Christopher Wins Third Icebreaker; Defending Tour champion starts season in Victory Lane THOMPSON, Conn. (April 5, 2009) -- Ted Christopher capped his 2008 championship with a win at Thompson International Speedway, and he begun his title...
Christopher Wins Third Icebreaker; Defending Tour champion starts season in Victory Lane
THOMPSON, Conn. (April 5, 2009) -- Ted Christopher capped his 2008 championship with a win at Thompson International Speedway, and he begun his title defense Sunday in similar fashion. Christopher's No. 36 Al-Lee Installations Chevrolet led 106 laps en route to capturing the Icebreaker, the season-opening race to the Silver Anniversary season of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
Christopher had to hold off a final challenge from runner-up Jimmy Blewett (No. 12 TS Haulers Chevrolet) as a green-white-checkered finish extended the race to 154 laps.
Donny Lia (No. 4 Mystic Missile Dodge) finished third, followed by Ryan Preece and Todd Szegedy.
Jamie Tomaino, who became the first driver in tour history to make his 500th career start, led twice for 27 laps. Pit strategy, however, left him with a 13th-place finish.
The win was Christopher's eighth at Thompson and his third in the track's Icebreaker. He also won the traditional season-opener -- which hosted the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour's first race in 1985 -- in 2004 and 2005.
Christopher also moved into sole possession of fourth-place on the tour's all-time win list with his 32nd victory. He trails only Mike Stefanik (69), Reggie Ruggiero (44) and Tony Hirschman (35).
Blewett briefly passed Christopher for the lead following a lap 147 restart. But Christopher was able to use a cross-over move to slide back under Blewett in Turns 3 and 4 to move back in front.
Christopher received the first commemorative Tissot wrist watch, which will be presented by NASCAR and tour sponsor Whelen Engineering to each of the 14 race winners throughout the 25th anniversary season.
Christopher won the Coors Light Pole Award in Saturday's qualifying.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to action with the Tech-Net Spring Sizzler presented by CARQUEST at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway on April 26.