51's Modified Madness Presented by Advance Auto Parts
News From The Ground Pounders - Dirt, Asphalt, North and South
Compiled from Series, Team and Track PR Reports
WMT, SKs and More: It's World Series Time

The 36th annual XTRA MART World Series of Speedway Racing gets underway this Friday at the Thompson International Speedway. Nearly five hundred race cars representing fifteen different racing divisions will compete in this amazing three-day racing extravaganza.

The XTRA MART World Series of Speedway Racing is one of the biggest racing and party weekends in the entire northeast. Thousands of race fans literally move into the Thompson Speedway for a full weekend of wheel-to-wheel racing competition and an almost non-stop party atmosphere as the 2009 racing season comes to a conclusion.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour shares top billing with the incredible ISMA winged Super Modifieds in this event. Championships in both of these exciting divisions are up for grabs and the competition will be fierce. The mighty Midgets of NEMA will also play a major role as will Thompson’s own NASCAR Whelen All-American Series “Super 6” divisions. Add to all of this the SK Sunoco Modified Light cars, Pro 4 Modifieds, ARTS Trucks and three “outlaw” divisions and you’ve got the most diversified racing program to be found anywhere.

Thompson’s famous Raceway Restaurant and Lounge will be the center of the social activity for the weekend. A buffet breakfast will be served on both Saturday and Sunday mornings and a huge race party will be held on Saturday night.

While the fans are enjoying the festivities, the race teams will be focused on their on-track performance. With various division titles and the prestige of a World Series victory on the line, race teams will, once again, make a herculean effort in their final Thompson race of the year.

Pits open at 8 AM on all three days. The huge Thompson grandstands will open at 4:30 PM on Friday and at 9 AM on both Saturday and Sunday. The complete weekend schedule is available on the Thompson web site. www.thompsonspeedway.com   Admission tickets for the World Series of Speedway racing are good for all three days.

WMT: Tour Title is On The Line at Thompson World Series

The 25th season of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will draw to a close and a champion will be crowned at the World Series of Speedway Racing presented by Xtra Mart on Sunday, Oct. 18 at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway.

The final stop for the Whelen Modified Tour in 2009 will be a familiar one as Thompson has played host to more events than any other venue in the Tour’s 25-year history. And as the season concludes, a familiar storyline has once again come to the forefront: a tight championship battle.

Donny Lia - the 2007 Whelen Modified Tour champion - carries a slim 26-point lead into the season finale. Lia, from Jericho, N.Y., earned his Tour-high fourth win of the year last time out at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway, and consequently took the points lead for the first time this year.

Although he may have momentum on his side after winning three of the last five races, Lia will have his hands full at Thompson, however. Ryan Preece is Lia’s closest competition at just 26 markers back.

Preece, from Berlin, Conn., has been the season’s most consistent top finisher. Highlighted by a pair of wins and third-place efforts in the last three races entering Thompson, Preece has a Tour-high nine top-five finishes in 12 starts this year. Recent history has shown that - barring mechanical failure or getting caught up in an accident - Preece will be at or near the front on Sunday.

The Lia versus Preece match-up provides an interesting storyline entering the World Series. The No. 4 “Mystic Missile” driven by Lia has been a fixture in NASCAR Modified racing since 1962 with car owner Bob Garbarino, while the No. 3 “Ole Blue” Modified of Boehler Racing Enterprises began competition in 1957 under the direction of the late Len Boehler. History has come full-circle in the 25th season of the Whelen Modified Tour with Lia and Preece the title frontrunners in cars that represent the longest-running Modified teams in the Northeast by far.

For all intents and purposes, it is a two-horse race between Lia and Preece. Although still mathematically alive, Ted Christopher, Todd Szegedy and Rowan Pennink will be long shots for the championship trophy at Thompson. Szegedy and Pennink will be eliminated from contention when Lia takes the green flag and Christopher - at 109 points out of first - would need to win and have Lia finish worse than 30th to pass the current points leader. Should that happen, Christopher would also have to leapfrog Preece by finishing sixth or better, assuming Preece finished between 22nd and 32nd.

