Doug Coby made his way to Loudon, New Hampshire this weekend with redemption on his mind. Nine months after getting booed by the Granite State crowd for making contact with Ryan Preece on the final lap, Coby got that redemption on Saturday afternoon.
Coby of Milford, Connecticut held off a fierce charge from Jericho, New York’s Donny Lia off of the final turn to win the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour New England 100. His margin of victory as he crossed the granite stripe was just 0.036 seconds.
“A little bit of redemption for last September when I know I had a lot of boos out there in the stands,” said Coby in victory lane. “I just wanted to show everybody that I try my hardest out here no matter what happens. I just give it my all and I had to give it my all today.”
Lia closed in on Coby down the backstretch on the final lap before the leaders came up on lapped traffic. Coby allowed Lia to take the top side, setting up a drag race to the checkered flag.
“Whatever happened on the last lap in turns three and four, I don’t know,” admitted Coby. “I was looking at the 8 (Lia) in my rearview (mirror).”
Coby led at the halfway break of the 100-lap race and elected to restart on the inside for the second half of the race. That was a mistake he would overcome, but later regret after falling back to as far as eighth before charging back to the front.
“I made the mistake of starting on the bottom for the restart because I thought that would be better for us,” said Coby. “I really had to work my ass off to get back up to the front, and I hope everybody enjoyed it.
“You don’t really need too long to get to the front here and it’s been proven time and time again. Usually when you panic you go further backwards.”
Lia scored his best finish of the season with a runner-up finish but was left wondering what he could have done differently to make up those 0.036 seconds.
“It’s a little disappointing,” admitted Lia. “When it’s all said and done, me and all these guys can think back and there’s 20 different things you think you could have done different at the end of the race, especially when you lose by a bumper.”
Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series regular Patrick Emerling, polesitter Ron Silk and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman completed the top five.
The win for the Coby was the fourth of his career at “The Magic Mile,” and that is something that even Coby can’t believe.
“Every win in this series is special but everybody knows that a win here, you just can’t beat it. To have four wins at this track I’m just dumbfounded by that.”
On-demand coverage of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour New England 100 can be found by visiting NASCAR Home Tracks Race Central Live powered by Speed51.com.
New England 100 Unofficial Results
|27||44||Bobby Santos III|
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com