Doug Coby Clings To Slim Mod Tour Title Hopes At Season Finale After Ryan Preece Issues At Stafford

STAFFORD – The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour trophy was polished up on display and ready for presentation Sunday at Stafford Motor Speedway before the running of the CarQuest Fall Final 150.

The Whelen Modified Tour champion's trophy on display Saturday at Stafford Motor Speedway (Photo: Jason Cunningham/NASCAR)

The Whelen Modified Tour champion’s trophy on display Saturday at Stafford Motor Speedway (Photo: Jason Cunningham/NASCAR)

By the end of the day at the track NASCAR officials were loading the trophy back into the series hauler for a trip to Thompson International Speedway on Oct. 20.

Ryan Preece’s chances of clinching his first Whelen Modified Tour title Sunday at Stafford officially went by the wayside when he pulled off the track with rear end issues with about 14 laps remaining in the CarQuest Fall Final 150 at Stafford.

The issues knocked Preece, of Berlin, out of the race, and relegated him to a 17th place finish. Doug Coby, Preece’s closest contender for the series title and last year’s champion, finished second, keeping slim hopes alive for a consecutive title.

Very slim actually.

“We wanted to come here and put some pressure on them so we’ll go to Thompson and we’re still in this thing,” Coby said.

Preece will take a 26-point lead over Coby into the season finale at Thompson. Points on the Whelen Modified Tour are scored by one point per position plus three bonus points to the race winner, one point for the driver that leads the most laps and one point for any driver that leads a lap.

The Whelen Modified Tour has averaged 27 cars per event in 12 events that were combination races with the Whelen Southern Modified Tour. Twenty-five cars started Sunday at Stafford.

If that number holds true at Thompson it will mean Coby will likely need to win and hope for Preece to finish near last in the race to have a shot to overtake him. A 22nd place or better in the race will guarantee Preece his first series title no matter what Coby does.

In the two earlier events this year at Thompson, 29 cars started the season opener in April and 27 ran the event at the track on Aug. 15.

“There’s not a lot of cars,” Coby said. “If we had a few more cars, that’s probably what’s going to ultimately hurt us at Thompson is just a lack of car count. He’s going to still have to have a huge issue and I’m going to have to have a great day. Anything can happen at the World Series.”

Preece, who finished second to Coby in the standings last year, stood cool and collected postrace Sunday despite the issues in the event.

“Where he’s got to finish and where I’ve got to finish I don’t know,” Preece said. “But we’ve been good there all year so it shouldn’t be a problem. As long as we don’t have any issues like a motor blowing up or something breaking we’ll be alright.

“Pressure is what you make of it. I really don’t feel pressure. I like to have fun. When I’m having fun, there’s no problem. I mean I’m probably going to be doing a lot of running and a lot of exercising over the new few weeks, but it will be alright. If it’s meant to be it’s meant to be. … We’ll go to Thompson and run for the win like we usually do.”

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