The 2009 World Series marks the second year in a row - and just the latest on the list of instances - where the championship comes down to the last race. A year ago, Christopher carried a 35-point lead to Thompson against Matt Hirschman. Christopher went on to win the race and secure his first title.

Raceday Notes: The smallest championship points differential occurred in 1995 when Tony Hirschman edged Steve Park by three points ... If Lia were to win the title, he would become just the fourth driver in Whelen Modified Tour history to earn multiple championships, joining Tony Hirschman (5), Jimmy Spencer (2) and Mike Stefanik (7) ... If Preece were to clinch the title, it would mark the third year in a row that the crown goes to a first time winner, following Lia in 2007 and Christopher in 2008 ... Lia enters the race with 15 career wins, which has him tied with Spencer on the Whelen Modified Tour all-time list, and one shy of the totals of Mike McLaughlin and Park ... The Whelen Modified Tour champion will earn a secured starting position in the 2010 NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, to be held Jan. 29-30 at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (Calif.) ... Renee Dupuis will attempt to make her 100th career Whelen Modified Tour start at the World Series.

NASCAR WSMT: Caraway Makeup Race is Set

NASCAR has announced the rescheduled date for the Fall Classic 150, the final race of the 2009 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour season.

The race will be run Saturday, Oct. 24. The event was rained out from its originally schedule date of Saturday, Oct. 3.

NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour director Sherry Clifton and Caraway Speedway track owner Russ Hackett worked together to finalize the date, which will impact a number of positions in the points standings. Points leader George Brunnhoelzl III can clinch his first NASCAR championship by starting the event.

“Mr. Hackett realizes that NASCAR Championships are rare, sometimes once-in-a-lifetime events,” Clifton said. “Russ felt with so many points positions still up for grabs, it was important to give every team their final chance to do their best and we appreciate the Hackett family’s dedication and support of the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour."

Practice for the Fall Classic 150 will begin at 4:30 p.m., with qualifying at 6:30 and the green flag set to fly at 8 p.m. Caraway Speedway will also hold races in five of its weekly divisions Saturday, highlighted by a 30-lap Sportsman Division race.

DIRT: 2010 Super DIRTcar Series Schedule Already Taking Shape

With the final checkered flag falling on the DIRTcar Racing Big-Block Modified season Sunday at the Syracuse Mile, plans are well underway for the 31st year of tour competition in the Northeast’s premier open-wheel class.

Initially announced during the Quaker Steak & Lube Super DIRT Week Media Day that officially kicked off Super DIRT Week ’09 at the New York State Fairgrounds on Thursday (Oct. 8) afternoon, the 2010 edition of the Super DIRTcar Series for Big-Block Modifieds is jam-packed with a half-dozen can’t miss events already leading the way.

“We will continue to build our schedule, already having a handful of major events locked in for the upcoming season has helped us tremendously. 2010 will be one that our racers and fans will be talking about all winter long,” remarked newly appointed DIRTcar Racing Northeast Director of Competition & Track Sanctioning Joe Skotnicki, who continues to outline a tentative Super DIRTcar Series schedule.

In a unique presentation made during the annual SDW Media Day gathering in the fairgrounds’ Infield Conference Building, a half-dozen of the top touring drivers took part in the announcement of six high-profile events currently highlighting the 2010 Super DIRTcar Series agenda.

Recently crowned overall Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Champion Brett Hearn was saved for last and his brief words were certainly among the best as he delivered the news that the mighty Big-Block Modifieds will return to North Carolina next season. The Super DIRTcar Series will be a major part of the 2010 World Finals on Nov. 4-6 at The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., where it will join the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars and the World of Outlaws Late Models as all three series wrap up their seasons with championship-deciding point events.

