Sunday, July 29, 2012
Christopher Wins Thompson VMRS Race
by John Spence SR
THOMPSON, Conn. -- Plainville, CT., veteran Ted Christopher took the lead with seven laps remaining and went on to win Sunday’s 75-lap Valenti Modified Racing Series feature race at Thompson, (CT) Speedway, his first this season. It was Christopher’s second series win and his 97th career win at the 5/8th mile oval.
Christopher, who started 30th, in a 33-car field, took the lead with seven laps remaining when race leader, Rowan Pennink, of Huntingdon Valley, PA., was shown the black flag, due to water leak opening the door for Christopher to notch the win. Pennink led the first 68 laps.
“A lot of people like to ride and I don’t like to ride, “ said Christopher after the race. “I try to pass as many as I can. There’s a lot of guys I don’t know here (VMRS) it’s better for me to get away from people and see how it plays out. I just kept pickin’ them off.”
Christopher was strong late in the race as he chased the pole-sitter, Pennink. Christopher spotted the water coming from Pennink’s mount. “I moved to the bottom of the track when I could see him pouring water,” the winner explained.
Plainfield, CT., driver Timmy Jordan was second, his best series finish. Was it gratifying? “It was actually frustrating,” said Jordan. “The racer in me came out today. We’ve had such bad luck. We’ve been around the front all year and have had horrible luck. I think today we proved we can do it. If we don’t get a wheel taken off we can finish up front. I’m happy with it. I hate losing, I’m frustrated, but we had to build somewhere, it’s a starting point and I’m looking forward to going to Waterford, my home track.”
17-year-old Tommy Barrett, of Millis, MA., started 15th, and made a late race charge to finish third. “I was planning to save tires, I was holding back at the beginning. We pitted halfway, swapped right side tires, got into a mishap, we pitted three times, happy to finish third I was happy to race today,”
Jon McKennedy of E. Chelmsford, MA., finished fourth, with Doug Colby, Milford, CT., finishing fifth.
Sixth through tenth were; Chris Pasteryak, Louie Mechalides, Todd Owen, Norm Wrenn, and Mark Bakaj.
17 of the original 33 starters finished on the lead lap. One driver, Leo Oliviera, did not start the race. Oliviera suffered a blown engine in pre-race practice.
Nine cautions slowed the race. It took 1 hour, 15 minutes to complete.
With Pennink finishing thirteenth and McKennedy fourth, McKennedy (324) moves to a 14- point lead over Pennink (310). Les Hinckley (265), Wrenn, (262) and defending champion, Pasteryak, (253) make up the top five.
Heat races were not contested because of a rain threat. The starting line-up was determined by the car owner point standings.
Next event is at Waterford, CT., Saturday, August 11.
Race # 9 -- Thompson Speedway, Thompson, CT.
Distance: 75 laps
Margin of Victory: 0.482
Best Lap Time: 19.031
Best Speed: 118.228
Lead Changes: (1)
Lap Leaders: Pennink (1-68) Christopher ( 69-75)
Cautions: Lap 1, 9, 43, 44, 46, 46, 58, 69, 69
Order of Finish: (1) Christopher (2) Jordan (3) Barrett (4) McKennedy (5) Coby, (6) Pasteryak (7) Mechalides (8) Owen (9) Wrenn (10) Bakaj (11) Gernhard (12) Sherman (13) Pennink (14) Etheridge (15) Goodenough (16) Barnett (17) Charette (18) Seidell (19) Zachem (20) Malave (21) Fifield (22) Savary (23) Stefanik (24) Nocella (25) Mead (26) Doucette (27) Ferreira (28) Schneider (29) Hinckley (30) Reed (31) Holdridge (32) Masse (33) Szegedy