Quick Cash: Whelen Mod Tour Pole Nets Doug Coby Big Money At Thompson Speedway

Pole Award Money Coby Dunleavy

Phil Moran (left) and Doug Coby (right) pose with Doug Dunleavy (center) after collecting Dunleavy’s $12,500 pole bonus award Saturday at Thompson Speedway

THOMPSON – The spoils of winning the pole for Sunday’s NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Sunoco World Series 150 at Thompson Speedway included much more than just the advantage of starting at the front of the field.

Besting the field in time trials for Doug Coby and his Mike Smeriglio Racing team meant an added windfall of cash thanks to Doug Dunleavy of Dunleavy Truck & Trailers.

Grabbing the pole Saturday at Thompson earned Coby a $12,500 award bonus to be split with his crew chief Phil Moran. Dunleavy is also the primary sponsor for Coby’s Mike Smerigilio III owned team.

“That extra bonus is something that obviously has created quite a buzz around our community and around other touring series communities,” Coby said. “There was a lot more people in the stands today and a lot more people watching time trials today because of Doug’s bonus. That’s something that, he’s not a race promoter but he thinks more than a race promoter half the time. That’s a testament to his passion for the Modifieds. Obviously as our primary sponsors it’s just awesome to be associated with somebody like that.”

What started off as a fun way to an add extra bonus to pole winners on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in 2015 snowballed into the big money prize.

Dunleavy began his “pole award” at the start of the season.The way it works was Dunleavy would pick five names out of a hat before each event and if one of those drivers won the pole they were awarded $300 from Dunleavy. If nobody in the five chosen won, the award would roll over to a new award for the next race.

Coby and Ryan Preece won the awards in the first two events of the season, and then it stopped being won.

And the award kept growing. While Dunleavy kept adding another $300 to the award each week, he was finding businesses that wanted to get involved and add to the bonus. And the award kept growing and growing and growing and each week it was going unclaimed.

By Saturday the pot had reached $12,5000 with the decision made that it would go to whoever won the pole with no names drawn.

“With the money it’s more about what got the money,” Coby said. “It’s just about him and his effort and the consistent effort. A lot of people do one race for something and things fade away. He actually got stronger as he built up his momentum. That’s a credit to him and how he runs his business. He’s a loud, boisterous kind of character when he gets excited about stuff and he’s passionate about the Modifieds and that’s a true racer right there.

“He’s got a lot of connections that he’s built up through our garage and outside to a bigger network. It’s awesome. He’s just doing something nobody else does.”

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