeks. (51Photos)
Hossfeld marched on and became the only driver besides Ted Christopher to win more than one race at Speedweeks.
“I knew I had Donny and TC running me down,” said the race winner. “It was a great 25-lap race. You just go as quick as you can. It is fun to win those races and it is fun to race them.
Hossfeld ended up runner-up in points to Ted Christopher.
TC IS KING WITH SEVENTH SPEEDWEEKS CHAMPIONSHIP
Ted Christopher is the man when it comes to Speedweeks at Smyrna and he proved that again during the 2005 edition. Time and time again the Short Track veteran comes down to Florida and brings home the hardware.
Joe Brady (left) and TC (right) have now teamed up for six Speedweek titles.
And TC did it in style. He used his trademark bumper, passed on the inside and outside, and came back from adversity to net four wins out of the eight races.
“These are short little races and you have to be aggressive and that is what I am sometimes,” said Teddy. “Sometimes you get to win, sometimes you don’t.
“I'm real happy because we won a bunch of races and got another championship but I am a little disappointed because my finishes at the end sucked. This last race and the 100 lapper weren't good and I got banged around a lot. Sometimes I bang around, sometimes I get banged around right?”
The King of NASCAR, Richard Petty, has seven championships in the Cup record books. Now in the Speedweeks record books, the man affectionately known by some as “King” has seven crowns of his own.
“Other people do the records. I don't really pay attention to that stuff. This is seven championships now and all but one with Joe.
“When you go back home and you have won that championship, people know about it. Even though you don't race against a ton of people down here like you race on the Tour up there, you go home and everyone knows what you did down here that you won Speedweeks.
“We didn't just win Speedweeks by winning Speedweeks. We won half of the features. Most of the guys that won the other races, Chuckie started on the outside pole, Goodale started outside pole, and whoever the other one was did too. I started from the back, started from the middle and won from the pole.”
And sharing another Championship with car-owner Joe Brady was as special as always.
“Joe has been going since 1977. We veered away from Joe last year and this year we veered back with Joe. It seems every time we get hooked up with Joe we win a bunch and win the championship. We have six seasons here and six championships. That ain't too bad ya know?”
And for Brady, who lives for Smyrna Speedweeks, having TC in his car makes all the difference. Brady has fielded cars for some of Modified's greatest drivers, but thinks this wheel-man is one of the greatest of all-time.
“Six for six with Teddy,” said a happy Brady. “It just shows you how good of a driver he is.
“We've been coming here all these years. For years we couldn't hit the side of a barn door. We came down here about 1990 with Jeff Fuller and started winning. Some little skinny kid named Steve Park came along and we won two or three championships with him and some features.
“New Smyrna is basically my home track. For a few years I didn't run up north. I just ran New Smyrna down here. I don't know if it's something special about this place. Maybe it's the cold weather up north or the business things up there and this is just enjoying ourselves down here. This is a very special thing to come down here with Ted and with a brand new car and win the first night out.
“Richie Evans was a good friend and I miss him dearly but this Ted Christopher is great. I talked with Bugs Stevens who ran some races with me and Leo Cleary and they all agree that he could have ran with any of them. When Richie and Geoff Bodine and Jimmy Spencer and all of them were here, this kid would have been in the mix too. He's a phenomenal driver and it's too bad age is against him because he should be in the upper levels of NASCAR.”
With all of the records piling up for TC, he's just looking forward to next year and trying to get his eighth championship and more trophies.
“They said that I am tied with Richie for wins down here now,” said TC. “I ain't quitting anytime soon. We will be back again next year and try to win more championships. I would really like to win the championship with the Late Model too. We will be back here next year to do that and we will be with Joe with the Mod.”
Sparks fly as Chuck Hossfeld and Donny Lia get together on Saturday night at New Smyrna.
TC (#00) had to beat the likes of Eric Beers (#9) and Kevin Goodale (#58) for his seventh overall Speedweeks Mod title. (Howie Hodge Photo)