Doug Coby laid down a pair of fast laps Friday afternoon to earn the pole position for Saturday’s Musket 250 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The current NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour points leader scored the 30th pole award of his career and eighth of the 2019 season.
Coby went out 31st of the 33 cars that qualified and was able to post the fastest time of the session at 29.333 seconds around “The Magic Mile.”
Coby was fast in the only practice session as well, topping the time sheet a handful of times and eventually finishing third fastest.
“Yeah, we prepared a good car and it was fast in practice,” Coby said after qualifying. “We were really fast by ourselves. A lot of guys go out there and turn their fast lap around other cars, and we were fast by ourselves and around other cars, so that was a good start.”
Now, the five-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion will set his sights on being fast for 250 laps come Saturday afternoon.
“It’s just such a long race, it’s going to be grueling on the equipment and on the team to make the right decisions for fueling and tires, and for me to not lose my cool if we go on a long green flag run and the car goes away or something like that. Two laps was good, but two hundred fifty will be a whole lot better tomorrow.”
Jon McKennedy, who won the pole the last time the Tour visited the Magic Mile back in July, came home second fastest in his Tommy Baldwin Racing No. 7NY. McKennedy went out 20th of 33 cars, shortly after a lengthy red flag for wall repairs and fluid cleanup from J.R. Bertuccio’s weekend-ending crash in Turn 3.
McKennedy posted a then-current session best of 29.348. He held on to the provisional pole for almost the rest of the session, but knew the fight for the top spot was far from over.
“I knew it’d be close,” McKennedy said. “We were just a little tight but overall Tommy gave me a great car. I’m sure going out just a few cars after that big wreck didn’t help. We ran through a little patch of speedy-dry, so that was probably worth a little bit of speed there, but overall a good run, starting on the front row tomorrow for the biggest race of the year.”
Defending Modified Tour champion Justin Bonsignore will start third in Saturday’s big race. Bonsignore is confident in his chances, despite just missing out on pole to title rival Coby.
“[I feel] really good,” Bonsignore said. “We’ve got a good car, we practiced well today, obviously it’s a long race and a lot of strategy is going to go into this deal. It felt really good in practice today, just missed a little bit there in qualifying to have a shot at the pole but we’re still third. If we just stay mistake-free, I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t have a shot at it.”
July race winner Ron Silk will start his brand-new No. 85 from fourth, and Bobby Santos III, still taking over the No. 36 for Dave Sapienza, will start fifth.
Coby will lead the field to green in the Musket 250 at 3:05 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Fans can get live updates, session results, and more by heading to Speed51.com’s Trackside Now coverage presented by FK Rod Ends.
-Story by: Ian Pettigrew, Speed51 Northeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51