Seekonk, MA - Doug Coby of Milford, CT, the defending race winner, will head to the Tri-Track Open Modified Series (TTOMS) season opener at Seekonk Speedway on Wednesday with a vengeance. Coby is not only looking to defend his title and pocket the $10K winner’s share but also for his first win of the 2017 season.
And, Coby’s chances on Wednesday are pretty favorable. He has three wins in just six starts at Open Wheel Wednesday. This, of course, should not come as any surprise as Coby is a four-time and defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (WMT) champion.
Coby is one of only two drivers to win multiple Open Wheel Wednesday Modified events at Seekonk; joining Matt Hirschman of Northampton, PA (who has two).
“Seekonk was always one of my least favorite race tracks,” said Coby. “But when I raced for Wayne [Darling], crew chief Jon McKenna helped me learn the race track. He actually made me understand the track. He literally told me what do to. I owe my success at Seekonk to him.”
Piloting the Wayne Darling owned #52, Coby found victory in 2011 and 2013. A car he also drove to a WMT championship. His most recent win in 2016 came aboard his current ride, the Mike Smeriglio III #2. The same team has helped Coby secure his last three WMT championships.
“Last year was probably my most memorable win here,” said Coby, when asked. “It was unexpected really.”
“We brought our new LFR car-a car that had never run at Seekonk,” reflected Coby. “The car wasn’t that good when we unloaded. But, we dialed it in during practice, found something in the heat race and turned it into a winning car.”
This should come as no surprise either with the talents of both Coby and his champion crew chief Phil Moran.
Seekonk Speedway has always been known as a ‘racer’s track”.
“What a lot people don’t realize -and you certainly can’t tell from the stands-is that we are really more like half-throttle at Seekonk,” said Coby. “You’re not using all the cars have to offer as far as horsepower.”
Which could also be another reason that Coby, a driver who often shows patience and finesse, has achieved success at Seekonk.
“As a driver that is a hard thing to wrap your brain around,” added Coby. “We want to use the horsepower.”
In Coby’s estimation the event could be a bit different this year, acknowledging that it could be interesting as “the big bump into turn three was removed”.
Like his Modified counterpart Anthony Nocella, Coby will be also be doing double-duty on Open Wheel Wednesday competing in the prestigious Boston Louie Memorial for the Northeastern Midget Association for car owner Tim Bertrand. And, like Nocella, Coby has a couple of Boston Louie wins as well.
“There has been a bit of a swap, Randy [Cabral] has been driving the #74 this season, so I will be in the #47,” said Coby. “It is the car that Justin won with at Riverhead.”
Practice for the Modifieds and Midgets will begin at 2:30pm this Wednesday, June 28. Pit gates open at 10am with grandstands opening at 4pm. Racing is scheduled to go green at 6:30pm. Entry to Seekonk Speedway’s pit area is $35. Grandstand admission is only $25. Tickets are available online by visiting SeekonkSpeedway.com or by calling the Speedway office at 508.336.9959 Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm. A rain date has been set for Thursday, June 29.
The event promises plenty of excitement with $10,000 on the line and a roster that features some of the best Modified racers in the country, like Coby, in 100-laps of green flag racing.
“There is always a good field of cars that is what makes it fun,” added Coby.
Tri-Track Open Modified Series Press Release. Photo Credit: Speed51.com/Duane Canfield Photo