Race Weekend Central

Modified Legend Ted Christopher Dead at 59

Ted Christopher, a legendary driver in NASCAR’s modified division ranks and an occasional competitor on the NASCAR national series level,  died in a plane crash in his home state of Connecticut on Saturday, Sept. 16. He was 59.

According to Speed 51, Christopher died in a crash in Guilford, Conn., while on his way to a race at Riverhead Speedway in Riverhead, N.Y., where the 2008 Whelen Modified Tour champion was scheduled to compete Saturday night.

Christopher won more than 40 Modified races in a long-running career and added 10 wins in the K&N Pro Series East between 1996 and 2005.

He briefly made a foray into the top three series of NASCAR, making 29 starts between the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, XFINITY Series and Camping World Truck Series from 1996 to 2006. Christopher had two top 10s in NXS and one in CWTS, last making a race 11 years ago at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the Cup Series.

The Plainville, Conn., native was known for an aggressive style of racing and the three-tap rule maneuver.

About the author

Michael Massie is a writer for Frontstretch. Massie, a Richmond, Va. native, has been a NASCAR superfan since childhood, when he frequented races at Richmond International Raceway. Massie is a lover of short track racing and travels around to the ones in his region. Outside of motorsports, the Virginia Tech grad can be seen cheering on his beloved Hokies.

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George Simpson

I covered the NASCAR Mod series in the 90’s. TC was a regular. I also covered Busch North. He showed there often. He also dined at a restaurant, Saints, in Plainville. That’s where he met his wife, Quinn. I loved how Mike Joy would call Ted, the twin of Mike, the Evil Twin. I once witnessed Ted and Mike fighting at Stafford. It made me woozy.

Condolences to Quinn. My mom, Irene, sends her condolences, as well.


Thank you, George Simpson.


Here are the top three drivers from the World Series of Racing at New Smyrna in Florida during the Daytona 500 Speed Weeks. Think of it as a week long Snowball Derby field of the best drivers in the country. I guess the equivalent might be the North-South Shootout with the original ASA against the All-Pro with the Mid-West and North-East.

3 – Ted Christopher – Tour-Type Modifieds/Super Late Models

“TC” owns records that will never be matched when it comes to racing at New Smyrna Speedway. With 50 plus wins counting the SK events, Christopher is one of the most decorated drivers to ever run the World Series. Christopher won a total of 10 titles between the Tour-Type Modified and SK Modified divisions. Christopher won in both Super Late Models and the Modified division on the same night, making him the only driver to do so. Christopher had streaks of three straight titles and four straight titles over the course of his career at New Smyrna. Christopher is also the only five-time winner of the Richie Evans Memorial during the World Series.

2 – Junior Hanley – Super Late Models/Tour-Type Modifieds

The only thing holding back Junior Hanley back from the number one spot is the fact he did his work over three decades. Hanley took home 50 wins on record with 47 in Super Late Model and three more in the Modified ranks. Hanley won three titles in the 80’s and 90’s. In 1990 and 1991 Hanley won 14 of the 17 races, a feat that may never be duplicated. Hanley may not be racing anymore, but his reach is still felt at Speedweeks as many teams come with notes, setups and information from the Canadian legend.

1 – Richie Evans – Tour-Type Modifieds

There was no one better when it came to racing at the World Series at New Smyrna. Evans was a six-time champion and won 39 times, an average of about four wins a season. Evans won three titles in a row and five of six at one point. In 1984 he won six of the seven races and in 1979 he won seven of nine events. Others have won more races at the World Series, but Evans did it in a short run and had it not been for his passing his numbers could have been doubled what they ended up.

Mark Martin is number 51.


Wow, so sad. A Connecticut legend and beyond. Prayers.

Tim S.

I first saw Christopher run in what was probably one of his first Busch North races. Not long after that I read about him in one of Dick Berggren’s magazines and learned how big a deal he was. I was lucky to get to witness him doing his thing.

Terrence williams

TC will be missed. Great condolences go out to Quinn and the entire Chritopher family. Terrence and Andrea williams ,parents of Michael O’Sullivan. Crew chief and friend of Teds for many yesrs .

A jackson

My brother was doing snowmobiling. Drag racing getting racing fuel was. Not. As easy
d you couldn’t find it like you can today Ted was more than gracious to let him have some

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