First Responder: Doug Coby Scores Fourth Career Whelen Mod Tour Win At NHMS

Doug Coby celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour New England 100 Saturday at New Hampshire Moor Speedway. (Photo: Sarah Crabill/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Doug Coby celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour New England 100 Saturday at New Hampshire Moor Speedway. (Photo: Sarah Crabill/Getty Images for NASCAR)

LOUDON, N.H. – During his champion’s speech at the 2015 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour awards banquet, Doug Coby talked about having the importance of response.

“I actually said it in my championship awards speech last year that we can’t necessarily control what happens to us, but we can control how we respond,” Coby said

Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Coby, of Milford, proved the perfect student of his own lesson.

Coby rallied from a mid-race mistake that dropped him back in the field and then held off Donny Lia by a bumper in a thriller at the checkered to win the Whelen Modified Tour New England 100 Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

It was the second consecutive victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for Coby, the three-time series champion, who won last year’s September event at the track. It also marked his fourth victory at the track in the last eight events in Loudon.

“You just can’t describe it,” said Coby, who led 55 of 100 laps. “It’s something that you work for. If you’re a New England Modified racer this is what you work for your whole career, is to race and win at Loudon. I have four wins here now which is crazy.”

Lia, of Jericho, N.Y., was second by .036 of a second. Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park, N.Y. was third.

“We had a car that could definitely win the race, so it’s a little disappointing,” Lia said. “When it’s all said and done, me and all these guys will think back and there’s 20 different things that we think we could have done different to win the race, especially when you lose by a bumper. But hat’s off to Doug and his guys. They’re on a tear and we’re trying to figure it out and get up to them.”

Coby used last year’s September victory in Loudon as the springboard to a three-race winning streak to the close the season and clinch his second consecutive series title. He also won a series championship in 2012. Though last year’s September victory at Loudon came laced with controversy as contact from Coby moved Ryan Preece out of the lead on the final lap of the race.

“Every win on this series is special but everyone here knows that a win here, you can’t beat it with Modifieds,” Coby said. “To have four wins at this track I’m astounded by that. A little bit of redemption for last year. I know I had a lot of boos out there in the stands [last year]. I just wanted to show everybody that I try my hardest out here. No matter what happens I just give it my all. And I had to give it my all. … I really had to work my ass to get back to the front. I hope everybody enjoyed it.”

Coby spent the first half of Saturday’s race swapping the lead back and forth with Preece before the mid-race halfway break caution.

Coby restarted the event in the lead with Preece second. He made the mistake of restarting on the inside line and paid for it. Preece went to the lead on the lap 57 restart after the halfway break and Coby got shuffled back on the inside lane.

The free fall ended with Coby settling in at eighth place by lap 61.

“So many things happened in this race,” Coby said. “Just thinking about it, its just about being prepared with the car and then being prepared for whatever situation unfolds out on the racetrack. Certainly we had the best car here, but when you go back to the seventh or eighth on the restart it’s just a matter of ‘How do you respond?’

“My choice was to just settle in and see how the car was going to react and pick them off one at a time. I tried a couple things that didn’t work. I’ve always said that racing here in a pack of cars is knowing more about what doesn’t work than what does work. I tried a couple things and didn’t get anybody to help me.”

By lap 79 Coby had meandered his way back to third place by Emerling. A lap later he got by Preece and began closing on Lia in the lead.

On lap 81 Coby got under Lia in turn three to reassume the lead and complete the rally back. But Lia wasn’t going away.

The pair swapped the lead again on laps 82, 83 and 88. On lap 96 Coby went to the lead and began a defense of the top spot that would hold.

As Coby and Lia took the white flag they came upon a group of three lapped cars fanned out awkwardly heading into turn one. With the lapped car of Andrew Krause seemingly in the racing lane going into the corner, but Coby and Lia had to take a high entrance into the corner, giving Coby the advantage of off turn two.

Lia couldn’t find a way to get fully under Coby for a diving move into turn three on the final lap. Lia did get a run off of turn four to get to Coby’s side on the frontstretch, with the two crossing the start/finish line at the checkered side-by-side.

“I know Donny closed in and [Krause] I think was on the bottom going into [turn] one and I just wanted to not overdrive the corner,” Coby said. “My car was way better on the bottom. … If I kept it on the apron off the bottom of the corner it didn’t seem like they could get me up off the corner, I could maintain whatever lead I had. Whatever happened on the last lap, I don’t remember. Turns three and four I was just staring in my mirror looking at where [Lia] was.”

Said Lia: “It worked out well for him. It just worked. The timing worked out perfectly for him. He didn’t plan it that way. We got our car tight but we didn’t get it tight enough and I slid up the racetrack and we loosened up there at the end a little bit. I slid up the racetrack and he was able to get the lead back. Right about when he got the lead back all them lapped cars were there. It worked out for him. That’s just the way it goes. It was still an excellent race.”

Coby kept hold of his points lead. Max Zachem, who came into the event second in the standings, fell to fifth after finishing 32nd of 33 cars. Lia moved to second in the standings, 32 points behind Coby. Justin Bonsignore is third, 38 points off the lead.

