Doug Coby Expecting Big Changes For Whelen Modifed Tour At Bristol Motor Speedway

Doug Coby (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Doug Coby (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Reigning NASCAR Whelen Modifed Tour champion Doug Coby is succinct when relaying his hopes for Wednesday’s visit to Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway for the Bush’s Beans 150 for the series.

In five career starts at Bristol Coby has one top-10 finish (fourth in 2014) and three finishes of 15th or worse. His fourth place finish in 2014 was the only time he finished an event on the lead lap. Last year at Bristol Coby’s day ended with a lap three wreck.

“I’d like to finish this year and not screw up,” Coby said. “… We’ll see. We’ve always had a good car at Bristol and I get around there pretty good but it’s kind of bit me a couple times. Hopefully this year we have a better finish.”

In attempt to improve competition for the Sprint Cup Series event on Saturday at the track, track officials have done some treating of the track, polishing the lower groove and applying a substance to improve grip in that area of the racing surface.

Coby believes the change could radically change how the Whelen Modified Tour event could go at the half-mile high-banked oval.

“Bristol is going to be a little different this year,” Coby said. “They’ve made some changes to the track surface and I don’t think that’s going to be a good thing for us. If I had a crystal ball out right now I’m going to say that it’s not going to work in our favor, but they have to think about the big race on Saturday night.

“I think it’s going to make it way too fast. I think we’re going to be on the bottom and have tons of grip and have no reason to lift other than fear. And then I think it’s going to make it so that the outside lane isn’t going to be able to roll up on the outside as good as we used to be able to because on the bottom you used to have to worry about all sorts of stuff before, sliding a little bit, you know getting tight and having to go slow up off the corner so the outside gets a run kind of like at Thompson. I just think that the grip is going to be so great down at the bottom that it’s not going to effect the cars down there like it typically does. I could be wrong. It might make it worse. We might all want to be out of that crap and up in the second and third groove, who knows. My gut tells me it’s going to be so grippy and fun down there that nobody is going to want to get out of it.”

Coby is looking for his third consecutive Whelen Modified Tour title and fourth in the last five years. He takes a 15-point lead over second place Justin Bonsignore into Bristol. Timmy Solomito is 35 points off the lead in third place in the standings.

In recent years the Bristol event has marked the beginning of the end of the season for the series. This year the division will have six events left at Bristol, including races at Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway (Aug. 27), Oswego (N.Y.) Speedway (Sept. 3) and Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway (Sept. 10). Seekonk and Oswego are new additions to the schedule this season.

“You have Riverhead, Seekonk, Oswego, two tracks nobody has been to,” Coby said. “It doesn’t even really matter where you are in points after Bristol or even Riverhead because there’s two wildcards where the Tour hasn’t been in years. You’ve got to perform at those tracks. We went to Seekonk and won the open show (on June 29) there so we’re pretty confident going back there. [Bonsignore], in not an M3 Racing car, still ran very good in Art Barry’s car so he’s going to be really good in his car. Then we go to Oswego and I’ve never seen it. So it’s going to be an interesting late summer and fall.”


  1. Sharpie Fan says

    When will this race be televised? Channel? Gotta program the DVR.

  2. Sharpie Fan,
    Friday Aug. 26 at 9 pm on NBCSN.

  3. Sharpie Fan says

    Thanks. Of course they schedule it for a Friday night! Thank goodness for DVRs.

  4. I’ve seen the tour there once… Awesome show!!!

  5. Steve Devine says

    This is coby worse track so it don’t matter what he thinks!

  6. Used to b good, No TC anymore, Mellissia refuses to stay home again. Lucky if they get 25 cars

  7. They have 37 cars there today Steve.

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