LOUDON, N.H. – New Hampshire Motor Speedway has been a place of ultra-consistent success for Doug Coby over the last six seasons with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
Saturday’s result for the Milford driver wasn’t his best ever in Loudon, but his third place finish in the Whelen Modified Tour F.W. Webb 100 could prove to be a championship defining day.
After a lap 57 wreck, Coby rallied back through the field and turned what looked to be shaping up into an awful day into a stellar finish that helped him massively improve his hopes of winning a second series championship.
Coby came into Saturday’s race at the top of standings holding a four-point advantage over Justin Bonsignore. But Bosnignore’s day went bad when motor issues forced him out of the race at the halfway break.
Coby got spun in turn two on lap 57 and ended up in the wall
“I hit the wall and flattened the left front tire and you don’t know what that’s going to do to your car,” Coby said.
Coby’s Mike Smeriglio Racing crew made the necessary repairs and got Coby back on the track with a car ready to return to contention.
By lap 91 Coby was up to fourth.
“I was very aware of the points situation,” Coby said. “The second place car broke at the halfway break and my crew chief told me to play it smart, which is kind of hard to do when you’re here at Loudon and you want to win and you’re going to the front and then you’re closer to the front and then you’re fourth on a green-white-checkered.”
The finish allowed Coby, the 2012 series champion, to open his points lead over Bonsignore to 26 points with events remaining at Stafford Motor Speedway (Sept. 28) and Thompson Speedway (Oct. 19).
“You look back at every championship season since the dawn of time and there’s always a time when there’s always those days when it could go really bad and it ends up working out for you,” Coby said. “This is certainly a place where if you end up in the fence and your car is bent you can have a terrible finish and it’s a bad day. Of course anytime you’re spun out and into the fence at Loudon and then you come back and finish third with a car that could have won if we kind of stayed up front there, of course that’s a championship defining race if in fact we win the championship. If we do win the championship this year look back and say that’s the race that won the championship for the team. If we don’t win the championship this year, look at the next two races and those will be the one’s that lose it for the team.”