ANOTHER WIN 4 TC AT SPEEDWEEKSby Jeremy Troiano & Matthew Dillner
TC 4 for 5, Lia on Fire, Goodale and Malave Get Together & More
After the first night of action at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway, Ted Christopher quoted Richie Evans saying that 'sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.'
TC and others admit they have been pretty good during Speedweeks and very lucky being in the right place at the right time. But there was no question in race five for the Mod Squad, TC was just plain good.
It took him a while to get by race leader Kevin Goodale, but once he did, the race was virtually over. Christopher cruised to his fourth win in five nights.
“Chuckie and I had the two best cars out there. I started pulling away there by a lot at the end. But then a caution came out and the tires cooled down and it got a little loose. He was right there and I had to get my rhythm back.”
Chuck Hossfeld had his DeLange #22 on TC's back bumper crossing the finish line but didn't have enough to get around him for the lead.
“We got the pole, speed wise today so that was cool, added Hossfeld after the race. “We redrew seventh, which sucks. Teddy was fast and got out front. We ran right there with him, but we needed him to make a mistake because we were pretty even, but he didn’t make a mistake.”
For TC and car owner Joe Brady, the fourth win was just as sweet as any of the wins they've share together over the years they have run together at Speedweeks.
“Joe is great to work with,” said Christopher. “When I told him late last year that I was probably going to run with him, he was happy.
“That car is brand new. The other car Joe has is one year old and the motor is good in both cars. My brother might drive the other car one night.
“Joe loves running Smyrna. I love racing Smyrna. He gears up for racing Smyrna more than anything throughout the year.”
And for Brady, who has been fielding cars during the nine nights at Smyrna for over 25 years, having TC in his car now is something he cherishes.
“Ted is like a son to me,” explained Brady. “He's a good driver and we communicate well and I respect him and
Another night... another win for TC.
TC celebrates one of his Mod wins this week with car owner Joe Brady (left).
he is one heck of a racecar driver. He's very underrated because they say he is a crasher and everything. We run so good with him anytime we get together. I hope we go out there and win the rest of them.
“I've been coming here since the series started in 1977 and have had some of the best of them in my cars and Ted is one of them. We've won a lot of races and I don't know what else to say but I love the guy.”
OTHER MOD NOTES
FLEMKE'S FIRST NIGHT ENDS IN THE CONCRETE
Eddie Flemke started his first race of Speedweeks on Wednesday night. The team experimented with some things in qualifying and turned him a subpar lap. But they got it figured out and looked good in the opening laps of the 50-lap feature.
But then coming off of turn number-two Flemke made contact with the wall and his night came to an abrupt end.
There was a lot of damage to Flemke's #79.
“I was coming off of turn 2 and the car wiggled and it bounced off the fence,” said Flemke who finished fourth. “The right front hub broke then. It bounced off the wall and I wiggled it to make sure everything was all right and check if there were any flats. The car responded well and we went down in the corner. Going in the corner you could see the right front wheel not tracking. It didn't snap but it just slowly moved and the rotor was holding it on and we went straight in the wall.
“We are going to fix it. It's not that bad. We just tweaked the chassis a little bit. We are going to fix it and run this one tomorrow night in the 25-lapper and then pull out the other car, the new car for the 100-lapper.”
LIA ON FIRE...BUT NOT IN THE GOOD WAY
The bad luck continues for Donny Lia and his LMI Team. They switched cars (to the Honda sponsored #18) and the switch didn't bring any more luck his way.
Lia was fast, but mid-way into the 50-lapper the car started smoking and then caught on fire. Lia stopped briefly on the frontstretch before bringing the car down pit road for repairs. He finished 16th when the race was over.
“You can't write a book like this,” said a disappointed Lia after the race. “Tonight it was a hole in an oil line.
We had a little flash fire in the cockpit. It got pretty hot in there. I didn’t know if it was going to stop or not, so I stopped the car. When I stopped the car, it stopped. It was just an oil fire. I didn’t know it at that time though.
