In a thrilling last lap duel to the checkers, Mike Christopher Jr. ousted Troy Talman to earn his first career win at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
The win came exactly one year to the day that Christopher picked up his first SK Modified win at Stafford Motor Speedway: June 15, 2018.
Christopher chased Talman down over the closing laps, and dove underneath him in turn one on the final lap. Talman tried crossing over on Christopher off of turn four, but made contact and was forced to get out of the throttle and settle for second.
In Victory Lane, Christopher dedicated the win to his late uncle, Ted Christopher, a Modified racing icon who won 99 times at the 5/8-mile oval. Such a dedication had been on the mind of the younger Christopher for some time.
“I was racing last year at the World Series, and doing this year, I said, ‘If we do win, I’ll dedicate it to him’,” Christopher said.
Christopher stalked Talman lap after lap, and finally got to him with about five laps to go. Then, it turned into a battle.
“We were half a straightaway back,” he said. “Slowly but surely, we made our way to him, and then those last five or so laps was just figuring out where I should do it, when I should do it, so that he doesn’t have a chance either.”
Mike Christopher Sr, Ted’s twin brother, was overcome with emotion after seeing his son take the win. Mike Sr. also had his share of success at Thompson.
“It’s just great,” he said. “Between me winning here and my brother winning here, to see [Mike Jr.] do such a great job to chase that guy down, inching, inching, and pass him nice and clean… It’s just a great day. It’s a great place to race.”
Kyle James started on the pole, but Troy Talman dove underneath him in turn three to lead the first lap.
A massive wreck on lap four that saw Justin Albernaz catapulted into the air brought out the only caution of the event. Tim Jordan and Teddy Hodgdon were also involved.
The full results can be found below:
- Mike Christopher Jr.
- Troy Talman
- Todd Owen
- Keith Rocco
- Ronnie Williams
- Woody Pitkat
- Kyle James
- Adam Gada
- Corey Barry
- Paul LaPlante
- Joe Allegro Jr.
- Josh Zentek
- Zachary Leone
- Andrew Molleur
- Timmy Jordan
- Teddgy Hodgdon
- Justin Albernaz
- John Studley