Ted Christopher Hits Thompson Jackpot

Ted Christopher won the special 50-lap UNOH Showdown at Thompson (Conn.) Int'l Raceway Sunday. (Dave Dalesandro/MSI Photo)
Ted Christopher won the special 50-lap UNOH Showdown at Thompson (Conn.) Int'l Raceway Sunday. (Dave Dalesandro/MSI Photo)

THOMPSON, Conn. – No stranger to victory lane at Thompson Int’l Speedway, Ted Christopher once again came out on top in the UNOH Showdown combination race between the NASCAR Whelen Modified and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tours.

Christopher took the lead from Bobby Santos on lap seven and held off a hard-charging Jimmy Blewett in the closing circuits of the 50 green-flag-lap exhibition showcase between the two tours. Ryan Preece crossed the line third in the second edition of the non-points event at the historic .625-mile oval in northeastern Connecticut.

Donny Lia and defending race winner Doug Coby finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the UNOH Showdown. Ron Silk, Matt Hirschman, Santos, Andy Seuss and Burt Myers brought home the top 10.

The UNOH Showdown was the premier event of the weekend, but two points races preceded it on Sunday. Seuss was victorious in the GreenPointe Energy Southern 75 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race while Bonsignore took the checkered flag in the Town Fair Tire Northern 75 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour contest.

Changes made to his car after qualifying gave Seuss what he needed to win the Green Pointe Energy Southern 75, the first on Sunday’s card. The Hampstead, N.H., driver credited his crew with making the changes that led to his first win of the year and 12th career victory.

Seuss qualified third, but ended up leading the field to the green because polesitter Rob Fuller had to drop to the back for the start after his crew chief missed a mandatory meeting. Although he slipped back at the drop of the green flag, Seuss quickly mounted a move to the front and took the lead from Burt Myers on Lap 24.

Seuss held on for the win over Hirschman, with Fuller charging through the field to take third. Myers was fourth, with Tim Brown fifth. Completing the top 10 were Steve Masse, Danny Bohn, George Brunnhoelzl III, John Smith and Cole Powell.

Brunnhoelzl, with five wins this year, continues to lead the championship standings – with 385 points. Jason Myers is second with 337, Bohn with 328, Brown with 321 and Seuss with 313.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour followed with the Town Fair Tire Northern 75, which saw Bonsignore power to the lead past polesitter Preece on Lap 68 and hold on through a green-white-checker finish for the victory.

It was the second career victory for Bonsignore, who hails from Holtsville, N.Y. The first came at his home track, Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway, in 2011.

Santos crossed the line second in the Town Fair Tire 75 and Preece, who led the first 67 laps from the pole, settled for third. Todd Szegedy and Christopher brought home the top five.

Mike Stefanik, Lia, Eric Beers, Eric Berndt and Richie Pallai Jr. rounded out the top 10.

Points leader Coby finished 13th in the Town Fair Tire 75, but second in points Silk suffered a last-lap accident and was relegated to 18th. As a consequence, Coby extended his lead to 441-382 on Silk with Preece ranked third after 10 races at 379.