LFR Chassis Celebrates First Whelen Modified Tour Title With Doug Coby And Mike Smeriglio Racing

(Press Release from LFR Chassis)

LFR Chassis owner Rob Fuller (l) celebrates with Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby Sunday at Thompson Speedway

LFR Chassis owner Rob Fuller (l) celebrates with Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby Sunday at Thompson Speedway (Photo: Billy Weiss/Getty Images for NASCAR) 

With a victory at the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour’s (NWMT) final race at Thompson Speedway this past weekend, Doug Coby, driving for Mike Smeriglio Racing, not only earned his third championship in the past four years but also secured LFR Chassis its first series championship in the company’s first full season of modified racing. 2015 was Coby’s first year running an LFR Chassis modified, during which he secured seven wins, earned six poles and led 830 laps in 15 points races.

“We knew going into this season that it was all eyes on this team,” said Rob Fuller, President of LFR Chassis. “Doug, Phil and Mike really stepped up. These guys had faith in the LFR brand from the minute I discussed the idea with Phil two years ago, and it paid off for us both. We had a lot of doubters in the beginning to say the least, but in the end we all persevered and I already can’t wait for next season. I am discussing the 2016 season with a couple of the larger teams already and I can’t wait to grow the brand in the offseason.”

After switching to LFR Chassis during the off-season, Coby, a Milford, Conn. native, dominated the 2015 NWMT season, securing back-to-back championships in the series. During the year, Coby swept the four Thompson Speedway races and secured three additional wins at Monadnock Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Stafford Motor Speedway. He also earned six pole awards and led 830 laps ­– 36 percent of all laps ran in the 2015 season.

“The numbers and the things we did this year speak to how strongly LFR Chassis helped us,” said Coby. “We had six poles and seven wins and that didn’t happen last year. We had the same people and driver as last year, but switched chassis programs. Making that change did exactly what we were wanting it to do – it made our program stronger in every facet of racing.”

“We had one car from LFR Chassis that won five races,” Coby continued. “It won all four Thompson shows. Another car we got from LFR after a wreck at Bristol earned us two more wins and two poles. From a driver’s standpoint, it didn’t matter which car I got in. Both felt equally as strong. Phil (Moran, crew chief) does a great job making sure everything feels the same in both cars. It’s really hard to pick which car was my favorite when both drove so similarly and earned us multiple wins.”

This championship also marks the third for Coby’s crew chief, Phil Moran – his second in a row with Coby and first using LFR Chassis equipment. Moran also expressed his gratitude to the LFR team for their support throughout the year.

“I’d say this championship is more special than the others because of what we did with switching to LFR Chassis and spec motors in the off-season,” said Moran. “It’s so hard to win one championship, so winning back-to-back championships is very special.”

“We were starting from ground zero at the start of the year – each modified car is so different,” he continued. “The parts don’t fit the other car so everything was brand new on the car. Rob Fuller and Ryan Stone helped a lot and made it a pretty easy transition for us. It was a lot of pressure making those major changes, but we had a great test run at Caraway last year in a LFR Chassis and knew we were going to be fast this year.”

“All of the LFR drivers and teams check in with each other and share notes. Donny Lia, Jason and Burt Myers, Ron Silk – everyone is really on the LFR team – and we are working together to make it grow.”

Additionally, team owner, Mike Smeriglio, had strong praise for LFR Chassis and what the company did for his team this year.

“It’s hard to put into words what this second championship means to me,” explained Smeriglio. “Last year it really hit me at the banquet when I saw the No. 2 car in the Hall of Fame, so coming in this year, knowing what it feels like, it made us want another championship that much more.”

“The switch to LFR Chassis in the off-season made our program better,” he continued. “The consistency we had with three LFR Chassis has been unbelievable this year. The first chassis we had led to five wins. The second chassis earned us the pole at New Hampshire, but then got wrecked beyond repair. The third chassis then led to back-to-back wins at New Hampshire and Stafford. We had three chassis all with the same consistency on the track.”

“In the 2014 season – we had the best driver and crew chief. In 2015, we had the best driver, best crew chief and the best car,” Smeriglio stated.

