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THOMPSON, Conn. -- Ted Christopher rallied from two laps down and a hand injury from an early-race spin to maintain his dominance of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway. The 52-year-old Plainville, Conn., driver led the last 39 laps en route to victory in the season-opening Icebreaker Sunday.
It was 39th career tour win for Christopher at Thompson, where he is a five-time champion of the track's NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Sunoco Modified Division. Christopher has won nine times on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at the .625-mile oval, including six of the last eight races.
Rowan Pennink finished second, followed by Mike Stefanik. Ryan Preece and Justin Bonsignore were fourth and fifth, respectively.
Midway through Sunday's race, it looked like Christopher was out of contention. He spun on the backstretch on Lap 52 while battling Ron Silk for the lead. Christopher, who already had fingers on his right hand taped up from a ligament injury, banged up his right hand in the spin. He lost two laps during the incident - one from the spin and then a second from a penalty for pulling up to pit.
Christopher earned the free-pass twice on subsequent cautions and then was up to ninth by Lap 102. He quickly moved to second over the next 10 laps, and then slide by Preece on Lap 115 for the lead.
Christopher finished with a race-high 50 laps led.
Eric Beers finished sixth, followed by Doug Coby, Ron Yuhas, Matt Hirschman and rookie Patrick Emerling.
Defending tour champion Bobby Santos won the Coors Light Pole Award Saturday and led the first seven of the first 10 laps. However, engine issues knocked him from the race after just 16 laps and he finished 33rd.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to the track Sunday, May 1 for the Tech-Net Spring Sizzler presented by CARQUEST.
Ted Christopher takes the checkered flag to win the Icebreaker Sunday at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway. Jeff Zelevasky/Getty Images for NASCAR