Ted Christopher, 59, killed in plane crash

Barry Cantrell/NKP

By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour veteran Ted Christopher was killed Saturday in a plane crash that occurred near Guilford, Conn., NASCAR officials confirmed. He was 59 years old.

Christopher was traveling to Riverhead Raceway in Long Island, where he was expected to compete on Saturday night, when the incident occurred.

The Plainsville, Conn. native was best known for his prowess in modified, earning his first NWMT victory at 42 years old in 1999 en-route to a career that included 27 poles, 42 wins, 133 top-five and 203 top-10 finishes along with the 2008 series championship. Christopher also had six wins the the now-defunct Southern Modied Tour, as well as 10 triumphs in what is now the K&N Pro Series East. Christopher also claimed a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National championship in 2001.

While he never found success in NASCAR’s upper levels, Christopher did manage to compete in each of the sport’s biggest tours. He made his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (then Winston Cup Series) debut in 1999 before completing six Cup Series races, 21 events in what was then the Busch Series and two Truck Series races.

While known by some for his NASCAR starts, Christopher was also a legend of the modified racing community that competed regularly at tracks both in the northeast and, at times, across the country. He claimed track championships at Stafford Motor Speedway, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park and New London-Waterford Speedbowl, and also had titles in both the Tour-Type Modified and SK Modified divisions of New Smyrna Speedway’s yearly World Series of Asphalt.

The racing community offered words of remembrance for Christopher upon learning of his passing.

 

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