High Five: Doug Coby Matches Historic Mark With Whelen Mod Tour NAPA Spring Sizzler Pole At Stafford

Doug Coby (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Doug Coby (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

STAFFORD – The big picture image of the 2016 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour for Doug Coby, like any other year for him, is about chasing a series title.

And that chase comes with some historic significance for the two-time defending series champion and three time champion overall. Coby, of Milford, is looking to become the first driver in 32-year history of the series to win three consecutive championships.

But on Saturday for Coby, historic significance was about matching a  number set by the divison’s all-time greatest.

Coby won the pole in qualifying Saturday for Sunday’s Whelen Modified Tour NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 at Stafford Speedway.

It was the fifth consecutive pole for Coby, dating back to last season. Coby became only the second driver in series history to accomplish that feat, matching 7-time series champion Mike Stefanik who did it in 1993.

“Anytime you match Mike Stefanik for anything [it’s good], it’s just the team,” Coby said. “Mike would say the same thing. You’ve got to drive good cars to do this stuff. There’s a lot of us with experience out there now and I guess I’m one of the more experienced guys now that a lot of guys have retired. I’m just relying on what I know, especially at Stafford here having won so many races and been fast here a lot in a lot of different cars. I just know what a fast lap feels like around here.”

Coby swept three poles and three wins in the final three events of 2015 on the way to his series title. He also won the pole for this year’s season opening Icebreaker 150 at Thompson Speedway two weeks ago.

One thing Coby wasn’t worrying on Saturday was his eventual fourth place finish in the Icebreaker, which was won April 10 by Timmy Solomito.

“It’s not a big deal if you’re not the fastest,” Coby said. “It’s not a big deal if you finish fourth at Thompson. If I finish fourth in every race this year I’d still win the championship. You can win no races and finish fourth and still win.”

It was the 12th career series pole for Coby and his fifth at Stafford. Coby toured the half-mile oval with a fast lap Saturday of 18.109 seconds (99.398 mph).

Jimmy Blewett of Howell, N.J. was second fastest at 18.179 seconds (99.015 mph).

Blewett said his team spent most of Saturday’s two practice sessions before qualifying focused on race preparation rather than qualifying prep.

“We didn’t do the killer mock [qualifying] run like everybody else did [in practice],” Blewett said. “The Sizzler is a 200-lap race and I was going for that feel of how long can I get this thing to last. I feel like with my past history myself racing here, I was always the guy that drove good on the long haul and I was looking for that comfort with some speed in it.”

Four-time NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion George Brunnhoelzl III of West Babylon, N.Y. was third in time trials with a fast lap of 18.212 seconds (98.836 mph). Brunnhoelzl said he’s prepared to show there are Southern Modified Tour teams ready to challenge their Northern counterparts.

“Years ago there was quite a big difference between the Southern and Northern teams, but now the cars are just as good,” Brunnhoelzl said. “The guys work just as hard. There’s really no reason we can’t run just as good. Coming to this track it’s a lot harder with the experience these guys all have, but I’m looking forward to having a good finish and hopefully we can show that the South is just as good.”

Editor’s Note: The original publishing of this story mistakenly read that five consecutive poles was the series record. The actual series record is six consecutive poles, set by Stefanik in 1993. 

Qualifying Results
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour – NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 Lineup
Race Sunday; Qualifying Saturday
at Stafford Motor Speedway
Stafford, Conn.
Lap Length: 0.5 miles
1. (2) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 99.398
2. (4) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Dodge, 99.015
3. (28) George Brunnhoelzl III, West Babylon, N.Y., Chevrolet, 98.836
4. (82) Ron Silk, Norwalk, Conn., Chevrolet, 98.711
5. (15) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Chevrolet, 98.565
6. (58) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 98.511
7. (00) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 98.414
8. (3) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 98.409
9. (64) Rob Summers, Manchester, Conn., Chevrolet, 98.291
10. (51) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 98.194
11. (9) Chase Dowling, Roxbury, Conn., Chevrolet, 98.087
12. (16) Timmy Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Ford, 97.991
13. (44) Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass., Chevrolet, 97.938
14. (75) Shawn Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Chevrolet, 97.773
15. (20) Max Zachem, Preston, Conn., Chevrolet, 97.609
16. (38) Tom Rogers, Jr., Patchogue, N.Y., Chevrolet, 97.466
17. (29) Brendon Bock, Franklin Square, N.Y., Chevrolet, 97.392
18. (89) Matt Swanson, Acton, Mass., Chevrolet, 97.135
19. (46) Jeff Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 97.072
20. (56) Craig Lutz, Miller Place, N.Y., Chevrolet, 96.837
21. (18) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 96.826
22. (8) Donny Lia, Jericho, N.Y., Chevrolet, 96.722
23. (99) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 96.681
24. (24) Andrew Krause, Holmdel, N.J., Chevrolet, 96.205
25. (36) Dave Sapienza, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 96.031
26. (77) Gary Putnam, Vernon, Conn., Chevrolet, 95.852
27. (59) Nick Salva, Prospect, Conn., Chevrolet, 95.587
28. (33) Wade Cole, Hartland, Conn., Chevrolet, 95.430
29. (6) Kyle Ellwood, Riverhead, N.Y. (Ryan Preece), Chevrolet, 94.847
30. (26) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Chevrolet, 93.274
32. (85) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Chevrolet, 82.588
31. (01) Melissa Fifield, Wakefield, N.H., Chevrolet, 87.324


