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March 8, 2009

NASCAR Champion Ted Christopher Wins Providence Indoor TQ Midget Finale

Defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Ted Christopher is proving he is one of the best indoor racers. Christopher, 50, of Plainville, Conn., captured Saturday night’s 30-lap TQ Midget feature event at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence , R.I. The race concluded the two-day event, which was the first held in the Ocean State in 50 years.

“I enjoy the opportunity of being part of history,” Christopher said. “I think this race was a success especially with how full the stands were and the racing was incredible.”

The win gives Christopher a pair of indoor TQ Midget events this year. In January, Christopher won the Gambler’s Classic in Atlantic City, N.J.

Christopher had a busy 24 hours in Rhode Island. After Friday’s race, which was won by New Jersey dirt Modified driver Mike Iles, Christopher had to take his TQ Midget to Seekonk, Mass., where it was repaired at Wayne Darling’s race shop. In his qualifying heat race on Saturday, Christopher barely qualified after a rear radius mount broke. The team went to work and made the respective repair just in time for the main event.

For the second consecutive night, it appeared as if Iles had the victory in hand. Iles jumped out into the lead at the start of the race, but his momentum was slowed on lap five after Bobby Santos III spun out his race car in turn three. Matt Janisch of Nazareth, Pa., moved into the runner-up spot on lap nine and started to challenge the race leader. But a several car incident slowed the race and took out the front runners on lap 12 as Iles, Janisch and Mike Lichty were involved in a crash in turn two. Ryan Smith had the lead, but that was short lived as Christopher took over the top spot on the restart. As expected, indoor master Lou Cicconi Jr., who was substituting for an ill Matt Roselli, challenged Christopher for the lead spot, but a miscue (he hit the kill switch on a restart) hindered his chances of getting by the race leader.

“Lou raced me real clean and I appreciated it,” Christopher said. “He’s one of the best indoor racers ever.

“Cicconi of Aston, Pa., settled for second, while Timex Morgan of Rochester, N.Y., was third, Smith was fourth and Mike Tidaback of Little Falls, N.J. was fifth.

Heat races went to Iles, Janisch, Mike Stefanik and Licty. Tim Adams and Glenn Heverin won the consolation races.

In the 20-lap Champ Kart main, Chris Daley of Pleasant Valley , N.Y. , scored his second consecutive main at the Dunkin Donuts Center . Daley got the lead after a close race with John Hillman, who later crashed. Daley defeated Eric Zeh, George Bark, Justin Bonsignore and Ron Midford Jr. completed the top five.

TQ Midget Feature Finish, 30 Laps: 1. Ted Christopher; 2. Lou Cicconi Jr.; 3. Timex Morgan; 4. Ryan Smith; 5. Mike Tidaback; 6. Joey Payne; 7. Ian Cumens; 8. Matt Janisch; 9. Bobby Santos III; 10. Alex Bright; 11. Paul Lotier Jr.; 12. Mike Lichty; 13. Jeff Kot; 14. Don Zrinski; 15. Jonathan Reid; 16. Glenn Heverin; 17. James Michael Friesen; 18. Mike Iles; 19. Heath Hehnly; 20. Tim Adams; 21. Mike Stefanik; 22. Ryan Barlett.

Champ Kart Feature Finish, 20 Laps: 1. Chris Daley; 2. Eric Zeh; 3. George Bark; 4. Justin Bonsignore; 5. Ron Midford Jr.; 6. Jay Dimond; 7. Bryan Ray; 8. Evan Beaulieu; 9. Nick Hadden; 10. Ryan Arsenault; 11. Tammy Smith; 12. Mike Perry; 13. Clinton Mills; 14. Tyler Robertson; 15. Tim Buckwalter; 16. Adam Gage; 17. Andrew Swisher; 18. John Hillmann; 19. Andrew Hutchinson; 20. TJ Laro.

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