Need For Speed: Doug Coby Soured By Issues Of Slowed Racers In Whelen Mod Tour Spring Sizzler At Stafford

Doug Coby (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Doug Coby (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

STAFFORD – Doug Coby just wanted a clean shot to look for a move by Bobby Santos III at the front of the field on the final lap of Sunday’s NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Spring Sizzler 200 at Stafford Motor Speedway.

What he got instead was a very up close view of the rear panel on the car of series rookie T.J. Zacharias, followed by a front-row seat to watch Santos take the checkered as the race winner.

In Coby’s opinion, a closing laps battle for victory between two virtually even cars on the track shouldn’t be spoiled by a driver who has been consistently getting lapped by the leaders over and over again for the duration of an event.

Sunday, any thoughts Coby had of looking for a lane around Santos through the final corner and giving fans a view of a possible drag race finish to the checkered disappeared when Santos used the lapped car of Zacharias as a pick coming to the checkered flag.

Coby’s frustrations stemmed from the fact that it wasn’t a car fighting to stay on the lead lap that spoiled possible drama, but rather a car that had been in the way of many throughout the day.

Zacharias was eight laps down from the leaders when they rolled up on him on the final lap.

Coby pointed to Zacharias and another series rookie – Melissa Fifield – as ongoing issue makers throughout the event. Fifield was far off the pace of most of the competition through practice and qualifying Saturday and was getting lapped by the field for the first time about 13 laps into Sunday’s race. She finished the race 18 laps down from the competition and was penalized at one point during the event for not maintaining a reasonable speed.

Coby said that he would like to see NASCAR police the consistently off the pace competitors more efficiently during events.

“[Lapped cars are] a part of racing to a certain extent,” Coby said. “There’s a couple cars out there that are just way too many laps down way too quick once we get going. There’s 15 cars out there clawing for every spot we can get and every inch. You’re literally talking I would be half a tenth [of a second] quicker than [Santos] and then he’d be a little more than me, then I’m a half a tenth quicker. You’re talking gaining inches every lap.

“The lapped cars are fine, I’ve been a lapped car plenty of times and I’ll be a lapped car again. That’s part of racing. I know people are learning, that’s how it goes. But really, when it’s two to go and there’s a gap between the first two cars putting on a show, or trying to put on a show, they need to be down pit road as far as I’m concerned, not even on the racetrack. They’re not racing with anybody, it’s not going to hurt them at all and it just kind of robs the fans of a finish.”

Coby let his emotions pour out immediately following the race, saying over the track public address system that he was “freaking pissed off” by the issues in an event that saw nine cautions for 45 laps. Four of the nine cautions periods came over the final 48 laps.

“There were way too many cautions for as few cars as we had on the racetrack,” Coby said. “I don’t get it. Torn up cars, too many cautions and not enough green flag laps for the fans at the end.”

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  1. His spotter should have told him about the lap cars

  2. Stop counting yellow laps.

  3. Maybe his frustration was a little over the top. But the 01 did NOT belong on that track today. That wasn’t the only car but it was definitely the slowest car. Couldn’t cut it on the Valenti tour can’t cut it on the mod tour . If they weren’t so desperate for field fillers I think she would have been parked.

  4. mikey waltrip says

    so much wrong here with coby..arrogant as usual.. first there weren`t NOT that many cars .. your in NASCAR`S premier modified division. .stop wining. Its opening day and conditions are not optimal weather wise.what did you expect. did you watch the race on tv last night? the last couple laps??.start acting like a for the lapped cars take it up with NASCAR. face it ya got beat by a better car and a better driver today. get over yourself .lapped or slower cars are trying to “get all the points they can”. how many times has a former champion said and your new team are not meeting expectations ??? shut up already !!!

  5. Car Counter says

    When only 27 cars enter and compete for 33 starting spots slower cars are not eliminated during qualifying…

  6. Maybe people that weren’t at the race do not realize that the 01 car was literally as slow as an SK light on her BEST laps. Often times up to 4 seconds a lap slower than the leaders with no damage to her car at all. She has no business being out there and will eventually be the center of a major issue due to being in the way.

    The 71 was the cause of or involved in at least 4-5 cautions, if not more, and was also in the way a good part of the day although no where near as bad as the 01. Bottom line is that NASCAR has to do something before someone gets hurt.

  7. sam-missle says

    Doug, At the next race, why not go an hour early with your crew and help the lapped car with driving insructions, and chassis help. I am sure you could make a differance in thier speed.

  8. It is every teams job to do the best they can, when shooting for the win, or for 25th. Last lap? if down a dozen laps? try not by a detriment the other racers chances either.
    I think Santos would have won regardless, but a lapped car could have gotten out of the way to allow Coby a chance to make a move.

  9. Go Bobby Go! says

    Here is my take regarding rookies on the tour: Just for the sake of safety, and to just get a “grip” as to what these cars are really doing on the track, (power, speed, close racing, contact with another, etc.), I would really like to see the future tour competitors realize that perhaps starting in a lower division might be a good idea. Tommy Barrett Jr is a perfect example. He drove a great race Sunday. He spent time in the SK mods before joining the tour, and is now ready for the high powered machines. I don’t understand a driver wishing to run a tour mod and stepping right into competition. The SK lights is a great division to start out in, if open wheels is the direction a team, or driver wishes to aim for. The 01 was lapped approx every 5 laps. In my opinion, she is not quite ready for this division, yet. I don’t know her, and I am not trying to single her out, but there needs to be a minimal speed that has to be maintained by all cars. After the race, I was near her trailer, and observed fans, or family, hugging, laughing, and all excited about her performance in the race. (huh?)I do understand it is a fine line by Nascar on whether to black flag a driver for this reason, as we all can see there may never be a “full field” of tour cars again. Nascar doesn’t want to lose any competitors.
    As far as the race, I went to the Sizzler expecting to see 150 laps of follow the leader, waiting for the last 50, so there might be some racing to the finish. I must say, I was pleasantly supprised with great racing throughout the event.
    Congrats Bobby. Great job Doug. Nice run Woody (yours is coming). TC salvaged a good finish, after a quiet first half of the race. Donny Lia is a dangerous driver to be around!
    That’s all !

  10. In the words of TC, too many 18.5 second drivers in 18 second cars. I knew this was going to be an issue when I saw the entry list. NASCAR needs to use the black flag more in these situations.

  11. Looks like Santos used the back marker to his defense more so then the back marker just getting in the way….Maybe Coby should have been more of an aggressive driver with the back of Santos car during the last lap as Bobby did to him with 10 laps to go…
    Stop whineing and go out there in race….

  12. Just an FYI on how bad the 01 is. Her qualifying lap was a 20.6, I’ve clocked Bob Potter in the 2 seat sk light modified at 20.3

  13. Mod Race Fan says

    Mike that is amazing info.! hahahaa

  14. Here is a Suggestion Doug Stop Whineing you were a rookie and i dont care if your leading or 100 laps down no one likes being passed and if your a true racer your trying not get passed and your not thinking about anything else Step up your game qualify better set the car up better and instead of crying like a lil bitch get ready for the next race WEH WEH WEH

  15. Rookies n lap cars are part of the game but when its the last corners of the last lap and the 2 leaderrs are comin.g and ur 8 l\s down u should get out of the way was hoping to see coby get the left front in the dirt like santos did earlier oh well in sure tj learned from that still better then last years

  16. Im all for going out there and giving it they’re all, but that 01 car just does not belong on the Whelan tour. that car is a controversial wreck just waiting to happen.

    As for the race I like both bobby and doug they are both good drivers but the push up that bobby pulled on the doug is the same move doug is mad he was not able to try so why the crying? He wanted and would have done the same exact thing to win the race. cars get pushed up all the time, is it right? heck im not out there but that’s the way it always goes so what makes yesterday any different?

  17. Where and when was/will be Sizzler be in TV. There was nothing listed in my local CT paper.

  18. Gil,
    There are no plans for any broadcast of the Spring Sizzler on TV.

  19. Gil.

    NASCAR will only show four WMT races on TV. They will be tape delayed a week. No live events. Here is the four races.

    July 18 – New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Fox Sports 1 – 12:00 PM
    August 31 – Bristol Motor Speedway – Fox Sports 1 – 12:00 PM
    September 27 – New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Fox Sports 1 – 10:00 AM
    November 1 – Thompson Speedway – Fox Sports 1 – 10:00 AM

  20. “mikey waltrip” above mentioned it being on tv. Just wondering where all of his comes from.

  21. Paul, Thanks. I have your great list saved. I still wonder what that other guy was talking about as I seem to remember someone telling me that a MA station broadcasts races from Stafford.

  22. electrician says

    hope Dougs new team knew they were getting a little school girl as a driver maybe doug can try out for the new american f1 team he’s (she’s) that good

  23. The lap car was okay with Doug when he won at Daytona,. It was the only way he was going to win!! How soon they forget!!

  24. I do understand Doug’s frustration to be that close and a lap car be the pick. I crewed the #71 for TJ this week. First off, TJ spun twice bringing out the yellow, we had an extremely loose race car in the beginning, and oil was put down from the 48 with a loose oil line. The third caution he was “involved” in was when the 3 was driven into the fence, TJ stopped behind two other cars, so he didn’t drive through the grass. TJ would slow to the inside when being over taken by the leaders, that would account for several subpar laps. As for the last lap, that was entirely my fault, I did not want us to be the pick car, but Bobby and Doug gained in 3 and 4 faster than I expected. I kept TJ as low as I could without him driving down pit road as Doug suggested. Even then he would have been the pick down the backstretch.

  25. It’s not like the 01 hasn’t raced a tour mod before. I believe she did a full season in the MRS. But probably failed to qualify for some. My guess, one reason she wanted to move to the mod tour was so she would qualify for every race because if this was a couple years ago when you were getting full fields of cars she would never qualify for any of them.

  26. So, the only think i could suggest is that once a car is shown to not be able to gain any ground in the finishing order, black flag them and send them to the infield- assuming a track has that capability (again, talking infield, not pits),

    Now, that sounds simpler than it is, but still manageable, if you wanted it to be.

    However, plenty of scenarios still left that it does not address…

    You’d have to allow cars 2 laps down coming to the white flag STILL are allowed to race – got to keep the green-white checkered scenario in play.

    Now as for cars say 3 or more laps down in that scenario battling for finishing order? You can either let them race for it or send them off the track, with their finishing order locked in as of sending them off, letting those remaining for a chance at the WIN left on the track.

    Not saying i endorse that idea, but it has come up in bench racing conversations before. Downside is it can mess with the concept of trying to score as many points as possible in a race. Two cars 3 laps down fighting for 20th and 21st points? And you park them with 2 to go? Who’s to say it’s not Coby and Preece neck and neck after mechanical/accident issues at the track that day? The one spot could end up deciding the Championship…


    …you can leave it as is and just accept that ,lapped cars – yes cars several laps down -are part of the show until then end. If Coby had gotten around Santos earlier and roles were reversed? Doug would have used the lapped car as a pick as well.

  27. If the above post is from Spotter Jason I’m now TJ’s biggest fan. I think he headed back down south after the race with Hirschmans brother to Charlotte though.

  28. Hate to agree, but Doug is correct, better yet let me get into real trouble right now. IF THE 01 WAS A MALE COMPETITOR WHAT WOULD HAPPEN. THEE DRIVER of the 01 is just not ready for the series

  29. old obsever says

    Note, I’m not a backer of the 01, but she slows down & gets out of the way of the whole field when she is being Lapped. Maybe some of the other cars should do the same thing. One time there was a damaged car that was way off the pace & she slowed to follow him instead of getting in the way. She wouldn’t be so many lap’s down if she raced above her her capabilities like some of the other back markers.

  30. Crazy in NY says

    A whole lot of whining and crying going on here. Now the NAS-Brats don’t want the
    slow cars out there in their way. Hey Dougie lapped traffic is part of racing, you
    know that. As Joe I smartly pointed out at Daytona a slow car messed up the leader
    and you were the beneficiary. Some days your the dog some days your the bone.
    But…. she was way off the pace and if the Tour wasn’t sucking wind she and the
    Torch would be on the trailer as DNQ’s. It’s a new reality now.

  31. How many of you actually read the article? It referenced one incident of slow cars, the last lap. Many of you talk about the 01 but she is not the one Doug is complaining about. My guess is if the leaders did not come up on the 71 on the last lap this wouldn’t even be a topic.
    I read isolated incident, blown out of proportion by someone trying to gain notoriety as real news. Lets talk about the lack of a full field, or the number of times Santos as won this race, or how well Stafford did to get the show in during a miserable dreary weekend.

  32. Because_racecar says

    The 01 raced in the VMRS tour last year as well. She didn’t qualify for many races and the races she did qualify for it was because of a provisional and she ended up getting black flagged anyways. Who knows why she moved up to the Whelen tour this year..

  33. darealgoodfella says

    Coby should have been told by his spotter that a slow car was ahead so Coby could pass Santos before the slow car and use the slow car as a pick on Santos. Do unto others before they do it to you. If Coby couldn’t get it done, too bad. Slow cars are a strategic and tactical concern, and the competitive cars need to realize that they just can’t wait to pull a move, but need to take a position at every opportunity. There could be frequent slow cars to deal with. Perhaps the battle for the lead will take place a few laps early, just to get the lead and then hold on to it through traffic.

  34. Because_racecar says: “Who knows why she moved up to the Whelen tour this year..” If you have been paying attention to things I believe she said she is moving to WMT because the TV exposure will make it easier to get sponsors. Or something like that.

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