It has always been said that one of the marks of a true champion is being able to bounce back from a poor performance, and that is just what two-time and defending NASCAR Whelen Modified champion Doug Coby did on Saturday on the confines of New Hampshire’s Monadnock Speedway. Coby scored his third win of the season just one week after getting caught in crashes in both of the Whelen Modified Tour events last week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
“We bounced back from a rough day at Loudon, that’s what you got to do if you say you’re a champion and be champion.” Coby said to Speed51.com powered by JEGS at night’s end. “This is the car we wrecked in the All-Star race; it’s been our workhorse all year. Phil (Moran) did a great job preparing it and getting it back in a short seven day span.”
The efforts of the Mike Smeriglio crew paid off in a huge way with Coby pulling a crossover move down the backstretch on lap 45 to edge Ryan Preece for the lead at the line before finally clearing Preece for good two laps later, and keeping the field at bay from then on.
“They would’ve needed a really great car or to knock me out of the way if they could’ve done it. Our car was great all day, well can’t say that because I was kind of bad in practice, but the team worked on it, they gave me a good car. I just wanted to get the lead and make them take it from me, I think that’s the mentality on anything smaller than a half-mile. I knew Ryan (Preece) was trying to make me take it from him early and I took it and I just didn’t want to give it up,” Coby commented.
Woody Pitkat would prove to be Coby’s biggest challenger in the second half of the race after moving to second following a slow start to the day, but circumstances would go against Pitkat by night’s end.
“We had a bracket break in practice, so we didn’t get as much practice as we wanted too. I can’t thank Spot and the guys enough to throw the setup at it for the race and get it pretty close,” Pitkat explained. “I think our car was better on a long run we had those cautions that took away my momentum I was getting. It was a good points night, good to come home second but I really wanted to win here, I feel like this place owes me.”
For Doug Coby, a fellow Stafford Motor Speedway home tracker, the night brought a new mark for his racing career, the first ever win on a quarter-mile track.
“I grew up racing at Stafford and Waterford, I never really got a chance to try out quarter-mile stuff except for Riverhead on the Tour and I always struggled there, but the last couple of years I’ve learned how to drive traffic and keep the car under me,” Coby said. “I’ve run a lot of open shows lately, that’s helped me quite a bit because I’ve run here in MRS, and I’ve been at this track now six or seven times, only three or four for Tour shows. It’s extra seat time to learn the place a little bit. It’s a learning experience, 35 years old and still learning these little tracks.”
The next race for the Tour brings a lot of confidence for both Coby and Pitkat as the show comes back to Connecticut and Stafford Motor Speedway on August 7.
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com