TC Rules Mansfield Mod Race From Start to Finish by Jim Blacroch
Victory Puts Christopher Into Tour Point Lead As Season Winds Down
On Saturday morning, afternoon and eventually night, Christopher was amongst, if not the fastest of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour cars in attendance at the fast half-mile Mansfield Motorsports Park oval in Central Ohio.

After qualifying sixth, Christopher redrew the pole and pretty much dominated to gather his second victory of the season. It was TC's first visit to victory lane since he won the Spring Sizzler at Stafford back in April.

“I like this race track because it's a pretty fast place,” beamed Christopher following his win. His first win of the season came at Stafford in the 'Spring Sizzler'. “The car has been very fast and I've got to thank all of the guys and car owner Eddie Whelan for a great night.”

Christopher jumped out and into the lead, but not too quickly.

“It's been tighter on the Tour this year with penalties and stuff,” explained Christopher. “So, I didn't want to jump the start. That was on my mind the entire time, but you are the leader and you want to get a little bit of an advantage. Ryan (Preece) was laying back on the start and I got a pretty good jump a couple of times, but a couple of others we raced side-by-side into turn one. I may have got into him a little, but nothing overly aggressive. Once I settled down and got my rhythm then I was good. The track never really seemed to change all day, even with the Camping World cars and the Goodyear rubber, the track never changed. It was just a fun night for me.”

Christopher also talked about his driving and how he has learned to cope with it.
Ted Christopher in victory lane.  (Ken Spring Photo)

Plainville, Connecticut's Ted Christopher is the epitome of what an 'old school' racer should be. TC races everywhere in every kind of car imaginable and typically he's successful. He finds the limit of everything he drives and when you think the car is at its limit, Christopher finds a way to go beyond that limit,…but just enough to reach a new corridor of speed. There have been many folks that have said that if they wanted to see just how fast something will go then all they need to do his hire Christopher and there is a lot of truth to that.
The victory propelled Christopher into the point lead on the Tour. Chuck Hossfeld held a 41-point advantage heading into the event, but with a broken axle and a 28th place finish, there was a 101-point swing, which gave Christopher a 60-point advantage leaving Mansfield.

“I've been through all of this point stuff before,” related TC following the event. “Usually I lead it for a long time and then slide backward, but this time we're gaining momentum now. Some of the things we've been through really hasn't been our fault. The engines, we've never had a problem there and this year we've had some. We're not that far out in front and I realize that one bad day could change everything. I approach it from the standpoint of one race at a time. Our car is running well and even with the borrowed car from the Grigas team we've been running well. I think with more time we could have had a chance at winning at Thompson if we had more time with it.”

Christopher continued regarding his team and the always-spreading rumors that surround it. “

As a team, we're still very good. Brad and all of the guys do a great job. There are some things happening that could make us even stronger and a much more solid team, but that's all I can really say about it at this time, but we're going to be fine. Even in the impound races we've done well and we had our challenges at those for a while, but it's all been going well for us so far and tonight emphasizes that.”

Beers collected the Coors Light Pole Award for the event.

The next event for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is the Modified Mania at the Thompson International Speedway on September 6th and 7th with the Sunoco Modified Mania 150.
“I overdrive a lot and everyone knows that,” Christopher laughed with his trademark smile. “It's tough for me sometimes to calm down but I've learned how to do it. I've been driving like that for a long time and it's hard, but I've worked on it. Like today, we should be on the pole here, but we're not because I over drove the car. Brad (LaFontaine), my crew chief told me as soon as I got out of the car because I over drove the corner and he was right. I did that a couple of times in the race and once I settled down the car was pretty good.”

Christopher competed in the event in one of Whelan's own cars, after to having to borrow a car to compete a week ago at Thompson.

