Tough Night To Be A Front-Runner At Smyrna
"Well, we somewhat accomplished getting the car better, but we've got a whole new problem now," said a concerned Christopher after the 25-lap race.  "We hit some debris out there close to the end of the race and put a hole in the radiator.  It overheated the radiator and the motor was slowing down. 

"It feels good to come from eighth to win because it is so hard to pass here when so many cars are equal.  Coming from eighth to win is a big accomplishment, but now we've got a problem with the motor, so that is going to be a lot of work."
It seemed like no one wanted to win Saturday night's Modified race at New Smyrna Speedway.  But when no one else would, one guy stepped up, and that guy was Teddy Christopher again.

But the win didn't come without a price.  During post race celebration, there was a visible line of water running from the front of the car.

It wasn't as dominating of a night for Christopher, who started the night eighth, right alongside beside last night's runner up, Ed Flemke Jr.  Christopher had to fight his way to the front, but some of that fighting made easier due to some misfortune to the front runners.

George Boch led the first lap, but contact with the 14 of Tim Arre pushed him back and snapped the ball joint on Arre's machine.  That contact and the trail of sparks flying from Arre's vehicle, led to a chain of events that eventually saw the night's top qualifier, JR Bertuccio, squeezed up into the wall.

Defending Speedweeks Mod champion Robbie Summers then inherited the lead, but a mechanical problem on the following restart saw Summer's car coast to a stop.  That jammed up the pack and allowed Christopher to jump into the lead which he would not relinquish.

"Robbie missed a shift and I just heard the motor spitting and sputtering.  It backed people up and I just moved down and got the lead and was able to hold it then.  You take advantages anywhere you can get them."

Summer's night ended with transmission troubles.
The run of the night though went to Arre, whose crew ended up getting the car fixed under caution and back out on the lead lap to finish third.

"I knew I had to get under the 29 (Boch) because he pushed up a bit.  I got down on the rumble strips and snapped a ball joint off; that shot me right up into him.  It was my fault," said the New Jersey speedster. 

"I am proud of these guys.  They got me in and fixed and back out there as quick as they could.  We got fortunate because it looked like we weren't going to make it, but they had another quick caution and didn't get a lap in, so that gave us some extra time.  Before you know it, we were back out there and still on the lead lap.
"I'll tell you, the boys fixed me up and got me out there quick.  The sway bar is broke and everything and the car is still running good."


Last night's runner-up Eddie Flemke Jr. spun after locking up his brakes entering turn three during the race.  He was running in the top-five at the time, but thanks to a couple of late cautions, he was able to come back to finish seventh.
Tim Arre's crew goes to work after hitting the rumble strips damaged his machine.
Jerry Symons won his second-straight Florida/IMCA Modified feature.  Symons won eight of the nine nights in 2002 and appears to be on his way to matching that this season.

A few additional cars made it to the track, as 25 NASCAR Tour Type Modifieds took the green flag.

Bertuccio, Arre and Summers were the night's top-three qualifiers.