  1. 5th pole in a row and this one by 3/10ths?, something smells…

  2. What smells is great team, great equipment, great driver and maybe the most important link great crew chief – nice job Phil Moran – nobody works harder. And I guess we don’t have to worry about the LFR house car and Todd S “getting in the way”.

  3. Woody was slower than Gufeld? Did something go wrong?

  4. Nope Todd qualified 5th, a little surprised though with Santos 13th and Lia 22nd………….

  5. Observer,
    Woody had motor issues right when he got on the track for his qualifying run.

  6. 18.109 versus an 18.179, not very much difference at all. The numbers listed here are miles per hour.

  7. Greg Hardy says

    I’ll be pulling for Preece, but I’d be happy with anyone but the #2. In fact, I hope he wrecks out. Hard.

  8. My bad…

  9. darealgoodfella says

    Ryan said, “18.109 versus an 18.179, not very much difference at all. The numbers listed here are miles per hour.”

    The 18 MPH range is a bit slow, don’tcha think?

  10. darealgoodfella says

    Good to see TC in the top 10. The 6 is 29th, it will be interesting watching that car move through the field.

  11. Greg Hardy “I will be rooting for anyone other than the 2 I hope he wrecks hard” give me a break – people like you kill this sport – you want to root for an other car or cars great – but to wish bad things for a team that does it all correctly and has had great success – maybe you have to rethink what you post. Great job #2 team!

  12. darealgoodfella says

    humphry said, “Nope Todd qualified 5th, a little surprised though with Santos 13th and Lia 22nd………….”

    Why surprised at all about the 44 and 8? The 44 struggled all last season, and was not a factor at all. The 8 won a pole last season, and was lucky to finish a top 10. 13th and 22nd is not surprising at all for these two cars.

  13. Looks like maybe the the LFR car will be able to keep from going down a couple laps, and the good old southern team just might be able to keep up too, the sport needs all of you good luck

  14. darealgoodfella says

    PeteD, what Greg Hardy said may have been a little harsh, it is actually cars like the 2 that are killing the sport.

    Was the 7NY and the extra air paths that dominated the premier Tour races good for the sport? Was the 36 and the sewer pipe sized carburetor that dominated the Tour for too long good for the sport?

    And then there is the wrecking… Bristol, Loudon, … still not good for the sport.

  15. Darealgoodfella said all the below in the article Ted Christopher To Chase Seventh NAPA Spring Sizzler Victory At Stafford Speedway

    “Far more likely TC ends up with another DNF than a win”.

    “Some guy, who is almost 60 that makes the sport more enjoyable”?

    “Let’s face it, there is still a very large portion of the fan base that loves going to the short tracks to see the wrecking. Especially if their favorite driver is the wrecker and not the car being wrecked. Just watch and listen to the people in the stands for evidence”.

    “You have rarely been to a track. It can be said by anyone that TC is the wrecker because that is what happens. Now I will say that the last couple seasons, since TC was booted from the 36, he has dramatically cut back on the wrecking. But the many years before that, he wrecked plenty. And he hasn’t been able to secure top quality rides since the 36 soap opera, or bring success to the teams he has driven for since the 36 debacle. I haven’t figured it out… if it is his eyesight (lack thereof) or just reckless”.

    And now darealgoodfella said in this article “Good to see TC in the top 10”

    He accuses TC of being the ultimate wrecker, bashes him about his driving style, age and now he is happy to see him in the top 10? Are you serious? Are you talking out of two sides of your mouth? Which by the way is nothing new. Do you have dementia or something? Please make up every one’s mind here because you certainly can’t make you own mind up.

    You remind me of the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz, if I only had a brain!

  16. darealgoodfella says

    humphry, you are too easy.

    Yes, it is good to see TC in the top 10. For the entertainment. Reading what people like you are going to say when he wrecks, etc. and how it was everyone else’s fault, and because of the alignment of Neptune, Pluto and Uranus.

    They always implode. Lance Armstrong, Newt Gingrich, Nixon, 21 of the original 23 2016 Republican Presidential candidates, etc. They always implode. Always entertaining.

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