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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour



Veteran Wins Last Lap Battle With Rudolph For Victory

In thrilling fashion, Ted Christopher won the CARQUEST Fall Final on Sunday at Stafford Motor Speedway.

On a green-white-checkered finish, Christopher, out of Plainville, Conn., got his No. 36 Al-Lee Installations Chevrolet underneath Erick Rudolph to take the lead just after the field took the white flag to collect his 12th career victory at the Connecticut half-mile track. For Christopher, it was his Tour-best fourth win of the season and the 42nd of his storied career.

On the final lap Christopher got inside of Rudolph entering Turn 1, Rudolph went to block, Christopher held his ground and the two banged nerf bars rolling through the turn. Christopher came out of Turn 1 with the lead and rode to victory.

“You can’t have every lane, especially since I’m already there,” Christopher said of Rudolph’s attempt to protect the lead. “If you think you’re going to hold me off on a green-white-checker here at Stafford, well that ain’t happening.”

Christopher is now two victories shy of tying Reggie Ruggiero for second on the Whelen Modified Tour career wins list. Sunday marked his 114th win at Stafford across all weekly and touring series.

Ryan Preece capitalized on Rudolph’s misfortune to earn the runner-up position for his highest finish of the year, and best result in 19 starts in his family-owned No. 40 Chevrolet.

“It just was awesome being able to drive up to second,” Preece said. “I wish could have got up there a little sooner, maybe we could have dueled it out with Teddy [Christopher] if we had couple more laps.”

Donny Lia crossed the line third in his first start at Stafford since his 2009 championship season. Eric Beers finished fourth and Rudolph ended up in the fifth position after being shuffled on the last lap.

Kevin Goodale recorded his best career stand-alone race finish in sixth place while season points leader Ron Silk, Matt Hirschman, Doug Coby and Justin Bonsignore rounded out the top 10.

Bonsignore, who picked up his third career Coors Light Pole Award on Saturday, had an answer for all comers over the first 79 laps when he made a trip to pit road for fuel and tires. In the early going, overtures were made by Christopher, Lia and Preece. However, after everyone cycled through pit stops, Bonsignore was not able to work his way back through traffic.

Todd Szegedy, who entered the day just eight points behind Silk, suffered an early-race spin and made multiple pit stops before climbing back as high as second in the race. Another late-race incident resulted in a 22nd-place finish. Silk’s top-10 effort combined with Szegedy’s misfortune means that Silk will take a 57-point lead to the season finale.

Patrick Emerling, from Orchard Park, N.Y., clinched the 2011 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in Sunday’s race with a 23rd-place finish.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will close out the 2011 season and crown a champion on Oct. 16 at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway in the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing.

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour-CARQUEST Fall Final Unofficial Results
Sunday At Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford, Conn.
Lap length:
0.5 miles

  (Start position in parentheses)
  1.   (3) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 154 laps, 53.752 mph.
  2.   (8) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Chevrolet, 154.
  3.   (2) Donny Lia, Jericho, N.Y., Ford, 154.
  4.   (4) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 154.
  5. (13) Erick Rudolph, Ransomville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 154.
  6.   (5) Kevin Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 154.
  7.   (7) Ron Silk, Norwalk, Conn., Chevrolet, 154.
  8. (16) Matt Hirschman, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 154.
  9. (12) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 154.
10. (1) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 154.
11. (21) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn., Chevrolet, 154.
12. (18) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 154.
13. (17) Richie Pallai, Jr., Yorktown Heights, N.Y., Chevrolet, 154.
14. (24) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 154.
15. (19) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 154.
16. (22) Glenn Tyler, Hampton Bays, N.Y., Chevrolet, 154.
17. (14) Tom Rogers, Jr., Patchogue, N.Y., Chevrolet, 154.
18. (29) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Chevrolet, 154.
19. (26) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 154.
20. (25) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, Mass., Chevrolet, 153.
21. (27) Glenn Griswold, Vernon, Conn., Chevrolet, 151.
22. (15) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Ford, 151.
23. (23) Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, N.Y., Ford, 148, accident.
24.   (9) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 147.
25. (20) Bryon Chew, Mattituck, N.Y., Chevrolet, 128, engine.
26. (11) Eric Berndt, Cromwell, Conn., Chevrolet, 105, accident.
27.   (6) Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass., Dodge, 102, rear end.
28. (30) Chuck Hossfeld, Ransomville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 95, engine.
29. (28) Chris Kopec, Palmer, Mass., Pontiac, 93, brakes.
30. (10) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Ford, 66, engine.

Race Statistics
Time of Race:
1 hour 25 minutes 57 seconds
Margin of Victory: 0.179 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: J.Bonsignore (97.683 mph, 18.427 seconds)
Caution Flags: 13 for 65 laps.
Lead Changes: 2 among 3 drivers.
Lap Leaders: J. Bonsignore 1-79; E. Rudolph 80-153; T. Christopher 154.

Standings: 1. R. Silk, 2328; 2. T. Szegedy, 2271; 3. E. Beers, 2163; 4. R. Pennink, 2140; 5. D. Coby, 2086; 6. J. Bonsignore, 2036; 7. M. Hirschman, 1998; 8. B. Santos, 1963; 9. T. Christopher, 1956; 10. E. Rudolph, 1930.*


  Source: Jason Cunningham / NASCAR
Posted: October 2, 2011

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