DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — There have been two races thus far this season at Stafford Motor Speedway, and thus far Doug Coby has it all figured out there.
The three-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion has made it a clean sweep of events at Stafford with two wins and two poles there this year as the Tour returns to the historic half-mile in Stafford, Connecticut for Friday night’s Stafford 150.
In the two races at the track in 2016, Coby has led 322 of the 330 laps completed.
The driver from Milford, Connecticut has nine career wins at Stafford, including the last three in a row dating back to last season. He’s only finished outside the Top 10 once in his last 21 starts at the track dating back to 2011, and he’s in the middle of his second career three-race winning streak at the facility. He previously won three in a row at Stafford in 2012, winning three of the four races contested at the track that season.
As the tour has turned the corner into the second half of the season, Coby will be looking to extend his 34-point lead atop the standings over three drivers in Timmy Solomito, Donny Lia and Justin Bonsignore, who are all within three points of one another for second place.
RACE: Stafford 150
PLACE: Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford, Connecticut
WHEN: Friday, August 5
TIME: 9:15 p.m. ET
Track Layout: .500-mile slightly banked asphalt oval
2015 Winner: Ryan Preece
2015 Pole Sitter: Patrick Emerling
EVENT SCHEDULE: Friday, August 5 – Garage opens: 12:15 p.m.; Practice: 3-4 p.m.; Qualifying: 6 p.m.; Driver Autograph Session: 7 p.m.; Stafford 150: 9:15 p.m.
EVENT HASHTAG: #Stafford150
The Race: The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to Stafford Motor Speedway for the Stafford 150, the third of four trips to the historic half-mile in 2016. The Stafford 150 will be the ninth of 17 events on the schedule.
The Procedure: The maximum starting field per the official entry blank is 31 cars, including provisionals. The first 26 cars will have secured starting positions based on two-lap qualifying. The remaining five spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race is scheduled for 150 laps (75 miles).
The Track: Stafford Motor Speedway has hosted 120 Whelen Modified Tour races in its history, second only to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. A half-mile, slightly-banked oval, Stafford originated as a horse racing track in the 1870s. After seven decades as a horse track, the dirt oval started holding automobile races following World War II. Stafford became a NASCAR-sanctioned track in 1959 and was paved for the first time in 1967. Stafford’s 119 Whelen Modified Tour races are second all-time.
Race Winners: There have been 32 different race winners across 120 races at Stafford all-time, led by Mike Stefanik’s 20 victories. NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Ryan Preece is the defending winner of this race.
Pole Winners: There have been 43 different pole winners at Stafford, led by Stefanik’s 17. Preece holds the tour’s track qualifying record at 17.924 seconds (100.424 mph), set during the 2012 Spring Sizzler.
Stafford 150 Notes:
Three Times: Timmy Solomito is enjoying the best season of his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour career. In his third season of full-time competition, the Islip, New York driver has three wins through the first eight races of the season to close to second in the series standings behind Doug Coby. Solomito won the most recent event on the schedule, a 200-lap event at Monadnock Speedway. Solomito earned his first career Whelen Modified Tour win at Thompson in the season opener in April, and he also collected a victory at his home track of Riverhead Raceway.
Three-Way Battle: Three drivers are separated by just three points for second place in the current Whelen Modified Tour standings. While Solomito is currently second, 34 points behind Doug Coby, Donny Lia is third just two points behind Solomito. From there, it’s only a single point back to Justin Bonsignore in fourth.
Winning: Doug Coby and Timmy Solomito are the only Whelen Modified Tour drivers with multiple wins this season, with three wins apiece. Ron Silk and Bobby Santos III won the other two events on the schedule. Santos also won the non-points Whelen All-Star Shootout at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last month.
Moving Forward: Rowan Pennink heads into the weekend off a season-best finish of second in the most recent race at Monadnock. The driver of the No. 3 Ole Blue Modiifed has also had success at Stafford Motor Speedway in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing. Pennink currently leads the track’s SK Modified standings with three wins this season.
NASCAR Home Tracks: SK Modifieds on tap Friday
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour won’t be the only open-wheeled division on the card Friday night at Stafford. The track’s premier division, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modifieds will also be in action. Rowan Pennink leads Ted Christopher, the track’s all-time winningest driver, by 14 points. Both Pennink and Christopher have seven Top-5 and nine Top-10 finishes in 10 races this season at the track.
-NASCAR Home Tracks Press Release
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com/Rick Ibsen