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Ted Christopher Wins with Mayhem and Excitement
by Denise DuPont

The 46th Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway kicked off Friday, February 17th and ended fast with a rainout. Heavy rain came out of nowhere just the first event, the Florida Modifieds, took their pace laps.

On Saturday, February 18th everyone returned to the track ready to race. The Modifieds were qualified by Friday’s times and driver’s energy ran high as they prepared to be the first feature event. The field of modifieds was one of the smallest that I can remember in years. With a limited field of cars, Tour Type and SK Modifieds took the green as a combined field. As the green flew, Chuck Hossfeld led the field taking the lead. He maintained his lead until a red flag and long caution interrupted his forward momentum.

The red flag was brought out when Ryan Preece hit the front stretch wall hard after a race encounter with Ted Christopher. At the time, both drivers had been racing for third.

After hitting the wall, Preece slid down the front stretch in bed of flames with his badly damaged car. The cars of Kevin Goodale and Dave Cranmer were collected up and spun as they tried to avoid the mishap. The sight was scary. The drivers were all safe as Preece ran from his flaming car to the pits. With the adrenaline still flowing Preece ran back on the track to check out the condition of the family owned #40 modified. As the tow truck lifted what was left of Preece’s car and brought it to the pits we all saw and knew the damage was severe.

The race continued with the laps clicking off fast. On lap 17 a late race caution came out when Jimmy Zacharias spun the #17 car in turn two.

The short sprint was now all that Ted Christopher needed to make his move to the front. On the race restart Christopher passed the then leader Daniel Hemric. After that there was no stopping Christopher. He took the checkers to add another Speedweek Victory to his race portfolio. “The first night of the race you try to figure the car likes and what out the track is doing. Daniel and those guys definitively had it together, but you can never give up. They do not pay at lap 17, they pay at lap 25!” said Christopher from victory lane.

When asked about the crash on Lap 8 that took Ryan Preece prematurely out of the race here is what Christopher had to say:” I do not know what happened. I was in front of it. He (Preece) probably took my rear quarter and touched a little bit. He can believe what he wants but I did not do it on purpose. “

Catching up with Ryan Preece he gave his side of what happened during the accident: “He (Ted Christopher) came up like I was not even there. I do not know what his deal is. I have been wrecked by him a lot. I try to race him clean. I just do not know. I know that we have a wrecked race car which is a lot of money for our family. We are done for the week. I hope that he likes racing against five cars. Because that is all that you are going to get when you race here against him.”

So watch the clips from Ryan Preece’s in car camera and the shots or live streaming
on the web and make your own opinion on what happened. Here's one view: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skMLrE0ah6k

See you back on Monday with more excitement with Modified racing at New Smyrna Speedway. Rumor has it that Ryan Preece will return to the track with his grandfather’s 2X modified and not to be cut short on the chance for a Speedweek Championship!

Source: Denise DuPont / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: February 19, 2012

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