Despite six NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championships, you are unlikely to see Doug Coby grace the big stage of a NASCAR national series any time soon. In fact, he says has never fielded an offer for such a ride during his career.
“I’ve honestly never been contacted about anything beyond the Modifieds,” said Coby on Speed51’s “The Bullring” Monday. “You guys know how this world works. We are trending further in the direction of, let’s just say it’s not necessarily the best short trackers getting the opportunities at the highest levels of the sport.”
It’s something that bothers Coby, but not for the reasons you’d expect. In his eyes, there should be a better way for plenty of short-track racers to ascend the racing ladder. He isn’t shy about saying so.
“I’m certainly someone who is known to be more outspoken about that as I get older,” said Coby. “I really feel like we’re missing the boat in racing. There should be a path from quarter-midgets and go karts to the short tracks to Cup. There needs to be a legitimate path.
“Someone needs to step up, someone with a lot of money, some sponsors, some car owners. These drivers who have that experience, that short track experience, someone needs to step up and field a team that puts a path together. If you accomplish at Stafford like Keith Rocco, then you get an opportunity to run something more.”
In his eyes, drivers who win regional championships in any of NASCAR’s sanctioned touring series should be afforded an opportunity at the higher levels, even if it is just for a small handful of races.
“I always thought the NASCAR touring champions, across the board, from the Modifieds to K&N East and West, the Euro and Mexico Series champions, Canada, I think all of the champions should be guaranteed a couple of races in a Truck or Xfinity car. I always thought it was important that people should have that opportunity, and haven’t gotten it.”
While there isn’t a path to NASCAR for many drivers in the local and regional ranks, Coby is optimistic that the new Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) will shine a spotlight on some of those drivers. He admitted he hopes to get a shot with the series during its season-opening event at Stafford Motor Speedway.
“The prospects of Doug Coby in an SRX car at Stafford are probably slightly better than Doug Coby being in a Truck or Xfinity car, because they’ve actually come out and said they’re considering drivers like me to be in one of their cars. I know they have a lot to work out, Ray and Tony have a lot to work out with CBS and all the marketing partners.
“It would be a phenomenal opportunity to get that call from Ray or Tony or anybody on the board considering drivers for SRX. I’m definitely interested. I made it known to Ray. He and I are buddies and text occasionally during the season, so when he first announced the series, I said, ‘Hey, I’m here.’ If you’re looking for a local guy, please consider me.”
He believes it will also be a great boost for short-track racers and venues alike.
“It’s a potential game-changer for a lot of people for exposure. To have the first race at Stafford Motor Speedway, my home track. I have two track championships there in full-body cars. I certainly have gotten around there quite well in the Tour car. It would be exciting for me to have that opportunity because it’s a track I know inside and out, and I really feel like I could put on a good show there.
“If anyone from SRX is listening, tell Ray and Tony. Listen, not just me. I hear Keith Rocco is a name being thrown around. If you want to see a show, I think getting some of us local guys involved in those cars would be really exciting, especially for the fans in the Northeast. They would love nothing more than to see a guy like me or Keith show what we can do.”
Fans can click here to see Monday’s episode of “The Bullring” for Coby’s full interview.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo