Closing Roll: Doug Coby Wins Whelen Modified Tour Fall Final 150 At Stafford Speedway

Doug Coby celebrates victory at the Whelen Modified Tour NAPA Fall Final 150 Sunday at Stafford Motor Speedway (Photo: Tim Bradbury/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Doug Coby celebrates victory at the Whelen Modified Tour NAPA Fall Final 150 Sunday at Stafford Motor Speedway (Photo: Tim Bradbury/Getty Images for NASCAR)

STAFFORD – Staring down a 25-point deficit between himself and the points leader with three events remaining in the 2015 season, reigning Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby said near perfection was what his team needed to claw back into title contention.

Two races later, that perfection is rolling right into the Whelen Modified Tour season ending Sunoco World Series 150 at Thompson Speedway.

After winning the pole and the race at the F.W. Webb 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last week, Coby completed his second consecutive weekend sweep Sunday.

Coby backed up his pole winning effort Saturday by scoring victory in the NAPA Fall Final 150 Sunday at Stafford Motor Speedway.

“You can’t ask for much more,” Coby said “It’s what you have to do. I’m trying to win a championship. I’m trying to go out there and give my best effort. My guys did. … I don’t think anybody was happy with the cars, but I was happy enough at the end.”

It was the sixth victory in 14 events this year for Coby, of Milford, and allowed him to jump from third in the standings into a tie for the division lead heading to Thompson.

“Strap in,” Coby said about the final event of the year. “It’s pretty neat. It’s good for the fans, it’s good for our series.”

Ryan Preece of Berlin finished second Sunday and goes to Thompson tied with Coby in the standings lead. Woody Pitkat of Stafford, who came into Sunday’s event at the top of the standings – leading Preece by eight points and Coby by 11 – was involved in a wreck late and finished 12th.

In addition to winning last year’s title, Coby was also the series champion in 2012. Preece won his only series title in 2013. Pitkat is looking for his first series title.

“This is going on four years of us slugging it out and the previous three years it was, ‘Ok, I want to get as many points as I can, I want to get as many spots as I can.’ But this year, with Woody in the mix, it’s literally every position on the racetrack is like gold. You have to drive that way or else you’re going to come up a spot short at the end of the year.”

With six wins this year Coby holds the tiebreaker going to the final event. Preece has four wins and Pitkat one victory.

Preece rallied from a lap 101 crash the left him with a flat right front tire and damage to the right side of his car.

“It’s day like these that save your butt when you have a bad day,” Preece said. “Just really happy, really proud of those guys when they changed that tire and got the NERF bar off the right front. I definitely had someone watching over me today.”

Preece led much of the early going with Coby sticking to his bumper.

“I wasn’t about to force the issue that early,” Coby said. “Once he led like 50 or 60 laps I said to myself that it was kind of crazy to slam it in there next to him and maybe risk wrecking us both. I kind of just settled in and wanted to keep the pressure on him.”

Preece beat Coby out of the pits when most of the leaders went in on lap 96 under caution, but Coby made a jump to second on the ensuing restart, with Preece falling back to fourth. Coby took the lead from Donny Lia on lap 108 and never trailed again.

On a lap 137 restart, Timmy Solomito got sideways coming the green flag and Pitkat got under him for second place, but the two made contact on the backstretch, with Pitkat bearing the worst of the wreck. Solomito, of Islip, N.Y., ended up third.

It was Pitkat’s first finish outside the top-10 all season. He said Solomito hooked him down the backstretch.

“I just think it was car control at that point,” Pitkat said. “He’s got his side of the story, I’ve got my side of the story.

“A lot of people gave me respect. A lot of the veterans that have been here know that it’s a big deal about running for a championship. They know, they’ve been there before and know what it is and they gave me the respect and I appreciate that. Unfortunately he, I don’t know, I guess he just wanted – I know he had a good car too and he’s doing the best he can – it’s unfortunate there.”

Solomito was apologetic about the incident.