“It really hasn’t set in quite yet – the success we all experienced in our first season,” Fuller explained when asked about the success. “I have never been the type to sit back at all. As a matter of fact, I was talking with Mike this morning about next year and how to keep getting better as a group. I’m not naïve enough to think that the other teams will just sit back and take a blow like the No. 2 car delivered this season, so we plan on working even harder this winter to continue to develop the brand.”

“Moving forward, we have two 7-post dates and a K&C rig date in December to analyze the data collected from this season,” he continued. “Our Super Late Models run the same basic suspension components, and we are constantly learning and experimenting with those chassis and they are very strong as well. Being able to correlate the data between the two chassis is huge from the development standpoint.”

“All the experience in this shop is at the highest levels of racing and that’s a huge advantage,” stated Fuller. “We have guys that have developed shocks, suspension parts, chassis and other key parts of race cars at the highest levels of the industry which is something no one else can offer. All the engineering and design work that goes into the LFR Chassis is at a whole different level than most short track teams are accustomed to. You have to constantly work like someone is trying to beat you every week to stay ahead, and we are more than prepared to do just that.”

LFR Chassis is located at 117 Crosslake Park Drive in Mooresville, N.C. To learn more, call (704) 662-3306 or visit www.LFRChassis.com.


  1. Man they forgot to thank Nascar for letting them run the cheater carb.

  2. Tough not to have a winning chassis, just take the best ideas from each of the other builders and incorporate them into one.

  3. If it was that easy why didn’t someone else do it? Just sayin. Nobody likes a winner I guess.

  4. They should’ve shared more with Donny lia. Not saying lia ran bad but some info was not shared like rob fuller said.

  5. So the guy that owns the company only wants one car to run good? If you say so “franky.” Man there should be a IQ test to qualify to post here. There is some dumb stuff said. I walked through the garage before qualifying and saw the 8 car was on the left front spring. The 2 was not on the same soft set up I can tell you that. If information is shared it doesn’t mean it’s used. maybe some teams like trying different set ups. Hmmm. So in this article Phil is lying as well. Man grow up dude. Congrats to Phil and LFR.

  6. Franky says: “They should’ve shared more with Donny lia. Not saying lia ran bad but some info was not shared like rob fuller said.”

    LOL!!! Too obvious, eh? Let’s go back in time… many years ago, when Lia was running his own car, under yellow flag, he drilled Coby into the wall at Thompson. Something like that will be hard to forgive or forget. It will take a very long time, if ever. And decreases the chances of any help or sharing of information. Do you really think a team tells LFR everything so LFR can then tell other teams how to make their cars faster? Setups are closely guarded secrets, like the formula of Coca-Cola. Just look at the cars, they are not being setup the same.

    Tale of the tape… the 2 an the 8… same chassis, same engines, very different results. Kinda makes you wonder, eh?

  7. Grey Matter says

    Lia tried to run the coil bind set-up and this where the communication lines fell. Lia and his team doesn’t know enough about the coil bind set-up to make it work while the 2 team has nailed it. Lia’s team ran the coil bind in the time trials. The front end was bouncing around like a pogo stick. They swapped out to a conventional set-up for the race. It’s not just a “soft spring”.

  8. Justafella says

    Franky: I’m glad to see Lia did not run well and was not a factor all season . Lia is a weapon in a fast car like the Mystic Missle and wrecked lots of equipment over the years .

  9. Grey Matter says, “Lia tried to run the coil bind set-up and this where the communication lines fell. Lia and his team doesn’t know enough about the coil bind set-up to make it work while the 2 team has nailed it. Lia’s team ran the coil bind in the time trials. The front end was bouncing around like a pogo stick. They swapped out to a conventional set-up for the race. It’s not just a “soft spring”.”

    The 2 is NOT coil binding. Just look at the springs. No way are they coil binding. Look at the cumulative gap space, that adds up to far more than the potential travel. The 2 ain’t coil binding. Get some video proof. I was watching the nose of the 2 on Sunday. Looks like they could be using some sort of snubber or travel limiting in the shocks.