“We pulled in and got it fixed, just not in time.”
It seems like night after night Lia has a part-break or some sort of gremlin that prevents him from having a shot at the win.
Donny Lia has a little bit of a flash fire on Wednesday night, the result of a broken oil line.
“I was so down on Monday, and I still am, but now it's different. Now, this is the ultimate test of ‘how bad do you want it.’ We’ll find out now if we really want to do this. I’m finding out right now if I want to do this, myself, as a driver.
“When s--t like this happens night after night and you prepare the best race cars and my team keeps working so hard, it is tough. I have the best guys around. It is hard to keep them pumped up when you have problem after problem.
“When you do your stuff and do it right, and still have problem after problem, you find out how bad you want it. That is what brings you out the next night to try and win.”.
GOODALE WAS GOOD BUT SAYS MALAVE'S CONTACT WAS BAD
Kevin Goodale (#58) gets a bump from Jeff Malave (#17), resulting in a big mess.
Kevin Goodale had a great race going. The Riverhead Building Supply #58 started on the pole and held on to the lead for quite some time. He even held off the hard-charging Ted Christopher for a few restarts before finally succumbing to TC's effort.
But then while running second, Goodale and the #17 of Jeff Malave got together. The two cars spun which ruined both of their chances for a win.
“Coming on the restart, Teddy pushed me up in three and four and got under me in the straightaway,” said Goodale after his 20th place night. “There was at least three or four cars gap between he and the 17. I went to duck underneath Teddy and the 17 bonzied it into the corner and tagged me in the left rear. I tried to woah it down, but I got the wall. We bent the axle tube and couldn’t get back out there.”
"We had a good car. I didn’t start pedaling until teddy started putting pressure on me. You know, Teddy don’t’ wait for nothing. That is just his style. But the 17, I don’t know what the deal was with him. “
Malave chalked the incident up to being just a hard racing.
“I was racing for position,” said Malave. “I got underneath him and he came down and I couldn't stop it in time and we got together. That's it. Teddy got a little sideways and there was a hole I can get into and going down the straightaway I was halfway underneath him (Goodale's #58) and he just started coming down. I started backing out but sometimes it's too late and you can't.”
Malave suffered less damage than Goodale in the tangle and went on to finish 12th.
OTHER MOD NOTES
Joe Brady's #00 Team came to the track only to realize they had five of their tires slit upon arrival. The track has security and it is a mystery to whom committed the act and how it happened. Donny Lia's Team had their generator stolen as well.
Curtis Truex Jr. finished a series high 5th on Wednesday night.
Zach Sylvester had pulled the car behind the wall late in the race after a strange night at Smyrna. The #15 was running well but faded at the end of the race and was all over the place before they pulled the car in. After looking at the car they found they had a slow leaking flat tire.
Eric Beers has been consistent all week long in the Tour-Type Mods. Now Beers is doing double-duty at Smyrna. Beers hopped in the Zacharias #71, a seat vacated when Tim Arre retired from racing the other night. Beers started his SK Mod ride off with a bang, winning the 15-lapper.
Connecticut driver Justin Gaydosh also had his best
Zach Sylvester (#15) slides to avoid the spinning Johnny Denniston.
finish of Speedweeks. After banging out some damaged panels the other night, Gaydosh was smooth and stayed out of trouble to get a 6th place finish in the 50 lap race.
JR Bertuccio blew an engine in his second race with Bear Motorsports and finished 23rd.
North Carolina's Chris Fleming, a SMART Tour runner, ran his first night at Smyrna and was caught up in an early race melee. Fleming finished 14th.
TC's win increased his points lead over Chuck Hossfeld and Eric Beers who finished 3rd.
Charlie Pasteryak has rebounded nicely from his opening night crash. The crew worked overnight after the crash to repair the #5. Since the wreck, Charlie has finished 5th, 6th, 7th and 4th on Wednesday night.