NASCAR Family Remembers Modified Legend, Ted Christopherby Hunter Thomas September 17, 2017
On Saturday afternoon, the motorsports community was shocked when it had learned that 59-year-old NASCAR Home Tracks legend, Ted Christopher lost his life in an airplane crash.
The plane that Christopher was traveling in went down while flying over his home state of Connecticut. Sadly, it was reported that another individual who was in the plane with Christopher passed away as well. Christopher was slated to compete in Saturday night’s NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Riverhead Raceway in New York. Prior to the start of the race on Saturday, the car that Christopher was to compete in went around the track to honor the legend and to take the checkered flag once again.
“We are all saddened to learn of the tragic plane crash this afternoon that claimed the lives of NASCAR driver Ted Christopher and the aircraft’s pilot,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France.
“As a championship driver on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and New England short tracks, Christopher was a throwback to NASCAR’s roots. He was a tough racer’s racer, and his hard driving style and candid personality endeared him to short track fans throughout the country. He will be missed throughout the racing community, in the garage and, especially, in the hearts of his many fans. NASCAR has his family and friends in its thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
Christopher was one of the most accomplished drivers in NASCAR’s history. Throughout the decades of competing, Christopher won 42 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races, six NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour races, 10 events in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, 99 races at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park and an incredible 131 races at Stafford Motor Speedway.
He even made six starts in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, 21 starts in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and two starts in the prestigious Rolex 24 sportscar race.
“The short track community is one of the tightest-knit groups in motorsports, and today it lost one of its most passionate, talented and well-respected members,” said New Hampshire Motor Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager, David McGrath. “Ted Christopher was the gold standard when it came to short track racing, specifically the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. With 10 career victories, Teddy is one of New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s most prolific drivers. I know that I can speak for everyone here, as well as our entire Speedway Motorsports, Inc. family, when I say that while Teddy may be gone, his legacy will carry on for generations to come. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and fellow competitors at this very difficult time.”
The news of Ted Christopher’s passing broke during the closing laps of the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Chicagoland Speedway. Following the race, the NASCAR family shared their condolences and through social media.
All of us at Thompson are saddened to learn of Ted Christopher's passing. He logged 99 wins at TSMP & is certainly 1 of the best. RIP, TC. https://t.co/pjMFLcIg9s
— Thompson Speedway (@ThompsonSpdwy) September 16, 2017
We are devastated over the loss of our dear friend Ted Christopher. He will be remembered as a hero, friend, & legend
— Stafford Speedway (@StaffordSpeedwy) September 16, 2017
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
Wow can't believe the news of Ted Christopher. Thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family. RIP!
— Kyle Larson (@KyleLarsonRacin) September 16, 2017
Just read about the passing of one of my all-time favorite drivers. So sad. Ted Christopher was a wheel man in whatever he sat in. #RIP
— Clint Bowyer (@ClintBowyer) September 17, 2017
— Brandon Thompson (@BThompson_36) September 17, 2017
Sad to hear that we lost a racing legend. Ted Christopher will be missed!
— Jeff Gordon (@JeffGordonWeb) September 17, 2017
Ted Christopher was such a great guy and wheel man. Thinking of his family and friends.#TC13
— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) September 17, 2017
— Stewart-Haas Racing (@StewartHaasRcng) September 17, 2017
I love people that make a difference, Ted Christopher was a difference maker in the modified series, praying for his family and friends. RIP
— Darrell Waltrip (@AllWaltrip) September 17, 2017