Ten days ago, Ted Christopher stood in NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory lane with his car owner Eddie Whelan at Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut after winning his third WMT race of the 2011 season.
Two days ago, Christopher stood over his No. 36 WMT ride at New Hampshire Motor Speedway at the race’s halfway point out of the event with a mechanical failure.
Today, Christopher stands without a ride.
The Hartford Courant’s Shawn Courchesne reported Monday night that Whelan has shut down the No. 36 team and Christopher, the 2008 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Champion, is left without a ride on the Tour.
“We're not racing any more for a while," Christopher told the Courant. “I think some of it has to do with the problems they've been having as far as the car not being prepared when we get to the racetrack and all the money he puts into it and the issues and stuff. I think the crew chief and the car chief have been at odds. I think that's most of it. It's nothing I did. I just drive the thing."
Christopher earned 17 of his 41 career NWMT victories in Whelan’s car. Rumors circled around the Modified ranks leading into the New Hampshire event that Christopher and the team may no longer be together much longer. Those rumors were seemingly squashed during New Hampshire weekend by Whelan.
Then, just two days after falling out of Saturday’s Granite State Classic at halfway with a 28th-place finish, Christopher is having to look for other opportunities on the Tour.
Each of Christopher’s last two Whelen Modified Tour teams, Whelan’s and Jimmy Galante’s Mystique Motorsports, shut down during the season. In 2006, Christopher was driving for longtime car owner and friend Galante when Galante was sent to prison on various tax and mob-related charges in Connecticut. As part of Galante’s punishment, he agreed to give up the assets of his race team, leaving Christopher without a ride two races into the 2006 season after finishing fourth in the season opener at Thompson and sixth at Stafford in race number-two.
Christopher then teamed up with Whelan, who was competing on the tour with young New York driver Mike Andrews, Jr. at the time, and the partnership resulted in a win in their first race together.
Christopher currently sits fourth in the standings this season with three victories, including the one at Stafford just 10 days ago.
In what was a whirlwind 10 days, the 53-year-old Christopher will have just nine days to line up a ride for Wednesday’s UNOH Perfect Storm 150 at Bristol Motor Speedway, the next stop on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.