(Stafford Springs, CT)—In what has been a hotly contested championship fight during the first half of the 2015 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season, defending series champion Doug Coby is primed to kick off the second half of the year in the Call Before You Dig 150 at his home track of Stafford Motor Speedway.
Coby has been among the championship contenders all season long following his season opening victory at Thompson, but a mid-race crash at New Hampshire two weeks ago left the #2 Dunleavy Truck & Trailer Repair team facing a hole to climb out of to get back into championship contention. Coby and the #2 team did just that at the next series race at Monadnock, scoring the win and leading the most laps for a max points day. Coby now heads to Stafford for the Call Before You Dig 150 looking to pick up another win at a track where he has recorded 6 of his 15 career NWMT victories.
“I have a lot of confidence heading to Stafford because I really thought we were going to win the 125-lapper,” said Coby. “The caution came at the wrong time for us during that race. If it had stayed green, I think we were going to pass Ryan [Preece] and drive away and go win the race. When the caution came out we all pitted and I had to deal with coming back through traffic and then we got the penalty for over aggressive driving. We have a really good long run car and if we can have a 40 or 50 lap run at the end of the race, that would be a good scenario for us.”
After the Riverhead race at the end of June, Coby was tied with Preece for the NWMT points lead. His misfortune at New Hampshire dropped him back to fourth in the standings and 25 points out of the lead. Coby’s win at Monadnock vaulted him back up to third in the standings and only 15 points behind Woody Pitkat as the Tour heads to Stafford and he is feeling confident about his chances of being a championship contender during the final 7 races the season.
“I don’t know if Monadnock was a statement, I think we just showed that we’re not going to go away easy,” said Coby. “I think that race made more of a statement about our short track program. The quarter mile tracks are not necessarily tracks that I’m used to having success at and this year I finished third at Riverhead and we won and Monadnock. I think we’re showing that we’re rounding out our program with a car that runs well at every track that we go to on the schedule. I feel confident that we have a car that can win the last 7 races of the year and our goal is to get max points at every race we go to. I don’t think anybody is truly thinking about points right now. We’re all trying to position ourselves where we need to be and you only start to really think about points with 3 or 4 races to go.”
Coming off of a championship effort that saw Coby and the #2 team win once and finish in the top-10 in 12 of 13 races, the team made the decision to change their chassis program over to LFR Chassis. Coby says that the switch, although maybe a bit unconventional, has spurred the team to new heights.
“Qualifying has picked up a ton for us this year,” said Coby. “We have 3 poles and 2 outside poles in 8 races so we’ve been on the front row for 5 of 8 races. That’s a huge thing for our series, you usually have a better chance of finishing up front when you start up front. We made the change to improve our program and other than 2 bad finishes where I think we were running well enough that we could have won both of those races, I can’t really complain with how the season has gone for us.”
With Coby, Preece, Pitkat, and Todd Szegedy only separated by a total of 17 points in the 2015 championship chase, Coby says to stay tuned because the championship race should be tight all the way down to the last race of the season.
“All four of us are good at the remaining tracks, Stafford, Thompson, Loudon, Bristol, and Riverhead,” said Coby. “With 7 races left, I think that you could probably make a case for each of us to be the favorites at 2 races each and it should be a great race. We’re only halfway through the year and there’s a lot of racing left for crazy things to happen. I’m very happy we’re still in contention and hopefully we don’t’ have any more mishaps like we had at Loudon.”
Tickets for the August 7th Call Before You Dig 150 are on sale now and are priced at $33.00 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 $35.00 for all ages and all ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Motor Speedway offers plenty of free parking along with overnight parking available for self-contained Recreational Vehicles.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.