NASCAR’s Ted Christopher died Saturday in a plane crash about 90 minutes after takeoff from Robertson Airport in Plainville.
There might not be anyone who had a better career locally in a modified car -- one where you could see the wheels outside the car’s body -- than Christopher. And he won more races than anyone else at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson Speedway.
“I certainly grieve the idea that I won’t be able to go down and congratulate him on his 100th victory,” Josh Vanada, general manager of Thompson Speedway said. “100 is just a number. The legacy that Ted leaves behind goes far beyond any stats could ever quantify.”
Christopher won at Thompson 99 times, including a win there just six days before his death.
Joe Coss interviewed Christopher in victory lane after that race. As a track reporter and public address announcer at area tracks, Coss covered Christopher for 12 years.
“I think you can compare the accomplishments of Ted Christopher at the regional level to what Dale Earnhardt Sr. did at the national level,” Coss said. “He was this guy who loved ice cream, who would give you the shirt off his back, and was a true gentleman. But behind the wheel of that race car, he was intimidating.”
Heard the news of this just moments after walking into VL. Very sad. He was a legend. https://t.co/oOtdDjF58J
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) September 16, 2017
In addition to being a champion of the Whelan Modified Tour in 2008 (the only open-wheel series sanctioned by NASCAR), Christopher competed in six races at the stock car giant’s top level. He was 59.