Having Christopher behind him and getting closer and closer in his rear view mirror was a challenge for Grigas, but he was up to the task.
“I started to get nervous and sweating,” said Grigas. “To have him behind me for over 50 laps doing what he can to beat me. I kept telling myself that I was going to hold him off and I did.
Even after the trophy and pictures where taken, Grigas found it hard to believe that he actually won the race.
“I don’t even have words,” said Grigas. “Just to have beat Teddy and someone in his stature of racing. I just am ecstatic. I just don’t have words.”
THE APPRENTICE BEATS THE MASTER AT CANAAN by Denise DuPont
Bobby Grigas Holds Off TC For Open Show Victory
Usually in a craft or a trade, it is the young worker who shadows a more experienced hand in learning how to master the task. At Canaan Fair Speedway (NH), the situation was completely opposite during the running of Friday night’s $5,000-to-win Modified Open 100.
Bobby Grigas, a rookie in the True Value Modified Racing Series, in the #09 True Value Modified Racing Series car led 71 green laps to win at Canaan. For most of that time, he cast a shadow behind him in the form of the #00 Brady Bunch Modified driven by Ted Christopher.
Christopher raced Grigas clean, but during the last five laps of the race TC gave Grigas several taps on the bumper to try to get around him. But the #09 car was just dialed in.
“Both cars were running good,” said Christopher. “When two cars are running real good like that it is hard to just pass one.”
Grigas took the lead from Les Hinckley (#06).
On the other hand, Grigas couldn’t say enough about the handling of his racecar.
“I had the best set up the car. [Veteran Mod wrench] Brad LaFontaine was up at Loudon and he made a trip here to give me a helping hand. And it paid off!”
Before it was a Grigas and Christopher show, Les Hinckley showed the way. Hinckley won the first heat race and started on the pole. He was joined on the front row by Joshua Currier in #42 car who won the second heat race on the front row.
Grigas in victory lane at Canaan. (Jim DuPont Photos)
Les knew a thing or two about winning at Canaan. After all, he won the last TVMS race at Canaan and came back with confidence, “
We always have a good car here,” said Hinckley. “I was very happy with the car in practice. I am confident that we have the car to beat tonight. ”
Hinckley led the race for the first 28 laps. When he started to slow down around lap 28, he was quickly passed by Grigas and Christopher. Grigas started the race in fourth place and took the lead on lap 29. Christopher started the race fifth and moved to second place on lap 29 as he followed Grigas to the front of the pack.
Hinckley had a hard night on the track though and dropped out early.
“We lost the power steering rack again, the same thing as last week. Both times brand new part right out of the box. Two weeks in a row leading and we were sure that we had the field covered both times. It is very frustrating. I only went out for one practice and we were very happy with the car. This sport can be very humbling and cruel when it wants to be, but that it why it is racing.”
With Hinckley’s problems, Rob Goodenough in the #01 car ended up being the final podium finisher. The third-place man was really, really happy with the results of the night.
“The track was good,” said Goodenough. “We got down here this afternoon and the car felt really, really fast. We had really, really good times in practice. We went out in
the heat race and we really were not right so we got spanked. We qualified way in the back. We just waited our time and let the car fall in. Other then a little heating problem, the car went really, really well on the track. At the end, we are really happy with a third. I am really happy for this team, my sponsors, and this whole crew. These guys really worked their tails off this week as they do every week and they just give me a great race car. I just cannot say thank you enough to them and their families.”
Even Christopher, who is notorious for not wanting to settle for second place, was impressed on his first visit to race at Canaan..
“It is a cool little track,” said Christopher. “This is my first time here. Any place that you can race people is good. This is a real cool place to race out in the middle of no where that is for sure.”
And Hinckley? Well, instead of licking his wounds he plans to seek redemption when the TVMRS races at Lee USA Speedway (NH) on Tuesday night.
“We have no time to put our head in our hands,” said Hinckley. “We are going to go back at it. You fall off the horse you have to get right back on it.”
Christopher (#00) chases Grigas near the end of the race.