Moving under the spotlight in chronological order of the upcoming season of series specials, ’09 track champion Billy Decker helped reveal the Super DIRTcar Series will compete April 9-10 at Fulton (NY) Speedway as part of a two-day event that also includes a Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Series stop. The Super DIRTcar Big-Block stars are also slated to return to Fulton on Oct. 1-2 as part of the 25th Fulton 200 Weekend.

Just days before capturing the prestigious Rite Aid 200 Presented By Ferris & Snapper Mowers, Matt Sheppard announced to the media that the tradition-laden Hall of Fame Classic will be back in the Super DIRTcar Series at Cayuga County Fair Speedway on Sunday, May 30, while Ryan Phelps was introduced to talk about the second annual All-Star 100 Weekend returning to the same Weedsport, N.Y. oval on July 16-17 for two more Super DIRTcar Series runs.

A past Syracuse pole-winner, local favorite Jimmy Phelps from nearby Baldwinsville, N.Y. was given the job of announcing the 2010 dates for Super DIRT Week at the Moody Mile. With the event running from Oct. 6-10, the 39th Annual Rite Aid 200 Presented By Ferris & Snapper Mowers will be on 10-10-10.

A multi-time series winner in his career traveling north of the border, Gary Tomkins went behind the mic to reveal that the Super DIRTcar Series will compete Oct. 17 at Brockville Ontario Speedway, creating an exciting event the weekend after Super DIRT Week and setting the stage for the series’ first autumn appearance at the World Finals at Lowe’s. With the previous events staged in Spring, Hearn reached victory lane in Lowe’s 2001 inaugural event while Tim Fuller was the last to find the winner’s circle in May of ’05.

Competition Director Joe Skotnicki (704/796-4566) remains available to answer questions as well as address specific concerns as the 2009 season comes to a close and DIRTcar Northeast’s 35th consecutive year of operation gets underway.

More news and information about the Modified tour can be found at www.superdirtcarseries.com while race fans can receive updates directly by signing up as a Big-Block ‘follower' on Twitter through http://www.twitter.com/SuperDIRTcar, an exclusive offering for all DIRTcar enthusiasts.

SK Modifieds: Yuhas Wins Waterford Track Championship

The Waterford Speedbowl Finale saw the final races for the four weekly NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions on Sunday.   Track champions were crowned in three of them, with Ron Yuhas Jr., Brandon Plemons and Danny Field etching their names into the Speedbowl record book joining Bruce Thomas Jr. as the 2009 champions.    Winning the races were Jeff Paul in the 100-lap SK Modified event, Tim Jordan in the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model 100-lapper, while Ron Oldham Jr. and Louis Bellisle III won the 50-lap Street Stock and Norwich Bulletin Mini Stock races.

Joe Perry and Dennis Charette led the 27-car SK Modified field and championship chase to green for their 100-lap event.  The fireworks started off turn four of lap one when Tom Abele Jr., who started third, and Charette made contact.  That crossed the pair up in front of a stacked field behind, resulting in an 11-car pig pile entering turn one.

All eyes were on points contenders Ron Yuhas Jr. and Keith Rocco.  Heads up driving helped them from getting collected in the incident, as cars literally scattered in every direction around them.  Dennis Gada, Jeff Pearl, Allen Coates and Matt Gallo were among those headed pit side in need of repair but able to continue on the lead lap of the race. 

The restart proved no better, as Abele and Janovic came together off turn four coming to the green flag, ending with Abele’s car at rest against the turn one wall after making race ending contact with the wall.  Once green, Jeff Paul of Ledyard moved inside of Perry to take over at the front.  Racing only went a few laps before something broke on Pearl’s car, sending the Salem driver hard into the turn one wall on lap seven.

When the green returned, only one more lap was able to be completed before caution flew again for a single car spin. That lap proved key however, as Rocco used a bump and run move on Paul to take over the lead off turn two on lap 10.

