In the short dashes between the caution periods, three drivers spent time up front. Cassius Clark was the fastest car early and traded the lead with Rick Martin several times. Christopher led plenty of laps
once he worked his way up from his 13th starting position to the front pack.
CHRISTOPHER ADDS A PASS WIN TO HIS RESUME by Mike Twist
TC Shows Competition a New Line in Thompson Wreckfest
It doesn't matter if the starting field is made up of NASCAR Modifieds, PASS Pro Stocks (Super Late Models) or shopping carts, anytime that there is a race is Connecticut, Ted Christopher is always one of the guys to beat. He proved this once again on Saturday night at the Thompson Speedway when he took the victory in the PASS 100 for his first career victory in the series.
His biggest vote of confidence came after the race when Ben Rowe, known for dominating all things PASS related in recent seasons, finished second and was elated.
"Anytime that you can finish second to Ted Christopher at Thompson, it's just like winning," said Rowe, the two time defending PASS champion. "He ran a line around here that I've never even seen before. Maybe if I could have followed him for another 50 laps, I could have seen what it was."
The race was an ugly one, with 70 caution laps adding to the advertised distance of 100 green flag laps. There weren't very many drivers who did not get caught up in trouble at some point in the evening. Ben Rowe and Larry Gelinas tangled early. Tracy Gordon and Johnny Clark tangled late. Seven cars were involved in a big frontstretch wreck near the middle of the event. One car, the #43 of Ken Kohler covered all the bases by being involved in a half dozen caution periods before his rear end locked up and spun him into the turn four wall - finally ending his night on lap 83.
Clark dropped to the end of the field with oil line problems and then got caught in the "big one" just before halfway. Martin kept Christopher honest in the late stages of the race before a flat tire spun him around with five laps to go. Martin fell to the rear, but recovered for third.
In the end nobody had anything for Christopher.
Ted Christopher has driven just about everything with wheels to victory lane
at Thompson. Now that list includes a PASS Pro Stock. (51 Photo)
The wrecker drivers got nearly as much track time as the PASS racers at Thompson. (PASS Photo)
"I haven't raced with Rick (Martin) much, but I've heard a lot about him," said Christopher. "On restarts, he was really tough. My car was really good for five or six laps and then it started chattering. I thought that the only way that I would really be able to do this would be really take him on a restart. I needed it to go green long enough to get away from him. On one of those last restarts, I pulled ahead and could see him out of the corner of my eye. It looked like he was going to drive right into my side going into the corner. At the last moment he lifted and I got ahead. I was surprised, but I pulled away after that. He had a flat tire a few laps later. That was the key to winning tonight.
This win is the 13th of the season for Christopher. He has been in 48 features and has a batting average of .271.
"It's been a good year so far," Christopher said. "But I've been in this game a long time and it can go down at anytime. I hope it keeps up for awhile longer because we got some good races coming up. I'm looking forward to going to New Hampshire in two weeks (with his NASCAR Modified
Series ride) and I love the local racing stuff that I do. We've been off with our Modified for a few weeks so we need to get back in that and run Beech Ridge next week."
Not only was Christopher a first time PASS winner at Thompson, so was his car owner Clinton Teague. (PASS Photo)
Although many of the series regulars will be at the Oxford Plains Speedway (ME) next weekend for the running of the Banknorth 250 open show, the PASS tour will have an off weekend before heading to the White Mountain Motorsports Park (NH) on July 24th.
Speed 51 will have more from Thompson including news of broken cars and parts in practice, a great run that ended early for Cassius Clark and a top driver missing in action later this week in our PASS Leftovers story.