“Doug was kind of creeping on the restarts,” Solomito said. “He was going a little bit before the go zone, where he was kind of rolling to it. That’s what caught me off guard. I saw him fire and I jumped on it and I got sideways and that’s what kind of killed us. Unfortunately Woody had gotten underneath us and we just ran out of racing room down the backs straightaway. I was on his outside, I was up against the concrete and I couldn’t go any higher. I hate to see that for him. I’m trying to race all these championship contenders with as much respect as possible. We just ran out racing room. What are you going to do?”


  1. So add Solomito to the list of drivers that need to get on the Marvalous, Magnificent, Gift from God that is Woody Pitkat.. Give me a break!

  2. “I said to myself that it was kind of crazy to slam it in there next to him and maybe risk wrecking us both.” Perhaps he might have “tapped it in there”….

  3. Mod Tour Fan says

    Paul D, If you want to post rude comments at least learn how to spell the words you are using. I too was surprised by the actions of the 16, I have met Timmy and he seems like a really nice guy, just don’t know what he was thinking with that move. He claims he ran out of room, I did not see him bouncing off the wall which he would have if he ran out of room. What about the #22 team of Chris Our, TC was also wrecked, that makes two weeks in a row they got wrecked due to someone else making a mistake.

  4. Mark Fisher says

    Congradulation to Doug Coby winning the Fall Final and many thanks to MSIII for your generosity giving away Free tee shirts to all children that attended the pit party yesterday .

  5. And how many wrecks has TC caused that collected innocent racers.

  6. 3Case – that’s why Ryan is getting a Cup tryout and Coby isn’t … right there.

  7. Well mod tour fan… You should check the right front rim and tire of the 16… I’m sure Sly could use some help picking the concrete out of the rim…

  8. Preece is getting his “Cup tryout” not only on his talent, but substantial financial backing. Coby just needs a sugar Daddy for his cuo debut!

  9. Preece is getting his “Cup tryout” not only on his talent, but substantial financial backing. Coby just needs a sugar Daddy for his cup debut!

  10. Carburetor

  11. “I wasn’t about to force the issue that early,” Coby said. “Once he led like 50 or 60 laps I said to myself that it was kind of crazy to slam it in there next to him and maybe risk wrecking us both. I kind of just settled in and wanted to keep the pressure on him.”

    Can’t make this stuff up. Don’t want to slam it in there… AGAIN. Impressed, he learned from Loudon.

  12. It all comes back to bad restarts all day from woody,a good start he would not have been in that position

  13. Does anyone know when it will be on NBCsn

  14. Mod Tour Fan says

    Well Really??… I would be happy to help Sly with a bit of advice, DO YOUR JOB, and let your driver do his job. Give him a car he can drive to the front and let him drive his own race, don’t turn “The Natural” into a “Natural Disaster”.

  15. Elect,
    Friday Oct 9 at 2:30 pm.

  16. Thanks Shawn

  17. Racedayct Fan says

    The 16 car was by far the class of the field. Best car hands down. Timmy just needs a little more seat time at Stafford to be able to run with Preece and Coby. Stafford is a unique track with 2 totally different corner entries. He did wreck Woody, probably by just being excited to have such a good car and mixing it up at the front of the field. I have no affiliation with any of the teams nor am I a fan of either of the three. Just a racing fan that saw the race for what it was.

  18. Timmy did not wreck Woody. The 16 was on the outside and Woody kept moving up.

  19. Ron Johnson says

    Come on really? The 16 car was the class of the field? Then how come the 2,6, and 88 would jump out to a 10-12 car length lead and more on the restarts if his car was the class of the field? And yes the 16 did turn the 88. The 88 never hit the backstretch wall when the 16 got into him so he was plenty low enough giving him room and if the 88 did come up he would of been into the wall as well as the 16. There will never be enough evidence on who to blame when they replay the race on TV unless they have a straight on angle off of turn two or from turn three but its pretty unfortunate that a title contender and leader had to get torn up like that. The 16 was pretty loose on exit of corners all day and had a bad restart when that altercation happened on the backstretch so I’am guessing he got loose off of turn 2 and got into the 88.

  20. Grey Matter says

    It is clear to me that no one, well maybe some of you, know how much cash it takes to even be put in a cup car. You don’t just get a phone call from a car owner asking you to come down and run their car for free. There are more talented racers out there then Preece but they can’t front the cash to jump in the ride. Payroll alone for the crew and hauler driver is right around 80K for one race, tires are somewhere around 20k or more per race weekend.. You think that a car owner is flipping the bill for all that? Preece is effectively leasing his ride. Nothing is being given to him but the opportunity.