    From the rulebook: “All downward chassis movement while the race car is in competition must be
    limited only by the normal increasing stiffness of the springs or the bottoming of
    the chassis against the race track, whichever occurs first. Any device or
    procedure that in the judgment of NASCAR Officials attempts to detract from or
    compromise the above will not be permitted.”

    Coil binding is not “normal increasing stiffness”.

    Coil binding is illegal. Has been for a long time. The 6 is about the only car in recent history to appear to try coil binding. They had springs with tons of coils, very little cumulative gap between the coils. Surprised they were allowed to run that setup, or the max nose dive was verified to not coil bind.

  10. Darealgoodfella,
    You obviously have the solution for every ailment affecting the WMT. Why don’t you step up and convince Jimmy Wilson to let you head up the technical inspection process and right all the wrongs that are being overlooked. Then you can confiscate all the cheater carbs, soft springs, dilithium crystals, flux capacitors and pinpoint all those air leaks between the air horn and the intake valve, AND convince the upper echelon that the Spec Motor is the spawn of Satan. Once your done with all that, you’ll be a shoe in for the Hall of Fame. Not that I disagree with everything you post, but it’s time for the emoticon of the smiley beating the dead horse to be added to these forums.

  11. Darealgoodfella you need your own website dude. Wow. All they are saying is that the 2 and the 8 ran different set ups. If you don’t thing the 2,8,15 all coil bound at Loudon your a moron. Oh yea they were all in top 5 btw with those junk chassis that don’t run good. Your a mess man. Those LFR cars were plenty fast when Todd ran them last year with a damn built motor! Now you see what they can do with a spek. You have not been correct in a word you say. You should read your posts before you hit send bud! Lol!!!!

  12. Joe Lajoie says

    darealgoodfella, you could have a heckuva hot air balloon business with all the stuff you type about.
    The past few years it’s been carburetors, carburetors, carburetors…. chassis means nothing because it’s all about carburetors.
    No, but wait!!! Now you’re the chassis guru. I didn’t realize you had everyone’s setup sheets in the pit area, too.
    You’re a shoe-in for the Hot-Air Hall of Fame.

  13. Carburetor !

  14. David, I am convinced you have no idea what coil bound is.

    Why are you focusing on Loudon? It appears to me this discussion is about the overall season. They were not all in the top 5, at either Loudon race. Check the stats again. You have not been correct.

    Do you know what a spellchecker is? Are you smarter than a spellchecker?

    And add coil binding to the list if things that NASCAR refuses to enforce. And that is flagrant, the springs are out in the open. Everybody can see it. So NASCAR lets these obvious infractions go.

    You and SteveS, and a few others, need to get a rule book and read it, or have someone read it to you.

  15. If it was that easy why didn’t someone else do it? Just sayin. Nobody likes a winner I guess.

    I love a winner, I was big Geoff Bodine, Richie Evans and Mike Stefanik fan when they were kicking butt in the day.

    First off not everyone has the finances, equipment and mechanical background to do it. I see everyone giving credit to the driver and chassis builder however, the crew chief of the 2 has worked on every chassis out there in the tour modified division Troyer, RE, CD and SPAFCO and he is a very, very intelligent man. He knows what works and what does not work so I am certain he had just a little input into the LFR chassis design. LFR in very fortunate to have a man like him turning the wrenches on the 2 car and taking nothing away from the driver (who is a very talented individual), I would dare to say this particular crew chief makes his drivers job much easier.

    Just once I would like to hear one of these drivers say in victory lane “these guys (meaning the crew chief and crew) make me look good” because without them the driver, no matter how good or who they are will go nowhere. Only my opinion!

  16. I agree he has worked on them all. How many 7 win seasons has he had?????
    Darealgoodfella, I am usually laughing when responding to your posts so forgive me if I hit the wrong key. So now you say they did coil bind? Wow. Here it is. Phil, LFR, Doug and the owner and crew all did their job and dished out a beating like we have not seen in a while. If you guys waste your time like us on here great job! I give all ya’ll a huge high five! Fun to watch. Even more fun to read all this garbage from haters on this site. Like it says, best driver best crew and best chassis! Hooooorah!

