NWAAS: TC Stripped Of Speedbowl SK Win; DiPisa Questions Future At Track

Kyle Souza Asphalt Modifieds, Featured, New England, Racing Nation, Stock Cars 0 Comments

Ted Christopher (center) was stripped of his apparent SK Modified win from Sunday night at New London-Waterford Speedbowl for illegal fuel. (NLWS photo)

Ted Christopher (center) was stripped of his apparent SK Modified win from Sunday night at New London-Waterford Speedbowl for illegal fuel. (NLWS photo)

WATERFORD, Conn. — Sunday night at New London-Waterford Speedbowl, the 75-lap SK Modified Nationals feature was cut short with 14 laps remaining because of a scary crash, after Diego Monahan went hard into the wall at the exit of turn four and broke the pit gate where drivers normally enter the three-eighths-mile track.

Since the race was already well past the halfway point at the time, it was deemed complete and Ted Christopher was awarded the victory.

Leaving the track Sunday, some thought that the vicious wreck by Monahan that ended up breaking the gate would be the top story of the abbreviated 61-lap race.

But that was not ultimately the case.

Monday morning, New London-Waterford Speedbowl General Manager Shawn Monahan confirmed to Race Chaser Online that Christopher was disqualified from his victory in the final SK feature of the season.

The reason: illegal fuel.

Christopher’s car was found to not have fuel meeting the standards laid out in the rulebook during post-race technical inspection and therefore was stripped of the victory. Monahan told Race Chaser Online that though he did not know the exact specifics of the fuel that was inside the car, Christopher was disqualified along with fellow competitor Paul Kubesha, who was also deemed to have illegal fuel in his car.

Steve Masse was also penalized two positions in the event for a post-race weight violation.

The disqualification handed Ryan Preece — who originally finished second — the victory, the trophy and the $5,000 check that came along with it.

Christopher’s team owner Doug DiPisa, who argued with technical inspectors following the race on Sunday evening, is extremely frustrated with the disqualification. He explained the situation to Race Chaser Online on Monday.

“Our fuel came up to a different number than what the manufacturer specifies. It just specifies the weight of the fuel — the specific gravity,” DiPisa said. “Our fuel and the No. 72’s fuel came up to be exactly the same, which is highly unlikely. It’s like going to Foxwoods and playing a game and two people hitting on the same machine. Other people had theirs not to the exact number of the specification. The specification was 715, that’s what you had to be.”

DiPisa went on to say that some of the other cars that were inspected came up illegal against the 715 number, but they were not disqualified.

“Some guys were 716, 717 and 718 and we were 722,” DiPisa said. “The way that happens is condensation with water makes it more dense, heavier. The heavier it is the bigger the number. I didn’t know at first but I had a couple of crew members go get the fuel and I didn’t originally know they got them at two different trucks.”

“When we were in tech, my crew members came up and one of them said I got it from that truck and the other said they got it from a different truck and they asked me if it makes a difference. And I said, ‘Of course it does.’ Who is to say that truck didn’t have condensation at the top? It rained all weekend.”

DiPisa says that he asked the technical inspector to check his own fuel and that of the other competitors on his own meter and he was granted the right to check his own, but not of the any other drivers.

“After the race the (tech inspector) came up and said my fuel didn’t make it and I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’ I have a 20 gallon cell inside my car and I bought 20 gallons here; I have nothing left,” DiPisa said.

“I showed him my receipts for what I bought and he took pictures of them on his phone. I wanted to do my own test with my own meter and mine came up to 721 and his was 722. I asked him to test the other competitors and he said I couldn’t do that. I asked him why and he just said I couldn’t do that.”

What frustrates DiPisa more is that he says the track did not call either him or Ted Christopher to alert them that they were disqualified. He first found out about the disqualification when he read an article online this morning.

“I told him I wanted mine tested and he said he would do that and make a decision off of that and that is where I left it at. I didn’t hear about anything until an article came out this morning saying we were disqualified,” DiPisa said.

“They never called me and they never even called Ted about it. I’m not sure what this whole thing is about. I’m not sure if it’s about Shawn Monahan against us or what. We crew an SK Light and that driver and Shawn have been going at it for the last four weeks. I’m not sure if this is a get me back from Shawn or what. It’s just kind of odd.”

This is the second straight SK Nationals that DiPisa’s team has been disqualified. In October of 2015, the team had a third place finish taken away because of an illegal head issue in their motor.

It is worth noting that Christopher himself was also disqualified for illegal fuel from a Valenti Modified Racing Series event at the Speedbowl in August of 2015, though he was not driving for DiPisa in that event.

Does DiPisa question his future at the Speedbowl? Absolutely.

“For the last couple of months I have been debating on cutting back because of family and this year really wasn’t fun at all,” DiPisa said.

“I’m pissed off about it. But it’s city hall, you just can’t fight it. It is their sandbox.”

 

About the Writer

Souza head shotKyle Souza is an aspiring Journalism major at the Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I.  Souza is Race Chaser Online’s New England motorsports insider, covering everything from the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour to the NASCAR Whelen All American Series and the PASS North Super Late Models.

When not writing, Souza works at the Seekonk Speedway as the track’s Friday night public address announcer and press writer, and is also the Media Director for both the Granite State Pro Stock Series and the Tri Track Open Modified Series.

Email Kyle at: kylesouza34@gmail.com

Follow on Twitter: @Kouza34

Email Race Chaser Online: news@racechaseronline.com

Follow RCO on Twitter: @RaceChaserNews

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