STAFFORD – There’s no denying Doug Coby has learned well over the year that a big part of short track racing is promotion.
Over the last few seasons Coby has come into his own not only as a driver on the track but as a showman off of it.
And that showmanship was on display Friday night at Stafford Motor Speedway after Coby finished second in the weekly SK Modified feature prior to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour CarQuest 150.
After the second place run Coby was asked by track announcer Cal Chandonnet how he felt about his Modified Tour ride.
“That thing is bad fast, you’ll see it later,” Coby told the crowd on hand.
Coby wasn’t kidding around.
The Milford driver was dominant in running away with victory in the CarQuest 150 Friday at Stafford.
Coby took the lead from Bobby Santos III on lap 27 and never trailed again, on the way to putting all but seven cars in the field at least a lap down at the finish.
“There’s just a certain feel that I want to have in the car here in practice,” Coby said. “Not to say that it’s always going to go your way in the race, but it gives me confidence to know that I have a car that’s going to be competitive. And I had that feel right from the first practice. … The thing was pretty hooked.”
Donny Lia of Jericho, N.Y. was second, 1.62 seconds behind at the checkered flag. Ted Christopher of Plainville was third.
It was the second Whelen Modified Tour victory of the season for Coby, the reigning series champion, who had five victories in 2012.
“My guys just showed tonight why the [No. 52] was a championship team last year,” Coby said. “What a great car. Probably the best Tour car you could ever hope for here at this racetrack. It was so freaking good at the end that I was just riding around.
“Tonight’s the real deal with this [No. 52], I’m just along for the ride. I just turn the thing and point it where it wants to go. I’m just so thankful that I get to drive it.”
After five cautions and two red flags over the first 53 laps, the race went caution free from lap 54 to the finish.
Said Lia: “Doug had a great car tonight. I don’t think even with a caution, I don’t know what we could have done with him. … Second we’ll take right now. We’ve had some trouble the last bunch of races. The guys needed a good finish.”
Series points leader Ryan Preece suffered a flat tire while running fourth in the closing laps and was forced to settle for a 16th place finish.
Coby came into the night 45 points behind Preece in third place in the standings. His finish, combined with a 13th place by Pennink, put him in second place in standings, 25 points behind Preece with six events remaining this season.
—- Follow RaceDayCT at Facebook
—- Follow RaceDayCT on Twitter