Friday, August 3, 2012
Coby Three-for-Three at Stafford
STAFFORD, Conn. -- At the track where he got his start in racing, Stafford Motor Speedway has become home sweet home for Doug Coby during the 2012 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season.
Coby, from Milford, Conn., made it three-for-three in Whelen Modified Tour events at the historic half mile so far this year as he turned in another dominant performance for his fourth overall triumph of the campaign.
Coby inherited the lead when leader Eric Beers came to pit road along with the majority of the front-runners on Lap 48. He more than held his own down the stretch without pitting, however, as the lead was never relinquished, or really in question.
It was his fourth career victory at Stafford. He won the 2006 and 2012 Spring Sizzlers, and the TSI Harley-Davidson 125 in May.
“We were going to come in early [to pit], but we wanted to lead a lap and when the 45 [Beers] came in we stayed out and said maybe we’ll come in around Lap 100 or so, and got no more cautions,” Coby said. “This car is built to last on the long run. I think everybody saw that in the Sizzler and the 125 that we can go at least 100 on these tires if not more.”
Jimmy Blewett crossed the line second with Todd Szegedy third. Beers and Ted Christopher rounded out the top five.
The runner-up effort was Blewett’s best result since finishing second at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September 2010. The Stafford 150 was also his first race with new crew chief Ed Bennett.
“You’re only as good as your car is sometimes and my crew guys work their hearts out week-in and week-out,” Blewett said. “We committed to run the full series and only a handful of races in last week we were sitting with no crew chief, and this week we’re sitting here with a second place finish.”
Pole winner Ryan Preece, Jon McKennedy, Woody Pitkat, Eric Goodale and Justin Bonsignore completed the top 10. The seventh-place effort was the best for McKennedy in 21 career starts.
With the victory, Coby extended his lead in the season standings on Preece to 309-268. Defending champion Ron Silk, who on Friday night suffered his first DNF since the 2011 season opener, is third in points with 266.
Coby was one of three drivers to lead laps with a race-high 102 circuits at the front. The race saw six cautions for 30 laps with one red flag when the Turn 3 guardrail needed to be repaired due to an accident that involved Richie Pallai Jr. and Steve Masse.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to action with the Budweiser King of Beers 150 at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway on Aug. 9.