  17. No David, the 2 did not coil bind at Thompson on Oct 18, 2015. There was no way. If you think so, produce some video. LOL!

    Nice spellchecker.

    The 6 still appears to try to coil bind, by far using the most coils, and some other means to keep the car from bottoming. They certainly weren’t using a very high ride height to compensate for the very light springs. Remember when the 16 had those cylinders covering the front springs, so nobody would see the super light springs? But how could we not see the 4″ ride height? LOL!!!!!

    But if you say that there were cars that were definitely coil binding, then it was illegal and NASCAR was not enforcing the rules. Since there hasn’t been any news (or penalties) of coil binding, then there wasn’t coil binding, or NASCAR refuses to enforce the rules. Although you are certain that they are coil binding, I say no way. The ride height is still at the 2″ min, and not elevated to accommodate and compensate for the increased ride height needed with light coil binding springs to keep the car from bottoming. Watch the cars go through pre-track tech… ride height is always checked and always needs the test gauge to be crammed under the car.

    From the springs that are out in the open, and the ride height, the 2 is not coil binding, or even trying to coil bind. They might think they are, so I recommend they learn what coil bind really is and get video confirmation. So that leaves something fishy in the shocks. You didn’t want that to be brought out, now did you? If snubbers are used in the shocks, why use coil binding? LOL!!!!

    You see, if super light springs (coil binding) are going to be used with keeping the car at the 2″ min ride height, or close to it, then there must be another (illegal) means to keep the car from bottoming. If there are light springs in front, then that should mandate shock disassembly and inspection. After all, they wouldn’t try to coil bind when using snubbers in the shocks, would they? LOL!!!!

    I don’t go inspecting the cars at all events, but the only car I’ve seen come close to attempting coil binding is the 6 with the springs with the highest coil count, by far. Interestingly, still with the 2″ ride height.

  18. Does anyone know why LFR choses to run house car only at Thompson and N.H. never at Stafford or Waterford

  19. Just a reminder…

    1. Many carburetors have been confiscated this season.
    2. The 36 was a beast, until it was caught with the big carb.
    3. The 7NY was a beast, until it was caught with the extra air passages.

    See the pattern?

    Big carbs and more air (think SPEC motor cam) do more for performance than any chassis can, and makes up for chassis and setup weaknesses. The SPEC motor camshaft timing is controlled by the rules, check this out, from the rules:

    “(17) No modifications to CAMSHAFT TIMING – CAMSHAFT TIMING must be to manufacturer’s specified settings. NOTE: The use of a camshaft degree bushing will be permitted in the camshaft timing gear to obtain the manufacturer’s camshaft timing specified settings. The manufacturer’s camshaft specified settings for the intake centerline must be a minimum of 105.5 degrees and a maximum of 106.25 degrees. No other modifications to the camshaft timing will be permitted.”

    I usually stay to watch post race tech, and only once have I seen the SPEC cam timing checked, and that was on the 6 in one of the early races the SPEC engine placed in the top 5, back when the 6 just started running the SPEC, and might have been the ONLY car running the SPEC. Cam timing is crucial, and since it is controlled by rules on the SPEC, it needs to be inspected regularly. But NASCAR ain’t doing that.

    Look, there’s not much a chassis by itself can bring to the party. It’s all the parts that are installed on that chassis that add up to performance. Front geometry is the same or can easily be repeated, rear suspension is still the same or can be easily repeated on any other chassis. And please, for your own protection, do not say the panhard bar is the deciding difference.

    For those of you that say it’s the chassis, explain why the other LFR entries were not consistently up there with the performance of the 2. There were the house entries that were forgettable, and the 8 that has a double stacker hauler, so it should have been dominating with the 2. After all, it had the same engines and chassis. Y’all are yapping it up like the chassis is everything. Next you’ll be bragging that the gravity at your house is better than anywhere else.

  20. Man your a idiot. They switched chassis and won 7 races. Nuff said. Doug never won at Thompson and this year he won EVERY race. I can’t believe you can turn your lights on in the morning. Your brain dead!!!

