Back On Track: Doug Coby Wins Whelen Modified Tour Thriller At New Hampshire Motor Speedway

LOUDON – For the first eight races of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Doug Coby soared on a seeming magic carpet ride of staggering success.

Doug Coby celebrates Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Getty Images for NASCAR)

It was a span that saw Coby win four events and finish in the top-three in seven consecutive races.

Then the reality of racing luck hit for Coby as various issues meant finishes of 17th, 13th and 22nd in the three events leading into Saturday’s F.W. Webb 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Coby came to Loudon looking for a turnaround, what he got was magic carpet being cleared for takeoff once again.

Coby, of Milford, came out the survivor of raucous green-white-checkered finish to win the Whelen Modified Tour F.W. Webb 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Donny Lia of Jericho, N.Y. was second and Ron Silk of Norwalk was third.

It was the first career victory in 19 starts for Coby on the 1.058-mile NHMS oval.

“You guys know Modifieds are the cat’s ass at New Hampshire,” Coby said. “And we won the big race.”

Coby got his first Whelen Modified Tour victory at Stafford Motor Speedway in 2006. He didn’t get his second victory until Sept. 11 of last year at Thompson International Speedway.

This year he had three victories at Stafford and a win at Waterford over the first seven events of the season, but the victory at Loudon was a game-changer for the 33-year old driver.

“I didn’t want to go the whole year only winning at Connecticut tracks,” Coby said. “I’ve only won at Stafford, Thompson and Waterford in my career. To go outside of Connecticut, being a Connecticut boy, and to come to this stage on TV, it’s a really unbelievable feeling.”

Coby’s spate of rough finishes saw a 41-point lead at the top of the standings cut to nine points over Ryan Preece heading into Saturday.

With two events remaining this season, Coby left New Hampshire with a 21-point lead over Preece, who finished 10th Saturday. Silk, the 2011 series champion, is third in the standings, 24 points behind Coby.

“We’re just excited to keep our points lead and we’re excited that the streak of bad finishes didn’t continue,” Coby said. “This might just show everybody that we don’t give up and we can come to the biggest tracks and the smallest tracks and still have a really good car.

“We’ve run 12 races and I’ve won five of them. That’s really really cool. It’s really neat to go, we won at Waterford on a short track, we won at Stafford on a medium track and now we won at Loudon. It’s really awesome to drive this car. It’s not even like we’re perfect all the time, we just make the right changes and stick to our plan and don’t freak out when the car’s not good.”

Coby ran at or near the front for most of the event. He was fourth at the halfway break and went to second behind Lia on the restart after the break.

Coby and Lia swapped the lead three more times before Ted Christopher moved into second ahead of Lia on lap 76. Christopher went by Coby for the lead on lap 77, but Coby regained the top spot on lap 84.

A multi-car wreck on lap 92 set up the race ending green-white-checkered restart. When the field took the white flag, contact between Lia and Christopher in a battle for second sent Christopher hard into the frontstretch wall. The wreck brought out the yellow flag, ending the race and giving Coby the victory.

“I didn’t want to be the leader on a green-white-checkered because I thought I’d get run over. It just so happens that these guys wrecked behind us.

“The white flag came out, I was clear by five [car lengths] then they all wrecked and I was like ‘I don’t see the yellow, I don’t see the yellow.’ That’ s why I kept going. Then the yellow came out and I still kept going anyway to take the checkered flag. Just a great feeling.”

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