November 1, 2008
By Brian Danko
This year, Christopher entered with a 35-point lead over Hirschman’s youngest son, Matt and this time, Christopher was full aware of the ramifications.
“I knew we needed to get past lap11.” Teddy said with a laugh. “You learn from your mistakes and I did.”
While the modified tour title is the first for the 50 year old driver who stated racing almost three decades ago, winning races and championships are no stranger to him as he has captured six track championships at the Stafford Motor Speedway and another three at the Thompson Speedway in the SK modified division. Both tracks are located in Connecticut.
While TC has won races and championships, he has almost never won over the hearts of his fellow competitors with his aggressive style of driving, that made him not only one of the most feared drivers but also one of the most loathed.
“I have always been aggressive. That is the way that I drive. Sometimes I went too hard when I should have backed off but in the last race, I was falling back and I said you know what, this isn’t the way I race and went back and attacked the track.”
Although Christopher could have finished six spots behind Hirschman and still earned the title, in true Christopher style, he charged to the front and when Hirschman pulled into the pits with an electrical problem, the title for all purposes was his but Christopher went on to win the race.
“What a better way to win the championship.” Teddy said.
While Christopher during his driving career, for the most parts, has always driven the best equipment available, that doesn’t mean that his career hasn’t had it ups and downs.
In 2006, his car owner, James Galante, was indicted in Federal Court on racketeering charges in the trash hauling business and the FBI confiscated all of the cars that Christopher drove.
Although Christopher didn’t take over the points lead until midway during the season, he thought his title hopes might have taken a serious hit when he blew the motor at Stafford in mid-August.
“I really thought that we were in trouble but all of my closest competitors had some sorts of problems and finished down in the finish and I didn’t lose a lot. I had some other problems in a race at Chemung Speedway in New York but I knew what we needed to do once we got to Thompson for the last race.”
When Christopher was asked if he lost the title, what it would have been liked, the easygoing driver said, “well, we will try for it again next year. I don’t worry about things like that. If I won a race on Friday and I have a race on the following day, what I did the night before doesn’t mean anything. It’s always been about the current race for me.”
While Christopher is one of the most feared and respected drivers in the country, that has never gone to his head but he wished he could have had a shot in NASCAR’s top three national series
“I have driven in the Sprint Cup series six times but always in sub par cars, I drove in the Nationwide series and also the Craftsman Trucks but I wish that I would have done it in first class equipment because I know that I could do the job, even now at 50, I know that I could drive with the best of them.”
Just how good a driver has Christopher been in his career, he has nearly 300 feature wins including 31 on the Whelen modified tour, another 100 or so at the Stafford Speedway and countless others at tracks like Thompson and Waterford as well as tracks in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.
He has driven and won in modifieds, SK modifieds, midgets, supermodifieds, Camping Series East cars as well as pro stocks, literally anything with wheels on it.
When asked if now that he is married for less than 2 years and is hitting the half-century mark in age is going to slow him down, he snickered.
“Oh no, I’m not slowing down. I plan on doing the same thing next year. I will probably race in 65 to 70 races next year but I guess that is down from the usual 90 to 100 that I drove a few years back.”
Going slow has never been any option for him.
After the race at Thompson, many of his fellow competitors congratulated him on his well-deserved championship, something that didn’t go unnoticed by him.