TED CHRISTOPHER ROLLS FROM 21ST TO VICTORY LANE IN SYLANIA 125 PRESENTED BY LOWE'S AT NHIS; POINT RACE SHAKEUP FINDS SANTERRE BUILD SMALL MARGIN WHILE KOBYLUCK TAKES BIG HIT LOUDON, N.H.- Ted Christopher has made a career of winning ...
TED CHRISTOPHER ROLLS FROM 21ST TO VICTORY LANE IN SYLANIA 125 PRESENTED BY LOWE'S AT NHIS; POINT RACE SHAKEUP FINDS SANTERRE BUILD SMALL MARGIN WHILE KOBYLUCK TAKES BIG HIT
LOUDON, N.H.- Ted Christopher has made a career of winning weekly modified races from deeply handicapped starting positions, so starting 21st in Friday's Sylvania 125 presented by Lowe's for the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series at New Hampshire International Speedway was hardly a major obstacle.
The colorful "TC" moved his Eagle Leasing Ford into the top ten by lap 50, to the top five by lap 75, and took the lead for the first time at lap 83. He swapped the top sport with Brad Leighton before taking charge for good on lap 104 of the scheduled 125. A caution flag at lap 109 proved the end of competition as the showers which had plagued the event all afternoon returned and NASCAR officials called the race complete after 119 circuits.
It was Christopher's fifth Busch North win at NHIS, second to Leighton's eight victories and his tenth overall in the series. Ironically, his last Busch North win, at Watkins Glen, N.Y., in 2003, also came in a rain-shortened event.
Leighton's second place was his best finish of the season. Ryan Moore, one of four drivers who entered the day locked in a tight battle for the Busch North title, took third with Brian Hoar fourth and point leader Andy Santerre fifth, just ahead of teammate and point race runner-up Mike Stefanik. The results extended Santerre's lead to 33 points over Stefanik in search of his fourth straight crown. Moore is now third, 58 points behind. The fourth contender, Matt Kobyluck, sustained a major setback when he was eliminated in a mid-race accident and finished 33rd. He is now 135 points back with three races remaining.
Six drivers swapped the lead a dozen times, with Leighton leading the most laps. Stefanik, Moore, and Santerre all enjoyed spells at the front of the field, as did Eddie MacDonald, who was forced to pit with a cut tire while leading and eventually finished 27th. Nine caution periods consumed 62 laps, with spins in turn three accounting for the majority of the slowdowns. No injuries were reported.
Christopher averaged 77.329 miles per hour and won $17,000. Later in the day he would also win the Sylva nia 100 for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, becoming the first driver since Mike McLaughlin in 1990 to sweep at doubleheader at NHIS.
Tracy Gordon advanced from 34th to seventh to win the POWERade Power Move of the Race Award, while Leighton improved his finish 16 positions from the last race at Oxford Plains (Me.) Speedway. No Busch Pole Award was made as qualifying was rained out on Thursday and the lineup set by the NASCAR rule book criteria. John Salemi was the top finishing Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender.
Behind Gordon, Joey McCarthy, Ryan Seaman, and Kelly Moore completed the top ten. Of 37 starters, 29 were listed as running at the finish with 23 on the lead lap.
The Busch North Series continues next Friday, September 23, with the MBNA RacePoints 150 at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del.