Rocco resumed at the front with Paul and Janovic giving chase.  Yuhas moved around the outside of Perry for fourth and closed in on the top three.  Caution on lap 26 for a spin by Charette slowed what was the first look at how the race for the win and championship would shape up.  Rocco had pressed early to get out front, with Yuhas in tow looking all over Janovic for third.

Rocco lead through lap 38 when Paul, challenging outside, capitalized on a slip by Rocco to reclaim the top spot.  Paul stretched out his lead as Rocco began backing up, something appearing to go away on his machine.  Caution came out on lap 47 when Shawn Solomito spun off the backstretch.  Rocco used that opportunity to duck in to the pits for service on what turned out to be a broken panhard bar.  The championship hunt turned when the race returned green with Rocco still in the pits as his team made the repairs.  

Paul reclaimed the lead when the action returned with Yuhas in second, Dennis Gada moving to third, and Janovic battling Mark Bakaj for fourth.   Yuhas pressed Paul at the front.  Gada sat three cars back in third.  Further back, Bakaj took fourth but Janovic looked to take it back.   Those two came together in turn four with 20 laps remaining to bring out caution.

That was the final restart Paul needed to master.  He did, going on to his third victory of the season.  Yuhas settled for second, good enough to clinch his first track title in his 10th season competing at the track.
Pro Four Modifieds: Berghman Picks Up First Pro Four Win

The Pro Four Modifieds of New England (PFMNE) came out twenty-three strong on Saturday, October 10, for their thirteenth event of the 2009 campaign.  As the checkers unfurled, it was Robin Berghman picking up her first win as part of the DAV Fall Classic.

On the start, Dave Richardi jumped out to an early lead, besting the other 21 starters. Eric McGovern was in attendance, however, mechanical troubles in practice kept him from participating in the main event. Richardi would continue to lead the event until lap six when his car came out from underneath him and he went spinning on the front stretch, bringing out the first of six yellows.  Berghman inherited the lead with Rob Richardi, Jr., Dan Meservery, Jr., Cory Cleary, and Dan Meservey rounding out the top five.

Berghman took advantage of her restart position, jumping out to a comfortable lead.  Meanwhile, further back in the pack Norm Wrenn and Brookfield, MA-native, Andy Major, were navigating their way through traffic, securing positions in the top ten.  Progress would be slowed for the two four-cylinder modified standouts as Dick Dubois, who was competing for the first time in 2009, went spinning.

On the restart, Berghman picked up where she left off, continuing to lead the race.  Richardi, Jr. got hung up on the outside, and as a result, Meservery, Jr., and Cleary got by.  Cleary would then pass Meservey, Jr., taking control of the bridesmaid position.  Wrenn had also advanced several more positions, and was running in fifth by the time the halfway signal was given to the field.

On lap sixteen, the third caution of the event was displayed when Mike Patnaude and Mike Crawford came together.  At this point, Matt Sagar, who had been struggling with smoke billowing from his family-owned mount, retired from the race, as did Dan Meservey.

The race would only be resumed for three laps before another yellow slowed the 30-lap main.  This time the caution was issued for Billy Joerres, who went spinning off of turn four.  On the restart, Berghman got the advantage with Cleary, Meservey, Jr., Wrenn, and Richardi, Jr. rounding out the top five.  Positions six through ten went to Brian Vincent, Franky Perry, Andy Major, Phil Lausier, and Tyler Anderson, who brought his newly completed racecar out for the first time this season.  Randy Clark and Henry Sirigano retired from the race during this caution period.

Green flag racing would be brought to a screeching halt twice in the last five laps.  Mike Patnaude and Mike Crawford got together for the second time on lap 25, drawing the fifth caution of the event.  Both drivers retired from the race along with Massachusetts-native, Dave Bedard.  A lap 27 caution collected several front runners, and resulted in a red flag for track clean up.  The trouble began when Dan Meservey, Jr. appeared to develop a mechanical problem which almost brought his car to a stop.  Franky Perry, Dave Richardi, and Norm Wrenn were also involved.  Richardi was the only driver able to continue.  At this point the top five had been completely reaaranged with Berghman still at the point, Cleary in second, Vincent in third, Major in fourth, and Phil Lausier in fifth.  

