(Stafford Springs, CT)—Whenever the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour visits Stafford Motor Speedway, Doug Coby is usually among the favorites as to who will take the checkered flag. Of his 14 career NWMT wins, 6 of them have come at Stafford, including his very first win in the NAPA Spring Sizzler in 2006. But the 2015 season has been a bit of a mixed bag for Coby and the #2 Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Repair team with finishes of third in the NAPA Spring Sizzler back in April, thirteenth in the June TSI Harley-Davidson 125, and second in the August CBYD 150. As he sits 25 points behind Ryan Preece and 24 points behind Woody Pitkat in the chase for the championship, Coby knows he needs to win and get the maximum number of bonus points if he wants to eliminate that deficit.
“The last 2 races at Stafford I felt like we had a car that was capable of winning the race,” said Coby. “The penalty in the June race came as a result of me trying to get back through traffic with fresh tires and making a mistake and I thought we were going to win that race before the caution came out. I’m excited to come back to Stafford. We’re fast at Stafford, it’s just a matter of getting the job done and that’s what this year has been all about. We all know we have fast cars each week but I’ve been the one who has screwed up twice and put us in a little bit of a hole. I think we’ve had a good enough car to win every week and to win the championship, we’re just still trying to dig out of the hole my two bad finishes have put us in.”
In 2012, Coby began a streak of winning at least one NWMT race at Stafford each season, and he nearly collected the Stafford sweep by winning three of the four races. While he is still one of the favorites for the NAPA Fall Final, Coby says that he is no longer the prohibitive favorite he once was when the NWMT rolled into Stafford.
“If you were to ask me last year or the year before, I would say that maybe I had an advantage at Stafford, but this year, Woody [Pitkat] has been the most consistent and Ryan [Preece] is winning the races, so I’d say the three of us are pretty equal,” said Coby. “Stafford is one of those places that I wouldn’t be surprised if someone like Teddy [Christopher], Bobby Santos, or Donny Lia put something together and won the race. We won’t be the only 3 cars that are fast, there’s probably about 10 to 12 cars that will all be really quick. There’s so many teams who are good at Stafford and hopefully it can be us putting something together and winning the race and we can put some pressure on Ryan and Woody for the championship.”
In addition to being the track where he has the most wins, Stafford is also Coby’s best track for qualifying on the pole. Of his 7 career pole positions, 3 of them have come at Stafford, including a pole in the June TSI Harley-Davidson 125. A good qualifying effort will go a long way towards getting a good finish in the race and with the 2-day race procedure, Coby feels like he has an edge with his crew chief Phil Moran.
“Everybody has the opportunity to really try to put together a good qualifying run on Saturday and then do whatever they need to do for the race on Sunday,” said Coby. “The 2-day show will allow Phil [Moran] to do what he wants with the car for qualifying and then come back the next day with what he wants in it for the race. Phil is so experienced with what he wants I would say the 2-day show is an advantage for us but at the same time, it’s easier for all the crew chiefs because they don’t have to worry about qualifying with the race setup in the car.”
The Whelen Modified Tour cars will qualify for the NAPA Fall Final 150 on Saturday, Oct. 3rd before hitting the track for 150 laps on Sunday, Oct. 4th. Saturday’s racing card will also feature heat and consolation races for Stafford’s weekly divisions along with feature events for the SK Light, Limited Late Model, DARE Stock, and Legend Cars divisions. Sunday’s action kicks off with the NAPA Pit Party from 11am-12noon with the SK Modifieds® taking the green flag at 1pm followed by the Late Model and Whelen Modified Tour feature events. Tickets for the 43rd Annual NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final Weekend are priced at $38.50 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating is priced at $42.00 for all ages. All NAPA Fall Final tickets are good for admission on both Saturday and Sunday and ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Visit your local participating NAPA Auto Parts Store for discount ticket offers.
For more information on the 43rd Annual NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final Weekend, or to order tickets, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.