“Between the borrowed car and the new motors it's been a pretty good turn around for us in the points,” smiled Christopher following his win. We've had our share of challenges this season, we got wrecked in the closing laps at Spencer and then we had engine troubles. You can look back on stuff and it equals out”

Christopher continued. “Tonight we just had a fast racecar. We went out in time and went sixth but the car was really good. It's our car and we definitely needed to night. We're heading to tracks that I enjoy racing at, so the championship chase should really be interesting.”
Christopher led the field to the green flanked by Eric Beers, but Christopher quickly shot into the lead. One of Christopher's biggest challenges of the night was holding off young Ryan Preece, who dogged Christopher for the majority of the event. Preece, who started fifth worked his way forward quickly and pressured Christopher. Christopher, Preece based their race strategy on not pitting.

Jimmy Blewett pitted early and worked his way through the field to a point and then just rode until making a late race charge, while Beers and Silk, who both finished in the top-five pitted just after halfway and worked their way back to the front near the end of the event. Beers, who won the Coors Light Pole Award, his second this season, didn't have enough car to get up and chase the leaders, which held him to fourth at the checkers.

A late race crash involving Todd Szegedy sent the race into over-time and Blewett slipped to second applying heavy pressure to Christopher at the checkered flag, but it was to no avail as Christopher held on for the victory. Blewett came home second and Preece wound up third with Beers fourth and Silk fifth.
Coors, Bud it doesn't really matter, there's still Beers on the Pole

Eric Beers is going to win an event before the year is out in the Bobby Katon, JR Precast, Reynold's Auto Wrecking machine. He's been close. Strong at the Sizzler at Stafford and a pole at Stafford before Mansfield. On Saturday he turned the fastest lap in practice and clicked off a lap good enough to win the Coors Light Pole Award (that just doesn't flow). In the race he pitted for two right side tires after running with the top-five for most of the event, but in the end he came home fourth.

“We were decent, but not great tonight,” stated Beers. “The car would go away on the long run. We were quick on the short run and I thought I had a top three, but Jimmy (Blewett) came along and got us late in the race. We just didn't have enough to hold him back and he got to second, so he was pretty good. We'll take it after our tough night at Thompson a couple of weeks ago and we'll go from there.”
Hossfeld Struggles Through

Chuck Hossfeld and Bob Garbarino struggled through the Mansfield event. They heading into the event with the point lead and left with a broken axle in the racecar and without the point lead. The team also went through troubles when long-time Garbarino / Art Barry crew member, Jimmy Savage was transported to the hospital earlier in the day.

“Today and tonight definitely wasn't what we wanted,” stated Hossfeld following the event. “Look for us to lift it up a notch at Thompson. Right now I just want Jimmy Savage to know that we're thinking about him and hope he's doing okay.”

Blewett rides to second

Jimmy Blewett is a heck of a young man. A young Father, a darn good racecar driver and a guy that's always quick to flash a smile. After his run at Mansfield, Blewett had plenty to be happy with. After starting seventh Blewett rode it out, pitted for tires, patiently drove back through the field and finished a strong second.

“We had a pretty good car, but we couldn't get past Teddy, even in over time,” smiled Blewett. “We gave it all we had, but we came up just short tonight. Still, second is good and we'll take it. The car is one piece and we'll just go from here. We've definitely got something to build on.”

Other Tour Information

31 cars started the Whelen 150 at Mansfield, but Todd Szegedy's, Glenn Tyler's and Ronnie
Silk's team all had backup cars in the field. So that has 28 teams towing to the event. Several
teams this season have opted out of doing every event, obviously because of the lengthy and
cost of travel. In addition to the car count one has to wonder why this event would be
scheduled directly against Bristol's night race, long one of the nights that weekly-type short
tracks have struggled.

Race winner Ted Christopher had this to say on the state of the Tour.

“It is probably about the same as last year,” explained Christopher. “I get along good with Chad
Little and think he's doing a good job. I didn't really get along with the past management
structure, so overall I'd have to say it's better. It's definitely better this year then it was last
year.”