Berghman was challenged several times by Cleary in the closing laps, but the youngster did not have enough to get by the seasoned veteran, as Berghman collected her first win of the season.  Vincent, Major, and Lausier all maintained their top five positions.  Sixth through tenth went to Tyler Anderson, Dick Dubois, Stan Mertz, Dave Richardi, and Dan Meservey, Jr.  Positions eleven through twenty belonged to Perry, Wrenn, Patnaude, Bedard, Crawford, Richardi, Jr., Sirigano, Clark, Joerres, and Sagar.  Meservey and Mark Charette rounded out the field.   

Wall: Impressive Entry List is Shaping Up For Comerford Memorial Race

As the entry total for the October 24 “Tommy Comerford Memorial” at Wall Stadium climbs above 30, the quality of those entries continues to be impressive. The “Tommy Comerford Memorial” will feature two 66-lap main events for tour type Modified stock cars offering each winner a cool $6,600 payday. A total purse of $40,000 is up for grabs at present and that could climb as the event approaches.

Donny Lia of Huntington, N.Y. will be looking for the big money as he goes to battle in the Blewett Motorsports No. 1. Lia was the 2007 NASCAR Modified champion and recently took over the point lead in the 2009 race for the crown. Lia, who has also been a standout in the NASCAR Truck Series, hopes to be celebrating the NASCAR Modified crown again by the time he gets to Wall on October 24. Local favorite Ken Woolley, Jr. of Howell will also be racing for the big cash as he again straps himself into the potent Dick Barney owned No. 14.

Former Wall Modified champion Kevin Flockhart of Jackson will be a contender as he has landed a ride in the famous Joe Brady No. 00 Modified which has been driven by the best in the past including, most recently, Ted Christopher on the True Value Modified Series. Another Wall favorite, Anthony Sesely of Matawan, will drive his family owned No. 11 Modified into battle.

Former Wall Truck Series champion Bill Weichert of Chatham has filed an entry for his No. 11 Modified, while Pennsylvania favorite John Markovic of Bethlehem will have his familiar No. 95 in the field. Both drivers have plenty of experience both at Wall and at winning. More entries will be announced soon.

Speedway promoter Jim Morton recently released the busy schedule for October 24. Pit area gates will open at 9:30 a.m. and practice will begin at 10:30 a.m. and run until 1:30 p.m. The grandstands will open at 11:00 a.m. to the general public, while fans that purchased during the September 26 presale will have the opportunity to enter the grandstands at 10:30 a.m.

The first events on the agenda will be the three rain postponed races from September 26. Those events, 25-lappers for the Sportsman and Street Stocks and a 20-lapper for the Factory Stocks, will begin promptly at 1:45 p.m. Next up, at approximately 2:30 p.m., will be qualifying for the day’s originally scheduled events.

Then, at 3:45 p.m., the first of a pair of tour type Modified 66-lap features will be contested before the Legend Cars, Sportsman and Street Stock racers return in 25-lap features. The tour type Modifieds will then run their second 66-lapper of the day before the Factory Stocks wrap up the action in a 20-lapper.

Morton also said that competitors planning to compete in October 24 “Tommy Comerford Memorial” events are eligible to participate in a paid practice session on Friday, October 23, starting at 3:00 p.m. Morton said that the practice session will continue into the evening so that competitors can get ample testing time.

Wall Stadium is located on Route 34 in Wall Township, N.J., just one mile north of Garden State Parkway exit 98 and Interstate 195 exit 35B. The speedway office is open from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Information and Modified entry forms are available by calling 732-681-6400 and at www.wallspeedway.com.

