Five-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby wasted little time figuring out New Smyrna Speedway during the opening night of Tour-type Modified action Monday night. Coby of Milford, Connecticut started from the outside of the front row, took the lead on the opening lap and never looked back en route to his first career World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing victory.
The 50-lap opener for the Mighty Modifieds was only Coby's second career start at New Smyrna Speedway. His previous start came during the 2014 Richie Evans Memorial 100, a race he finished fifth in.
Needless to say, his lack of experience at the track didn't deter his efforts against a strong field of 24 Modifieds.
"It's awesome. This is just like a brand-new track for me," Coby said on FansChoice.TV. "I don't have any experience here and these guys, some of these guys, have been running here 10 or 12 years for five nights a week. They've got 80 or 90 races on me. It helps to have a great prepared car by Phil Moran and all of the guys on the Mayhew Tools team. We've got a very small crew here this week. I know a lot of the guys are back at home watching. We've got one; we've got to get five."
During the offseason, Coby surprised the Modified world when he announced he'd be heading to Florida to make his first full attempt at the World Series. With a little bit of testing and practice at the track, the No. 2 team led by crew chief Phil Moran sent a message to the competition that they will be a force to be reckoned with the remainder of the week.
"I don't care what race track it is, Doug Coby can get it done," Moran said. "We came down here to try some stuff and so far, so good."
While a trip to victory lane is exactly what the doctor ordered for Coby, he reaffirmed that the team's focus for the week is to try things, make improvements and get better for the 2019 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season. In fact, there's one particular driver and team that Coby has his sights set on for the upcoming season.
"Great to start off with a win," Coby said. "We worked really hard on Thursday to come up with changes and we left them in the car to see how they would race, and they raced pretty darn good. We're going to try some more stuff. We want to win race, but we're here to test for the tour season. We've got to come after Justin Bonsignore."
With his victory, Coby became the 62nd different Tour-type Modified winner at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing.
2017 Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series champion Patrick Emerling prevailed in a battle with defending World Series champion Matt Hirschman to finish second on the race track; however, Emerling was disqualified in post-race technical inspection for a left-side weight infraction.
Jimmy Blewett completed the podium, while Anthony Nocella and Chuck Hossfeld rounded out the top five.
The Tour-type Modifieds will be back in action Tuesday night for a 35-lap feature.
Race fans can find on-demand coverage of Monday's race by visiting Speed51.com's Trackside Now.
-Story by: Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor - Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
Tour-type Modified Unofficial Results
February 11, 2019 - New Smyrna Speedway (FL)
|7||83||Mike Willis, Jr.|