One week ago, Coby went to victory lane at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (CT).  Wednesday morning, he set the early precedent that he will be among the drivers to beat in tonight's Bush's Beans 150 combination race with the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour.

 

Coby, in the Dunleavy's Repair/A&J Romano Construcion No. 2, toured Bristol's half mile with a best lap time of 14.637-seconds.

 

While he was fast to open the day, there's still work to be done and a few unknowns still to come in final Modified practice later in the day leading into qualifying and tonight's 150-lap feature.

 

"The track is going to change quite a bit with the (NASCAR Camping World) Trucks going out for practice," Coby told Speed51.com after first practice. "They tend to loosen the track up a lot for us. The track gets tighter in the race, so it's kind of like a balancing act between how comfortable are you and then going out on their rubber are you still comfortable or do you have to make changes?"

 

Coby and his MSIII Racing team are already planning on perhaps a few curveballs with more NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice to come before the Modifieds hit the track again for final practice and qualifying back to back.

 

"This is the first year we're going to qualify on our own rubber," added Coby. "(The Trucks) don't practice after our second practice and that's awesome. Normally qualifying is scary as hell.

 

"We're going to go out early in the practice after the Trucks, just to see what their rubber does. We race after they qualify, so we're going to see what the rubber does to our cars. Our car was pretty good, so I don't know if it's going to change our strategy too much. If we were slow, we'd be trying some different stuff, but we were fast and pretty comfortable."

 

Bobby Santos, III, Todd Szegedy, Donny Lia and Patrick Emerling, all NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour regulars, completed the top five in first practice. The fastest NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour-registered driver on the first practice chart was Burt Myers in 21st overall.

 

Opening practice was slowed several times for incidents, including a two-car spin between Brendon Bock and Ron Silk. Late in the session, Timmy Solomito's No. 16 suffered a blown engine. His team is preparing a backup car for competition.

 

Other drivers such as Eric Goodale, Tom Abele, Jr. and JR Bertuccio had mechanical issues through the first practice.

 

Read more about the first practice session, plus see a complete practice result in the NASCAR Home Tracks Race Central Live powered by Speed51.com coverage at this link: http://hometracks.nascar.com/home-tracks/race-central-live-powered-speed51-bristol_08192015

 

- By Matt Kentfield, Speed51.com Executive Director - Twitter @MattKentfield

- Photo credit: Speed51.com

 

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Doug Coby Paces First Modified Practice at Bristol