History: Plainville Reunion is a Success

With the local racing season winding-down, there were plenty of events for fans to attend last Saturday. However, perhaps the biggest show of the weekend focused on a Connecticut ¼-miler that’s been shuttered for nearly three-decades. Joe Tinty’s Plainville Stadium hosted some of the best short-track racing in New England. Thanks to the efforts of the Berlin Lions Club and the Nutmeg Kart Club, a great deal of the excitement was again relived at the “First Annual Plainville Stadium Reunion.”

Throughout the day, a steady-stream of fans of the former oval converged on the Berlin Fairgrounds to meet the drivers that were a staple of the excitement that was “The Stadium”. Along with a host of former “Saturday Night Heroes,” there was an assortment of historical artifacts that included everything from antique race cars to a huge photo selection from official track photographer, Phil Hoyt. Renowned racing photog Steve Kennedy, who got his start at the Stadium as a young shutterbug, was present to record the day’s activities. Media personalities included award-winning racing journalist and New England Auto Racing Hall of Famer member Pete Zanardi as well as the brothers Danko, Gary and Brian.

“This is just one of those “feel-good” events, and proves that Plainville Stadium played a significant role in Connecticut racing history. It’s great that the track is being recognized today,” commented Zanardi.

With machines provided by the Nutmeg Kart Club, two events for former Stadium drivers were staged on the club’s high-banked clay oval located on the grounds of the show. Quite-fittingly, Dave Alkas, the tracks all-time feature and championship winner annexed one event, while it was former regional Modified star and one-time Plainville regular, Sonny O’Sullivan taking the other.

The drivers in attendance read like a competition roster of the track’s history. The Alkas brothers, Dennis Zimmerman, Jap Membrino, Ray Miller, Ronnie Wyckoff, Reggie Ruggerio, Don Moon, NEAR Hall of Famer and former track champ George Lombardo, and the list goes-on. The fact remains that many of those that went-on to become the most-accomplished racers in New England, got their starts at Plainville.

Dave Alkas, Stadium “King” and also a member of the prestigious New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame was one of the primary organizers of the event along with Gary Bienkowski of the Nutmeg Kart Club.

“This has really exceeded all-expectations,” stated Alkas. “To think that after all-these years Plainville Stadium is so fondly-recalled, is almost an emotional experience for those of-us that called it home. Back-then, we were kind of known as a track that was sort-of a rough-place to race with boisterous fans and kind of a rowdy reputation. Today, it proves that a lot of people miss Plainville Stadium. It really was a great track and a fun place to be a part-of. I know I miss it a great-deal,” he said.

By days-end, comments were already circulating on how to make the second edition of the event an even bigger affair.

DIRT: DIRTcar NE Banquet Room Reservation Deadline Approaching Fast

A reminder that the cut-off date for teams reserving rooms for the 34th Annual DIRTcar Racing Northeast ‘Night of Champions’ Awards Banquet at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino is OCTOBER 23, 2009. All DIRTcar guests will be lodged in two unique Turning Stone settings, the Hotel Resort and The Tower.

A number of rooms have been blocked off in the name of DIRTcar Racing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at a rate of $140.00 per night for race teams, sponsors and track personnel seeking overnight accommodations. These weekending room blocks will be held with a three-week cut-off so reservations must be made by October 23 to insure the special discounted rates.

DIRTcar Promoter meetings will run 9am-5pm on Friday with the awards banquet for championship teams set to take place the evening of Saturday, November 14. The festive evening begins with a 6 o’clock reception with dinner served at 6:45 p.m. and the awards ceremony to follow.

The traditional post-season celebration among competitors, sponsors and officials will honor the top series drivers along with DIRTcar Northeast track champions, with a number of special awards handed out during the annual autumn affair.

For reservations, please call The Turning Stone Resort & Casino (www.Turning-Stone.com) at 1-800-771-7711 and indicate your affiliation with the DIRTcar Racing ‘Night of Champions’ Banquet. The Turning Stone Resort & Casino is centrally located, just off the New York State Thruway (I-90) in Verona, approximately 30 miles east of Syracuse. At Exit 33, go left at the traffic light on to Route 365, travel 1/4-mile south before turning left at Patrick Road.

