Two years ago, Doug Coby made just his second trip to the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway, his first time competing in all five nights of Modified racing during the event.
That year, Coby and team were focused on testing for the upcoming NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season. Now, Coby is returning to the World Series in 2021, this time with sights set only on winning races during Florida Speedweeks.
This will be Coby’s first trip to the event as an owner/driver since forming his own Doug Coby Racing team in 2020. The six-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion admits that has added an extra layer of planning and preparation to this trip to the Sunshine State.
“It’s a lot of organization, getting places for people to stay and arrangements and talking sponsors to make sure everyone is on board,” Coby said during an appearance on Speed51’s “The Bullring” Monday. “It’s a challenge, not going to lie. My priority is running my house-flipping business and real estate company. That’s certainly a crazy time right now. Most places in Connecticut are absurd right now with what’s going on in real estate. We’re trying to keep up, find what properties to flip because that’s how I make money.
“Then the race team, I have a tendency to be a procrastinator, a last-minute type of guy. I can grab my racing bag and be out the door, and not have thought much about the race other than race day. When you’re a car owner and you have things to plan, you have to do it not just a couple days in advance or a couple weeks in advance, but months in advance.”
This trip will also be different from 2019 in terms of the mindset he is taking entering the week.
In 2019, Coby was driving for Mike Smeriglio III, a partnership that led to five of Coby’s six NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour titles. The last of those championships came in 2019 following the trip to New Smyrna Speedway, where the team experimented with shock packages to prepare for the upcoming season.
“For us, when we went down there in 2019, we went down there to do some shock testing. After New Smyrna, we made the change to the JRI shocks with Earnest Performance and Brannon Earnest building shocks for us. That was the change that we made after New Smyrna that let us lay down some great races on the Tour.”
Doug Coby Racing is not entering this year’s World Series with the mindset of using it as a paid practice session. He hopes to win races and compete for the week-long Tour-type Modified championship.
“We don’t have that plan this year. We’re not really testing shocks and trying to make any changes. We’re going down there to win races. We’re excited to get down there with the 10 car and see how we stack up with everybody else.”
There will be no shortage of competition for Coby to see how exactly he stacks up. New Smyrna Speedway’s entry lists boast more than 40 confirmed Tour-type Modified entries, featuring some of the fastest guns in the Modified world.
“I don’t think it’s been like this in the past two decades. It’s a really strong field going down there, I think it’s 40 cars pre-registered. I think the Modifieds will be the show down there in New Smyrna.”
Coby credits New Smyrna Speedway’s efforts to create a level playing field for a wide variety of Modified racers at the half-mile for the surge in the event’s popularity in recent years.
“Making the NASCAR spec engine is important down there, keeping things level. I think that is trickling down from the Tri-Track Series and the open shows that we’ve run in the Northeast. There are now a couple of places where you can run different engine packages.
“Everything seems to be leveled out pretty well, and that’s giving people confidence that their engine package and car will be competitive.”
To hear more of Coby’s interview on “The Bullring,” click here.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo