ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Ted Christopher, the 2008 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion, won his third indoor TQ Midget feature in more than a year by capturing the 30-lap event Friday night at Boardwalk Hall, the first of two nights of racing in the eighth annual Gambler’s Classic.
A year ago, Christopher won both Atlantic City’s Gambler’s Classic finale and the inaugural event at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, R.I.
After struggling to find the setup during practice, Christopher timed well and went on to win his heat, which put him fourth on the grid.
Two-time Atlantic City winner Joe Payne, Jr., led early in the feature until Christopher took the lead on a lap-19 restart. A lap later, Payne was gone, victim of a blown engine.
For the balance of the race, Christopher held off dirt-track modified ace Billy Pauch to claim the victory.
Canadian Stewart Friesen finished third, followed by Matt Janisch and Ryan Smith. The top eight finishers advanced to Saturday night’s feature and included Tim Buckwalter, Mike Tidaback and Don Zrinski.
“Joey had a strong car,” Christopher said. “He could keep it down on the inside line, and that’s the key line around the track.”
Ted Christopher, Billy Pauch, Stewart Friesen, Matt Janisch, Ryan Smith, Tim Buckwalter, Mike Tidaback, Don Zrinski, Joseph Lord, Jr., Chris Allen, Justin Moensch, Anthony Sesely, Richie Coy, Joe Payne, Jr., Timex Morgan, Steve Craig, Lou Cicconi, Jr., Mike Stefanik, Russ Bailey, Dan Dunigan, Jr., Chris DeRitis, Ian Cumens, Rob Vivona, Glenn Heverin.