Contact World Racing Group Executive Administrative Assistant Gina Fernez at WRG headquarters (704/795-7223) in Concord, North Carolina or Tana Robinson in the DIRTcar Northeast office (315/834-6606 x225) in Weedsport, New York for further information.

SK Modifieds: TC Wins Another Track Title at Stafford

The 2009 SK Modified® season at Stafford Motor Speedway saw Ted Christopher add a seventh track championship to his resume.

Christopher’s 7 track championships at Stafford are a record for any division with Bob Potter the closest to Christopher with 5 SK Modified® track championships.  Christopher’s 2009 season was a combination of
dominance and consistency as he finished in the top-2 in half of the events this year and posted a total of 13 top-10 finishes in 15 starts.

“The best part of this year was winning number seven,” said Christopher.  “That’s a nice record to have.”

Over the off-season, Christopher partnered up with Jean-Guy and Brigitte Poulin, who were the SK Modified® championship winning car owners from the 2008 season.  Poulin supplied Christopher with a Mike Pettit engine that powered him to his seventh championship.

“It was great to have Jean-Guy and Brigitte join our team this year,” said Christopher.  “Jean helped us out a lot.  That Mike Pettit motor had a lot of power and it saved me from spending money on a motor program.  Not only did Jean give me a motor to use, but he gave me a truck and a trailer to tow the car where last year I was renting a trailer and using my business truck to tow the car.  Jean and Brigitte are both great people and we had a lot of fun together this year.  I had a lot of support from Pettit Racing Engines, J.G. Poulin Drywall, Eagle Fence and Guardrail, and Broadband Access this year and hopefully we can come back next year and do it again.”

Christopher says that of his seven Stafford championships, the last two have a significant meaning to him.

“The championship I won two years ago was very gratifying because it was with all my own equipment,” said Christopher.  “There were a lot of people who thought my racing career was going to be over when Jim Galante’s equipment got seized.  In the three seasons since then, I have two championships and a second place finish, so its nice to know that I can still win championships and contend for championships doing things on my own with my own equipment.”

While Christopher’s name is liberally found in the modified chapters of the Stafford Motor Speedway record book, there is a mark that Christopher has yet to achieve that he has his sights set on.  With 91 career wins in the SK Modified® division, Christopher has his eyes on hitting the century mark.

“I’d like to hit 100 wins in the SK Modified® car,” said Christopher.  “It was special to hit 100 wins when you add up the different divisions I’ve raced in at Stafford, but I’d like to get to 100 in the SK car.  With how my
equipment is running right now, I think we should be able to hit that mark in the next several years before I quit racing.”

For the season, Christopher posted 4 wins, 11 top-5, and 13 top-10 finishes in 15 starts to carry him to the championship by a final margin of 40 points over Woody Pitkat.

Christopher will officially be crowned the 2009 SK Modified® track champion at the 40th Annual Stafford Motor Speedway Champions Awards Ceremony on Friday, November 20, 2009 at the La Renaissance Banquet Facility in East Windsor.

For more information about the Champions Awards Ceremony, or to order tickets, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.

DIRT Modified racing might be coming to a track near you in 2010.  (Dave Dalesandro Photo)
Donny Lia (#4) and Ryan Preece (#3) are the main players in the WMT title fight with one race to go.  (Jim Dupont Photo)
The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified teams will be back at Caraway on October 24th.
Donny Lia is hoping to win again at Wall.
Christopher's SK Modified up front at Stafford.  (Rick Ibsen Photo)
The Tour Mods will be just one of the Modified races set for Thompson's World Series.  (Rick Ibsen Photo)
Ron Yuhas wrapped up the championship this past week at Waterford.  (Rick Ibsen Photo)
Meanwhile, Jeff Paul won the race in his #91.  (Rick Ibsen Photo)