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Comments

  1. Good race folks.

    The 2, 6, and 8 were the leaders. The 2 and 6 battled the first half, and the 2 and 8 battled in the second half. Good, clean racing. Respectable. They could have taken each other out many times.

    The pack had good racing.

    No cautions, just the stupid Competition caution.

    Pretty good Modified event.

  2. Analyst says:

    And sadly no Ted Christopher in the field…

  3. This should be live. The xfinity series is a joke and everyone else must think so by the look of the empty seats

  4. I agree, good race. 2 car lead pack all day. Good racing third thru tenth, especially late in the race. Lapped traffic still an issue. Really slowed Lia up on final lap.

    On to Monadnock on Saturday. Let’s hope it’s ABC, Anyone But Coby.

  5. Yeah, after the intermission and adjustments, the pack tightened up. A great testament to the clean racing. It was tight, close racing and there were no yellow flag worthy incidents.

    The 01 is now running an LFR chassis, and no miracle is happening. The 01 is as slow as ever, even with that whiz-bang LFR chassis. It pulled out due to “handling”. How can such a consistently slow car even have handling issues? 🤔

  6. The 01 was black flagged two or maybe three times saturday,but I think it was 17 or 18 laps before she went down a lap.Thats progress!

  7. Those wiz-bang chassis won two this weekend,not a bad percentage with only about a sixth of the field and that’s counting the 01for 1 race

  8. Art, I didn’t count but I don’t think she made it that far without being lapped. The 01 went down 1 lap every 7.69 laps run on average. This race showed how out to lunch they are with no cautions for catching up. What is the point? Handling issues-every race, best of everything for equipment. Daddy must need one hell of a tax write off.

  9. Steve,I don’t understand it either.Tax write offs are great but what about embarrassing your daughter on a regular basis.I also am trying to see the point.Its not handling,she doesn’t come anywhere near the edge.Nascar finally has her on a short leash.Where she hangs out slowly on the apron is where these guys pass and race.Its called a race not a Sunday drive.

  10. Art, she runs at her edge. Her edge is nowhere near the edge that the equipment can run. If that is the same car we’ve seen Silk and Szegedy run in, that car can be pretty good, much better than it is doing now. She just can’t get it there.

    But hey, she’s the 2-time NWMT Most Popular Driver.

    But back on topic… this race was pretty good. And mostly because of the lack of cautions. I have a feeling that NASCAR made it clear that stupid was not going to be tolerated. There was no stupid and no resulting cautions. As expected, a few cars broke away. SPEC motor racing is very different. Must be able to turn better and have a car that can turn on command. The dive bomb move used to be pretty exciting with built motors, now it really does not exist. The dive bomb used to be when a car pulled out from the draft, shot ahead, and then dove under the car that was in front. Now the dive bomb is merely a car staying in it and driving in deeper. There is no more draft and then pulling out and shooting ahead of the lead car. Some aspects of Modified racing that made it exciting are no more because of the SPEC engine. The bump draft used to be the big deal at Loudon and that hardly happens now. The trailing cars rarely/barely get on the bumper of the lead car anymore.

  11. Crazy in NY says:

    Where she hangs out slowly on the apron is where these guys pass and race.Its called a race not a Sunday drive.

    YUP,, and rue the day she takes out a leader and/or causes someone a shot at the title.
    See how popular she’ll be then. If that happens these pages, the Twitter/ Fb will light up like a A bomb mushroom cloud. I’ve got nothing personal against her or her family.
    They bring a car for every race and that’s worth something to be sure but yes she is an
    embarrassment. Diversity is the watch word today and NASCAR desperately needs to have
    that to shake the old white redneck label they had for years. If she were male I’m of the belief
    she (he) would be on the sidelines by now. The Tour can survive her I hope.

  12. Andy Boright says:

    That’s my worry, Fifield is so slow that at some track a very serious accident is going to happen because of her lack of competitiveness.

    Where is Matt Noles to defend her?

  13. It’s not so much the slowness, but that these cars lose it and spin or drift up, even with the low speeds. The 18 and 26 have this perfected. They spin on their own and nerf others cars way to often. At a Stafford race, the 26 caused 3 or 4 yellows all by itself. There are a few others, it’s obvious.

    Loudon was good. Now let’s move on to Monadnock, the antithesis of Loudon. A bullring with banking. Should be fun. See you there!!!

  14. Andy Boright says:

    I think the slowness is an issue because of the closing rate of the rest of the pack. There is going to be a time when a pack of cars racing each other come up on her so quick someone won’t be able to avoid her.

    If she was smart and cared about the safety of the other drivers, she wouldn’t go to Monadnock. Her getting lapped every 10 laps won’t cut it there, there is no room for cars that slow.

  15. Funny how we have to bash LFR in every article. This company had what, 4 cars in the field? Won every practice, the all star race, and to cap it off finished 1-2 in the main. Wow get over it. They are better. Man you guys are amazing. Why is this page so negative? What happened to a congrats guys? If LFR was your family or friends company this would be the best news ever. Instead you slam a company for doing what everyone said couldn’t be done. They are killing it in my eyes and many others from what I am hearing. Unreal the negativity and jealousy.

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