CHRISTOPHER NOTCHES POLE POSITION AT NHIS by Mike Twist
Next Goal is to Win at a Track Where He Owns Four BGNN Victories
With 14 victories so far this season, there is no doubt that Ted Christopher is the king of the short tracks in New England. On Thursday in qualifying for the NASCAR Modified Series at the New Hampshire International Speedway, Christopher showed that he is not half bad on the big tracks of the tour either.
"We were really happy with our qualifying effort,” said Leaty. “It was kind of an uphill struggle for us today. We were 20th in the first practice, the car was tight and we couldn’t make it fast. We made some changes and were 10th in the second practice and then we qualified 3rd. We’ve been steadily getting better all day.”
The final car to qualify on time was the #28 of Doug Coby. His car had his regular #28 on the side, but a close look revealed duct tape making up the numbers and a slightly different paint scheme. Coby had engine problems in practice and borrowed the back-up car of Zach Sylvester to make the starting field.
Christopher led the way in practice and backed that up with a lap of 29.632 seconds and a speed of 128.537 miles per hour to take the pole position for Friday’s Siemens 100 race.
“We were fastest in the first practice and the fastest in the second practice,” said Christopher. “I try not to fudge that stuff. A lot of people say - you were in the draft or you did this or did that. But I always say, ‘we’ll know who’s fastest when time trials are up’. When that happened, we were fast.”
Christopher in familiar with victory lane at the Magic Mile, but has only been there in a car with fenders so far.
“I like running here and I want to win,” said Christopher. “I’ve won here four times in a Busch North car, but I haven’t won here in a Modified yet - maybe I can change that come tomorrow.”
John Blewett qualified on the outside pole and was followed by Jan Leaty, Ken Barry and Donny Lia.
Leaty is making his first start of 2004 in the Modified Series. He
“We broke our motor in the first practice session. It just locked up going into turn three,” said Coby. “Rather than try to figure out what happened with that, Zach and his crew chief offered us their back-up car that finished third last week at Beech Ridge. We went out there with mufflers on and the nose closed up. We were pretty much in race trim when we qualified and we got in on time. I really need to thank the Sylvesters for helping us out.”
might not have had a quick car when his team first unloaded, but the veteran made the car much better over the course of the day.
TC has a walk of confidence right after
locking down the pole. (51 Photo)
Ted Christopher's night got bad right away from the first lap. (51 Photo)
Coby was able to hop right into Sylvester’s back-up car with very little adjustment because the two drivers have something in common.
“Chris Forster is Zach’s crew chief here and my crew chief in an SK Modified at Waterford,” said Coby. “He pretty much runs the same set-ups in both cars, so it’s pretty familiar to me.”
One surprise on the entry list was the appearance of NASCAR Southeast Series point leader Jeff Fultz. The resident of Mooresville, North Carolina took advantage of a lull on the SES schedule to hook up with the #00 Brady Bunch Modified team. Fultz will start 41st with a provisional starting position.
Also in the field after an absence of several races is Fred Vordermeier, driving the second entry for Roger Hill’s team. Vordermeier qualified in the 18th position.
Other notable drivers in the field include Reggie Ruggiero (6th), Tony Hirschman (9th), Jerry Marquis (12th), point leader Eddie