51 Leftovers: NASCAR Whelen Modified
Tour at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Hoar, Brackett, Rolfe, Martin, Ricker and More
By Mike Twist

TC and Newman Trade Paint, and Words About Respect

Eventual race winner Ryan Newman and runner-up Ted Christopher both exchanged a little bit of paint early on in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but when the race was over, they both talked about respect and racing each other clean in the closing stages of the event.

“I know that Teddy is one of the hardest, if not the hardest, guys out there when it comes to Modified racing,” said Newman.  “He'll run it in hard on you and he's not afraid to use the nerf bars.  I don't race these cars enough to race them that was.  He does.

“When he nerfed me up out of the way about eight laps in, I didn't appreciate it a while lot.  He didn't do that at the end and I know that he told Bono [Newman's car owner, Kevin “Bono” Manion] that he didn't mean to do it in the beginning.  It takes a lot of man to admit that and I respect him for it.  That's what's cool about Teddy.”

“You can always second guess anything you do,” said Christopher.  “I got into him [Ryan Newman] pretty hard earlier in the race.  I told myself that I wasn't going to do that again.  I have a lot of respect for him and we raced each other down at New Smyrna a bunch of times.  He's a fun guy to race with.”

Newman Also Gives Santos High Marks

Ted Christopher wasn't the only person who impressed NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Ryan Newman during the running of the New England 100 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at New Hampshire.  Newman was also impressed with young star Bobby Santos, III

“Anytime that you can race Bobby Santos and Teddy Christopher for the win in a Modified race, you are doing something,” said Newman.  “Bobby Santos is one heck of a racecar driver.  He's real smooth, he's real aggressive and he's a good clean racecar driver.  He's a pavement specialist like I was coming up [Newman rose through the ranks of racing from USAC Open Wheel competition] and he's made quite a name for himself.  It's fun racing against him.

Santos Leads Laps, Finishes Fourth

Speaking of Bobby Santos, the young driver of the #4 Mystic Missile found himself up front for much of the race, but back in the fourth position when the checkered flag flew.  However, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour point leader wasn't too upset about that.

“That was honestly anyone's race - Ryan, Teddy, me, Silkie and it was good to see Doug [Coby] in the #0 up front,” said Santos.  “ There were a good group of guys racing for this one.

“It wasn't a bad day, I was really happy to run up front with those guys.  I'm disappointed that we didn't win, but happy that we got a good finish.  This is an awesome team and they had awesome pit stops.  So I'm happy.”

Preece Comes Around for a Podium Finish

Ryan Preece quietly worked his way onto the podium at New Hampshire as he didn't appear in the lead pack often through the 100-lap race, but finished a strong third at the conclusion of the event.

“It was a hard fought race and it was a good day for us,” said Preece. “Hopefully this starts a string of top five finishes for us.”

Top Five Finish is Alright With Silk

Ronnie Silk led laps at New Hampshire before settling into a fifth-place finish.  All in all, it was a pretty good day for Silk or his TS Haulers team.

“Not bad,” said Silk.  “We were a little loose on the first run and tightened it up for the second run.  It was pretty good for that run, but by the end it was just way too tight.  I don't know if I used the right front tire up or what.”

The top five finisher turned around a streak of bad luck for Silk recently on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

“We'd been having a lot of bad luck over the last few weeks without finishing races, so we'll take a fifth here today.”

Off the Tour though, Silk went into the NHMS race with a little bit of momentum after having won an Open Competition Modified race on the Thursday night of NHMS race weekend at Thompson International Speedway (CT).  Having that victory fresh in his mind helped in the momentum department.

“A little bit,” smiled Silk.  “It's always nice to win a race.”

TC Looks Back on His Race

After the show at New Hampshire, Ted Christopher was able to look back on the event, which he finished second in.  Throughout the whole race, Christopher was keeping his eye on the finish.

“It was definitely interesting,” Christopher said of his race.  “We had some good laps side-by-side, swapping the lead back and forth.  I like leading here.  I probably made a mistake one time.  I crossed off on the #4 [Bobby Santos, III] and went all the way back to fifth.  But I was trying something to see if it would work.  I knew what I wanted to do with that and that told me something for the end of the race.”

Late in the going, Christopher helped eventual race winner Ryan Newman by drafting him to a breakaway lead.  That was by design, according to TC.

“It's easier to fight one guy than to fight five,” said Christopher.  “But I just  wasn't going to get by him at the end.”

Szegedy Limps to the Finish

Early on, Todd Szegedy had a top five running going, but an incident with Chuck Hossfeld where Hossfeld's car actually got airborne and ran up over Szegedy's Modified took its toll.  Szegedy struggled with a badly damaged car to just make it to the finish.  He ended up in the 15th position when all was said and done.

“Guys checked up and I lifted,” said Szegedy.  “I guess Chuckie ran up over the back of me.  I wasn't his fault, but once that happened we were pretty much done.  But there was no suspension damage, so I could run it to the end.”

How the body damage impacted Szegedy's handling was a different story though.

“Terrible.  I couldn't do anything with anybody.  I'd just wreck them if I tried to pass them.  So I just stayed where I was.”

Seuss Shows Off his Strong Car - Before On Track Trouble

Andy Seuss ran solidly in the top ten of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway before getting involved in an incident with L.W. Miller that dropped him back to a finish of 23rd [CLICK HERE TO READ A FULL STORY ON THAT INCIDENT].  Nevertheless, it was a satisfying weekend for Seuss and his family-owned #70 Modified team.

“We've had good cars at New Hampshire before, but I think that we just got to show it this time,” said Seuss.  “We had a half-decent starting spot and drove up to where we deserved.  We didn't quite have a top five car, but we were a solid top ten car and I think that is a sign of things to come.  I think that we really hit on something in the past few weeks. 

“We had a bit of a shake-up in the team after Martinsville and we worked real hard to dust this car off and get the cobwebs out of the motor.  We didn't have the best car here, but we had a top ten car thanks to some hard work.  Our goal was to bring it home in one piece and we were about 15 laps shy of that.  It's unfortunate because this team works too hard for that.”

L.W. Miller Doesn't Know About Future Northern Mod Shows

Usually, we don't see former NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion L.W. Miller venture very far North of the Mason-Dixon Line to race.  But the Pennsylvania native was at New Hampshire wheeling a second car out of the Hillbilly Racing stables.  Whether or not he might return to that car for the second race at New Hampshire in September remains to be seen.

“We talked about it a little bit,” said Miller.  As of right now, this is a one-race deal.  I've got an awful lot going on down South and that's right in the middle of the height of our racing season.  But you never know.  We'll see what happens.”

Ryan Preece's #3 Modified.  (Rick Ibsen Photo)
Ryan Newman (#7) leads Ted Christopher (#36) and vice versa at New Hampshire.  (Rick Ibsen Photos)
The damage to Todd Szegedy's #2 Modified.  (Leif Tillotson Photo)
Bobby Santos, III  (Rick Ibsen Photo)
Ron Silk's #6 Modified.  (Rick Ibsen Photo)
Andy Seuss' #70 Modified.  (Jim Dupont Photo)