  21. Grey Matter,

    No one said that the owner was footing the bill – but let me ask this, do you really believe that ANYONE with the cash to buy that ride could get in it? Give me a break. The only ones that even get the opportunity to buy the ride are those that they believe MIGHT have a chance to become successful. An idiot behind the wheel has the potential to cost a lot more than 80 grand if they screw up badly. I stand behind what I said. Don’t forget, “luck” is typically the coming together of hard work and opportunity.

    And please, don’t for a minute think that you have more knowledge than everyone here that reads. I’ve probably been around racing longer that you have and know more folks that have been at the top levels of our sport. Don’t assume you’re the only one that has a clue.

  22. Grey Matter says

    RichC- I never mentioned the fact “ANYONE” can drive a cup car and that was not the statement I was making. The statement was that just because you can drive doesn’t mean you’re gonna end up in a cup car. It just doesn’t happen. It takes talent and a big wallet and an invite unless you just buy your own team. The combination of talent and bankroll is rare in the New England short track community because local racing is predominantly a blue collar sport. Most guys work all week to race on the weekends.

    Again, your play on words using “everyone” is not something I used in my own comment regarding folks having a clue, I corrected my wording to say that some do. If you care for me to rewrite my statement again, I can do that for you. The average John Q. Public doesn’t know and perhaps doesn’t care to know. I also know people that have been on the racing scene for a number of years and still don’t know the facts. Perhaps you should share your almighty knowledge to all of the simpletons here on Raceday…

  23. Well Ron, the accident happened almost to three and I guess you didn’t watch the video…The 16 was on the outside and if he was sooo loose off two, how was he on the outside of the 88. The 88 tried squeezing him up against the wall until the 16 lifted. The 16 was fast all day and ran with them. What are you suppose to do roll over for the 2,6 and 88. There are 24 more cars out there racing as well….

  24. Just my thoughts... says

    16 Fan, You forget to add that when the 16 lifted he turned left and hooked the 88, that is what I have a problem with. The 16 was loose all day in turns one and two, a few times I thought he was going to go around, but he had a couple nice saves. I don’t think anyone expected the field to “roll over” for the 2,6,or 88, but a little respect would have gone a long way. I was surprised by the actions of the 16 as were many in the stands, many were just shaking there heads. You appear to be a loyal 16 Fan which is fine, but don’t try to say there was nothing the 16 could have done to prevent this incident. Remember what goes around comes around. Again, just my thoughts…

  25. The slo-mo in this video makes it look an awful lot like the 88 moved up into the 16…

  26. There is no question that Preece has talent. That talent and the fact that he brings sponsors and cash does open more opportunities to get behind the wheel of competitive race cars. That is until he tries to get a ride in an Xfinity or Cup car. Not enough sponsorship or cash for a competitive ride at his talent level.
    Preece has raced for a number of teams on both the SK and Mod Tour, but hasn’t stayed with any one team for more than a year or two. It would be interesting to know the real reasons why he has moved from team to team so frequently.

  27. As far as the 88 & 16 go, the 88 moved up into the 16. The 88 did not exit T2 very well, either loose or tight, whatever mad him drift up into the 16. Both cars were well into the straight, the 16 was on the OUTSIDE and wasn’t loose. If the 16 was loose he would have banged and bounced off THE WALL. The 88 was at least a half car ahead of the 16, looks like the RR of the 88 met with the LF of the 16, when the 88 moved high into the 16, and hooked himself. The 88 spotter should have been warning that there was a car on the outside. The 16 had the position. The 88 did it to himself.

  28. old observer says

    For your info: Ryan was with the BRE 3 team 3 yrs & has been with the 31SK team 7 yrs.
    In the video it looks like the 88 squeezed the 16, an old practice at Stafford.
    16 was not smooth for the first couple of laps after a restart.
    The 2 top point leaders had trouble & still got good finishes.
    Thompson should be a great race with a lot of Drama.

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