Was shocked by the news of Teddy Christopher's death in a plane crash September 15 on his way to race at Riverhead Speedway in New York.

I'd just seen Teddy drive a modified to his 99th feature-win at Thompson Speedway September 10. I also saw him crash out of the next mod race that day as he made his typical charge through the field. It all was classic T.C. He never settled for lousy situations. He was always trying to make steak out of the hamburg handed to him by fate.

In the modern world of happy-talk from everyone no matter what happens, Ted Christopher was honest - and candid - to a fault. I got a kick out of how some in the national media have noted his ride in a Busch car owned my Michael Waltrip as a highpoint in his career, a note likely made due to Waltrip's own celebrity. Well, Ted, for one, was not impressed.

"His cars are junk," he once told me, discussing why he hadn't made more starts in NASCAR's triple-A series.

I bet right now he's knocking on the rear bumper of the guy in front of him as they approach the pearly gates. Wonder if they'll let him in. Heaven help them if they don't.

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