Ted Christopher served notice on Friday night at Boardwalk Hall
in Atlantic City, N.J., as he claimed the 30-lap TQ-Midget preliminary main
Christopher of Plainville, Ct., the 2008 NASCAR Whelen Modified
Tour champion, got the lead from Joey Payne on a lap 19 restart and he held
off Billy Pauch to claim the victory.
Christopher enters as the favorite for Saturday night’s 40-lap
prestigious Gambler’s Classic. He is the defending champion of the race.
“I like my chances,” Christopher said. “I didn’t see anybody go as
fast as us in the heat race. We’ll see what the Gambler’s Classic brings.”
Pauch of Frenchtown, N.J., was second, followed by Stewart Friesen
of Niagra-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada; Matt Janisch of Nazareth, Pa; and
Ryan Smith of Kunkletown, Pa.
Payne, a two-time Gambler’s Classic winner, paced the field early
in the main event.
Christopher, who started fourth, moved into third on lap three. He
moved by Janisch for the runner-up position on the fifth tour.
The first caution period of the race came out on lap eight when
Mike Tidaback spun in turn one.
Christopher tried to pass Payne on the outside line, but he never
mustered enough speed to pull off the lead pass.
“Joey had a strong car,” Christopher said. “He could keep it down
on the inside line, and that’s the key line around the track.”
Payne’s car broke with mechanical problems on lap 19.
Tim Buckwalter finished sixth, Tidaback was seventh, Don Zrinski
was eighth, Joe Lord Jr. was ninth and Chris Allen was 10th.
The top eight are guaranteed starting spots in the Gambler’s
Heat events winners for the TQ-Midgets went to Friesen; Lou Cicconi
Jr., of Aston, Pa; Pauch; and Christopher.
Consolation races went to Chris DeRitis of Philadelphia, Pa, and
Dan Dunigan Jr. of Jackson, Mich. DeRitis has the quickest lap in time
trials with a lap time of 9.9098 seconds.
Slingshot qualifying event races went to Kyle Hieber of Langhorne,
Pa.; Shannon Smith of Kunkletown, Pa; and Anthony Perrego of Montgomery, NY.
The Slingshot division will compete in the Herr’s Snack Bowl 25 on
Saturday night. Paul Lotier Jr. of Lebanon, Pa. is the defending champion.
Champ Kart qualifying race winners were Bobby Timmons of Windham,
Maine; Norman Hynes of Lithicum Heights, Md; Evan Beaulieu of Durham, Maine;
and Coby Cressinger of Selinsgrove, Pa.
The Champ Kart division will be in action on Saturday night with
the National Guard 25.
Preliminary action begins Saturday at 4:30 p.m. A Fanfest, which
includes, the top eight finishes from Friday night’s TQ-Midget feature, the
Slingshot heat winners and the Champ Kart heat winners, is scheduled at 6:30
and final round events start at 7:30.
TQ Midget Feature Finish, 30 Laps:
1. Ted Christopher; 2. Billy Pauch; 3. Stewart Friesen; 4. Matt
Janisch; 5. Ryan Smith; 6. Tim Buckwalter; 7. Mike Tidaback; 8. Don Zrinski;
9. Joseph Lord Jr; 10. Chris Allen; 11. Justin Moensch; 12. Anthony Sesely;
13. Richie Coy; 14. Joey Payne; 15. Timex Morgan; 16. Steve Craig; 17. Lou
Cicconi Jr; 18. Mike Stefanik; 19. Russ Bailey; 20. Dan Dunigan Jr; 21.
Chris DeRitis; 22. Ian Cumens; 23. Rob Vivona; 24. Glenn Heverin.
Source: Jerry Reigle
/ Gambler's Classic