NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR CHAMPION
Annual Awards Banquet
Concludes 2008 Season
The 2008 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season drew to a close Saturday
night as Ted Christopher was crowned the series’ champion at the
annual postseason awards banquet at Mohegan Sun Resort.
Christopher’s 2008 title campaign included four wins and 13 top
10s. Driver of the No. 36 Al-Lee Installations Chevrolet,
Christopher’s championship season was highlighted by wins at
Stafford Motor Speedway, Mansfield Motorsports Park, New Hampshire
Motor Speedway and Thompson International Speedway.
From Plainville, Conn., Christopher has established a reputation
of racing any type of car, anytime, anywhere. He has won multiple
track championships and was the 2001 NASCAR Whelen All-American
Series national champion, but 2008 marked his first NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour crown in his 15th full season in the series.
“Throughout my racing career I have been very fortunate to have
driven many different types of race cars for many different car
owners,” Christopher said. “From people like Joe Brady, who I won my
first Modified tour race with, to Curt Chase, Gary Cretty, Jim
Galante, Eddie Whelan and many in between, one common denominator
was: I always loved driving their Modifieds.”
Christopher’s night also included taking home the Whelen
Engineering Winner of the Race Award and, for the first time in his
career, the prestigious Most Popular Driver Award. For the first
time, voting for the Most Popular Driver Award was conducted online
NASCARHomeTracks.com. More than 10,600 total votes were cast
in online balloting for NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour drivers.
In addition to the coronation of series champion Christopher, the
top drivers and owners and special award winners from the NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour were also honored Saturday night.
Matt Hirschman of Northampton, Pa., was recognized for his
championship runner-up effort in
2008 when he recorded 11 top 10s
and the first two wins of his career. Todd Szegedy, the 2003 NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour Champion, was the third place honoree.
Ronnie Silk of Norwalk, Conn., earned the Featherlite Most
Improved Driver Award, given to the driver who earned the award the
most times in 2008, while seven-time series champion Mike Stefanik
of Coventry, R.I., likewise took home the POWERade Power Move of the
Race Award. Eric Beers, from Northampton, Pa., was recognized as
the winner of the Coors Light Pole Award.
Glen Reen, a native of Wilbraham, Mass., earned 2008 Sunoco
Rookie of the Year honors.
“This was just a dream a year ago,” Reen said. “It wasn’t until
February that my uncle and I were talking about which direction to
go in for the 2008 season and I said something about going Tour
racing and he said, ‘hey, let’s do it.’ In a few short months we
pieced together our team and did what we needed to do to my SK Light
car and here we are at the end of the season
with the Sunoco Rookie
of the Year Championship.
Four special awards were also presented during the awards banquet.
Mike Smeriglio III, owner of the No. 2 Modified team driven by
Szegedy, was bestowed the Sportsmanship Award and Ken Heagy of
Calverton, N.Y., was recognized with the Driver Achievement Award.
The Len Boehler Award was presented to Roger Hill, owner of the No.
79 Modified team driven by Silk and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
Women’s Auxiliary Award went to longtime series veteran Jamie
Tomaino and his wife, Cheryl.