  21. Perhaps the NWMT should mandate Electronic Fuel Injection, thus rendering big carburetors useless. It seems to work for cup racing, why not modifieds?

  22. EFI is absurdly expensive. Makes a massaged $$$$$ carburetor look dirt cheap. At least what NASCAR would do. There’s the brain, and the new fuel system to get the fuel from the tank to the engine, high pressure fuel pump, etc. Converting to EFI would bury the Mods. Reports are that the ECU alone is many thousands of dollars, far more than a carburetor. Not exactly a cost effective option. Mandating EFI would kill the mods. But hey, NASCAR can buy a couple simple gauges to assess the carburetors and the specific alterations that help the carburetor breathe better.

    May I remind you that several carburetors were confiscated already this season.

  23. Chris D. says:
    October 22, 2015 at 8:53 pm
    Perhaps the NWMT should mandate Electronic Fuel Injection, thus rendering big carburetors useless. It seems to work for cup racing, why not modifieds?
    Cup doesn’t use the spec motor for one. Cost for two. they would still have to manipulate the FI system to balance the power, weight break and CG differential between a car running spec vs. built, which puts it all back to square one. NASCAR has a financial interest in the spec motor-they get a cut of the package. Sadly, they seem to have more interest in a small, short term financial gain than the overall health and longevity of the modified series.

  24. You all wanna stop hearing darealgoodfella go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on about carburetors??? go to electronic fuel injection

  25. Thanks for the info re: heightened carb scrutiny during the 2011 Tour season. Given that scrutiny, I gather that the 36’s three post-Icebreaker wins were completely legit (i.e. not the result of “big carbs”)??

  26. Chris D., or use gauges and methods that can actually assess the key parameters of carburetors. NASCAR doesn’t appear to have the desire.

    I’m a pretty simple guy, but first and foremost, after safety, NASCAR has to relentlessly establish and protect parity.

  27. Rafter, that we’ll never know for sure. Perhaps they used a carb that wasn’t too big, and went “undetected”.

    The 36 ended up in 9th place in points the 2011 season. A big carb can compensate for some things, and not others. A really fast car can be dangerous and never get to reap the benefits of that extra speed.

  28. OK , lets forget about the carbs, I watched the replay of the tour race last night and I don’t believe for 1 minute the 2 was coil bound. Just watch the movement on the 51 and the 2 when they were going at it for the lead and they were both almost identical and I know for a fact the 51 does not run it.

  29. Sect.D Row 25 says

    Having nothing better to do I decided to throw my two cents in. I will be on the chassis/set up side and not the magical carb side. When I look at the 2 run I see a bunch of heave and very little pitch if any at all. It appears to me as if the 2 runs much more RR toe-jn than the others as well. As you all know you have to roll the center and be able to put whatever HP you have no matter how you got it down to the ground. They all complained of loose at the Ice Breaker but the 2 prevailed. Not a day a carb would have helped you. They went to Monadnock, not a place I would think a carb would be of help, and the 2 buried the field. In other races on longer runs the 2 cars fall off was less than the rest and would be a direct correlation to equal tire use and that is chassis/set up. While I’m here I will let Darealgoodfella in on a secret. We all knew a long time ago you were a pretty simple guy.

  30. Sect.D Row 25, and unfortunately for you, two cents just isn’t worth much nowadays.

    On restarts at the Sunoco World Series 150, the 2 was leading into T1, and lengths ahead at the end of the back stretch. That isn’t chassis, that can only be one thing: HORSEPOWER. When it comes to the last laps of a race, the 2 crushes all other cars on the restarts. That can only be HORSEPOWER. That isn’t chassis. It takes HORSEPOWER to accelerate. Are you trying to say all other cars are spinning the tires on the restart? LOL!!! When a car has the huge horsepower advantage, it doesn’t have to turn as hard, which is what wears the tires, and can get more out of the tires at the end of a run. That’s why the 2 seems to last longer, and run better at the end.

Leave a Reply

Copyright 2018 E-Media Sports

Website Designed by Thirty Marketing