The famed Christopher racing name returns to New Smyrna Speedway next week as part of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing. This time, it's Michael Christopher, Jr. making his first trip to the Florida half-mile.
Christopher, Jr. will be competing in a Tour-type Modified throughout the week at New Smyrna. He'll race in the Tommy Baldwin Racing No. 7NY for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour's inaugural event at the track before climbing behind the wheel of the PSR Racing house car for the rest of the week.
“I’m doing the Tour with Tommy Baldwin in the 7NY and then moving over to the No. 17 PSR house car for the rest of the week," said Christopher on 'The Bullring' with Racing America. “I went testing down with Tommy a couple of weeks ago and the PSR guys were there. We’re getting a good baseline for next week.”
For Christopher, Jr., this marks his first trip to New Smyrna, and his first time partaking in the historic World Series. Michael's uncle, the legendary Ted Christopher, was a nine-time World Series champion in the Modifieds.
Now, he hopes to make his own World Series history.
“I was looking at the past champions last night and saw Tommy’s dad won three championships there. Ted obviously won nine there, so that’s a big feat. I’m looking forward to this opportunity and making the best out of it."
He'll have great opportunities throughout the week. Both the Tommy Baldwin Racing and PSR Racing outfits will be bringing quality equipment. In Christopher's eyes, that puts the onus on him to get the job done.
"Obviously, Tommy’s going to prepare a pretty good race car, and same with the PSR car. It comes down to the driver figuring out the track, how to qualify well and race up front. When it comes down to race time, be prepared and take no prisoners.”
The week will present a variety of challenges as well. From the 35-lap sprint races to the long-distance World Series races such as the John Blewett III and Richie Evans Memorials to the 200-lap NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event, each race will have its own strategy.
“The mixture of 35-lappers, the 50, the Blewett and the Richie Evans are the longer races. 35 laps is basically SK racing, hammer-down and hopefully qualify well. I’m going to be pedal to the metal for those.
“The longer races, the compound is soft but very fast, so you’ll have to balance speed with tire-saving. We race them in the Open 80s. They hold up okay, but if you burn off that right-rear, you’re in trouble pretty quickly."
Fans who missed Christopher, Jr.'s interview on 'The Bullring' can watch an on-demand replay of Wednesday's episode here.