But for reigning series champion Doug Coby, title deciding day could be Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
With three races remaining this season, Coby sits third in the standings, 25 points behind leader Ryan Preece. Woody Pitkat sits second, one point behind Preece.
Coby’s mission to chase down the two driver’s in front of him will begin from the best spot on the track Saturday in the Whelen Modified Tour F.W. Webb 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Coby, of Milford, won the pole in qualifying Friday at NHMS.
After Saturday’s event, the series visits Stafford Motor Speedway for the NAPA Fall Final 150 on Oct. 4 before the season finale Sunoco World Series 150 at Thompson.
All three drivers have proved to consistently to be front runners at both Stafford and Thompson, meaning Saturday’s event at Loudon is likely Coby’s best shot at making up ground in his attempt to win a third series championship in four years.
“This is really the race that I think is going to make or break it,” Coby said. “That doesn’t mean that I’m defeated if we come out of here with a gap, but you look at the car count and there’s an opportunity for us to gain a lot of points. We lost a lot of points in July. And if you take away the poor finish here [in July] and [the bad finish at Bristol Motor Speedway], we’ve been a top-two car or a top-three car just about every other race. It just goes to show that you have to finish every race. You can have one bad finish, but you really can’t have two. We need to have a solid run. Certainly come out of here with max points. If we can come out of here and lead the most laps somehow and win and get 48 points, that’s the best we can do and that’s all you can hope for. If we were to ever do that it would be our fifth win of the season and that’s a huge thing. That’s what I care about more now is trying to win the last three races.”
Pitkat, of Stafford, will start third Saturday. Preece starts 17th.
“I know we’re going to need some help in terms of the finishes that Ryan and Woody get,” Coby said. “Certainly Woody has been in the top-five or top-three in just about every race this year. Things can happen. It’s Loudon. You can have engine problems, you can get caught up in somebody else’s issue or you can become the issue. You just never know. That’s what we’re banking on with our team. We’ve got three races left and I’d love to win all three and that’s what we’re trying to do and whatever happens with points happens. It’s a little bit out of our control but the thing we can control is how good we do here and the last two shows.”
Coby toured the 1.058-mile oval in 29.130 seconds (130.752 mph). Bobby Santos III of Franklin, Mass. was second fastest with a lap of 29.249 seconds (130.220 mph).
Pitkat had a lap of 29.256 seconds (130.189 mph).
“I was a little bit nervous,” Coby said. “We were going out ninth, which typically here you want to go out later in the draw. I guess maybe we’re qualifying a little bit later here today so maybe that had a little bit of an effect later in the qualifying order. I just drove the car for all I could and knew that we would hopefully have a top six or seven car. It felt really good on the first lap and that was our fastest lap and I actually thought I went faster on our second lap and I went slower. You just never know when you’re out there what you have and you just have to drive it as hard as you can and roll it into the corner and get back into the throttle as hard as you can and see what your lap time is. You really just don’t know. Sometimes you go out there and you think you have the fastest lap ever and you’re like 15th. And sometimes you think you’re not that great and you end up in the top-three.
“We had a great car. This car hasn’t been shaken down anywhere or tested. It just rolled out for practice today and was fast. That’s just a testament to [crew chief] Phil Moran and all the work that he puts into making the cars right.”
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour – F.W. Webb 100 Lineup
Race Saturday; Qualifying Friday
at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Lap Length: 1.058 miles
1. (2) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 130.752
2. (44) Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass., Chevrolet, 130.220
3. (38) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Chevrolet, 130.189
4. (8) Donny Lia, Jericho, N.Y., Chevrolet, 130.033
5. (16) Timmy Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Ford, 129.962
6. (51) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 129.630
7. (7) Ryan Newman, South Bend, Ind., Chevrolet, 129.450
8. (64) Anthony Nocella, Woburn, Mass., Chevrolet, 129.375
9. (70) Andy Seuss, Hampstead, N.H., Chevrolet, 129.371
10. (9) Chase Dowling, Roxbury, Conn., Chevrolet, 129.296
11. (58) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 129.195
12. (07) Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, N.Y., Chevrolet, 129.191
13. (4) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Dodge, 129.160
14. (89) Matt Swanson, Acton, Mass., Chevrolet, 128.981
15. (22) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 128.954
16. (15) Ron Silk, Norwalk, Conn., Chevrolet, 128.702
17. (6) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Chevrolet, 128.606
18. (14) Max Zachem, Preston, Conn., Chevrolet, 128.506
19. (13) James Civali, Meriden, Conn., Chevrolet, 128.079
20. (93) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 127.542
21. (75) Shawn Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Chevrolet, 126.973
22. (3) Troy Talman, Oxford, Mass., Chevrolet, 126.964
23. (46) Jeff Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 126.871
24. (56) Craig Lutz, Miller Place, N.Y., Chevrolet, 126.863
25. (36) Dave Sapienza, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 126.833
26. (83) Tom Rogers, Jr., Patchogue, N.Y., Chevrolet, 126.774
27. (37) Dave Salzarulo, Enfield, Conn., Chevrolet, 125.944
28. (99) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 124.973
29. (18) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 124.973
30. (19) Brandon Oltra, Alden, Pa., Chevrolet, 124.662
31. (82) Danny Watts, Jr., Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 124.515
32. (33) Wade Cole, Hartland, Conn., Chevrolet, 124.381
33. (26) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Chevrolet, 121.882
34. (01) Melissa Fifield, Wakefield, N.H., Chevrolet, 118.551