ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — There is a certain pride that comes in winning the Gambler’s Classic TQ Midget race at Boardwalk Hall.
Just ask Ted Christopher.
The former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion claimed his second career Gambler’s Classic title Saturday night.
“When you think about this race and the history that is involved in indoor racing in Atlantic City, it really means something special to win it,” said Christopher. “We only come here once a year and we, as a team, put a lot of effort into winning this race so I take a certain amount of great pride with this victory.”
Christopher joins Lou Cicconi, Jr. and Joey Payne as the only two-time winners of the event. Christopher’s only Gambler’s Classic win came in 2009. Christopher won a preliminary feature at the Gambler’s Classic last year.
Matt Janisch was second in the final tally, while Billy Pauch was third. Billy Wease and Matt Roselli rounded out the top five.
Christopher’s victory came in a car that he purchased four years ago from Art Lawshe for a small sum of $4,500. The win on Saturday night earned Christopher a cool $5,000.
But it was the off-season preparation that provided Christopher with a car that was simply “bad fast.”
The chassis and surrounding bars were tricked out and the car weighed-in at 826 pounds, one pound over the mandatory weight.
“I owe it all to my crew guys and especially to Michael O’Sullivan,” Christopher said. “He worked incredibly hard in getting this car ready for the toll that it can take with the indoor racing.”
Christopher started seventh in the 26-car grid, but he wasted little time in showing his strength.
By lap four of the 40-lap event, Christopher already worked up to second where he followed Joey Payne.
Payne’s night ended on lap seven when a radius rod broke which sent his car hard into the outside turn three wall. Payne was not injured in the crash.
“I saw the bolt come out on the backstretch,” Payne said. “There wasn’t anything I could have done except to ride it out.”
Christopher was handed the lead spot while Janisch and Ian Cumens followed in the top three.
Over the final 18 tours, Christopher dominated the race as he defeated Janisch by five car lengths at the line.
Michael Butler won the Herr’s Snacks Slingshot event over Tiffany Wambold, Shannon Smith, Mario Page and Jim Houseworth.
Norman Hynes earned $1,500 for claiming the Champ Kart feature.