BOX SCORE
MANSFIELD MOTORSPORTS PARK, MANSFIELD, OHIO
AUGUST 23, 2008;
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour-Whelen 150 Results
Saturday August 23, 2008
At Mansfield Motorsports Park
Mansfield, Ohio
Lap length: 0.5 miles

(Start position in parentheses)
1. (1) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 157 laps, 79.471 mph, $7,100.
2. (7) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 157, $3,200.
3. (5) Ryan Preece, Kensington, Conn., Chevrolet, 157, $2,650.
4. (2) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 157, $3,700.
5. (12) Ronnie Silk,Norwalk,Conn., Pontiac, 157, $2,300.
6. (6) Matt Hirschman,Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 157, $2,100.
7. (15) Erick Rudolph,Ransomville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 157, $1,800.
8. (20) Mike Stefanik,Coventry, R.I.,Pontiac, 157, $2,625.
9. (14) Kevin Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 157, $1,625.
10. (21) Glen Reen, Wilbraham,Mass., Chevrolet, 157, $1,600.
11. (4) Billy Pauch, Jr., Frenchtown,N.J., Dodge, 157, $1,575.
12. (22) Woody Pitkat, Stafford,Conn., Chevrolet, 157, $1,525.
13. (8) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 157, $1,600.
14. (19) Andy Seuss, Hampstead, N.H., Chevrolet, 157, $1,095.
15. (25) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 156, $1,490.
16. (23) Ken Heagy, Calverton,N.Y., Ford, 156, $1,480.
17. (24) Joe Hartmann, Calverton,N.Y., Chevrolet, 156, $1,425.
18. (11) Danny Sammons,Hamilton, N.J., Chevrolet, 156, $1,400.
19. (18) Rick Fuller,Auburn,Mass., 155, $1,375.
20. (17) Glenn Tyler,Hampton Bays ,N.Y., Chevrolet, 155, $1,350.
21. (26) Jake Marosz, Middletown,Conn., Chevrolet, 154, $1,325.
22. (3) Bobby Grigas, III, Marshfield,Mass., Chevrolet, 151, suspension, $1,300.
23. (9) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield,Conn., Ford, 147, accident, $1,375.
24. (10) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington,Conn., Chevrolet, 95, $1,350.
25. (28) Tom Abele, Jr., Norwich, Conn. , Chevrolet, 83, ignition, $1,240.
26. (30) Darrel Krentz, Huntersville, N.C., Chevrolet, 72, head gasket, $800.
27. (27) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 59, clutch, $1,200.
28. (13) Chuck Hossfeld, Ransomville, N.Y., Dodge, 57, axle, $1,300.
29. (16) Dion Ciccarelli, Crofton, Md., Chevrolet, 38, overheating, $800.
30. (29) Jeremy Stoltz, Walkertown,N.C., Pontiac, 9, suspension, $800.
31. (31) Jamie Tomaino, Jr., Howell,N.J., Ford, 7, vibration, $800.

Race Statistics

Time of Race: 0 hours 59 minutes 16 seconds
Margin of Victory: 0.177 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: E.Beers (117.501 mph, 15.319 seconds)
Caution Flags: 7 for 40 laps.
Lead Changes: 0 among 1 drivers.
Lap Leaders: T.Christopher 1-157.
Standings: 1. T.Christopher, 1504; 2. C.Hossfeld, 1444; 3. M.Hirschman, 1418; 4. M.Stefanik, 1378; 5. R.Silk, 1338; 6. T.Szegedy, 1329; 7. E.Beers, 1313; 8. J.Blewett, 1269; 9. E.Flemke,Jr., 1229; 10. R.Pennink, 1224.






Hirschman crosses the finish line.
Eric Beers and his Coors Light Pole Award  (NASCAR / Mary Hodge Photo)
Ted Christopher   (NASCAR / Mary Hodge Photo)
Ted Christopher (#36) gets ready to do battle with Ryan Preece (#3) and Matt Hirschman (#59) right before a green comes out.   (Ken Spring Photo)