Great Late: Doug Coby Wins Whelen Mod Tour NAPA Fall Final 150 At Stafford Speedway

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

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

STAFFORD – For many short track drivers competing with touring divisions, usually a trip to their home track is a sure fire recipe for bringing positive results.

For NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour driver Doug Coby, trips to where he got his start in short track racing of late have meant nothing short of total ownership of the competition.

And Coby’s streak of absolute domination of the competition at Stafford Motor Speedway continued once again Sunday night at the historic half-mile oval where he began his short track career.

Coby, of Milford, won the Whelen Modified Tour NAPA Fall Final 150 at Stafford Sunday.

It was the fourth victory in the last five Whelen Modified Tour events at Stafford for Coby dating back to the 2015 Fall Final. Coby was dominating the Stafford 150 on Aug. 5 at Stafford before running out of fuel late. He settled for a 20th place finish after leading 140 of 157 laps.

Coby led 112 laps on Sunday and has led 619 of the last 682 laps run in Whelen Modified Tour competition at the track dating back to the 2015 Fall Final at Stafford. The 37-year old Coby began racing Late Models at Stafford weekly when he was in high school.

“I have a lot of laps around here,” Coby said. “It’s just a comfort factor. It’s like putting on your favorite t-shirt or the shirt that you feel like makes you look best when you’re going to go out at night. That’s kind of what Stafford is to me. It’s just a place that even when we’re not perfect I feel like I can do a couple things to make up for it a little bit and hopefully get a win out of it.”

Timmy Solomito of Islip, N.Y. was second and Jimmy Blewett of Howell, N.J. was third.

Coby will head to the season ending Sunoco World Series 150 next Sunday at Thompson Speedway holding a 20-point lead over Justin Bonsignore in the standings. Coby is looking for his third consecutive series title and fourth in the last five years.

Bonsignore, of Holtsville, N.Y., rallied back from ignition wire issues early in the event to finish fourth. Coby extended his lead by seven points Sunday.

“Any point gain leaving here would have been fine by me,” Coby said. “It just puts the pressure more on them. We have to have a strong run at Thompson, but they have to have a lot of things go their way. But crazier things have happened and he’s certainly capable of dominating that race, then it’s all up to us where we finish. Who knows what’s going to happen.”

Said Bonsignore: “We’re bummed right now but we’re going to Thompson and anything can happen. It’s only 20 points. It is what it is. We can count 20 points all season that we’ve thrown away. We can’t hang our heads on tonight. We’ll come out and try to win Thompson like we did [on Aug. 10] and see what we can do. Either way I’m really proud of my team this year on how we performed and stepped it up. I’m going to have my head held high either way.”

Coby was able to fend off the charges of Solomito over the final seven laps to get his 10 career series victory at the track.

“We were just a tick off,” Coby said. “I know the car looked really fast, but it wasn’t as comfortable there at the end as it was earlier in the race. But we made due.”

Said Solomito: “I think I had something there for [Coby] at the end. I probably could have got more aggressive. Hopefully next year we’re racing for the championship and he’ll remember that one.”

From the start it was Coby and Bonsignore fighting for the top spot.

Coby started on the pole with Bonsignore second. Bonsignore went by Coby for the lead on lap five. On lap 35 it was Coby getting back by Bonsignore for the lead off of turn two.

Under caution on lap 38 Bonsignore’s car stopped in turn four while running second because of the ignition wire issue.

Bonsignore got a push from competitor Jeff Goodale to get back to pit road. Bonsignore’s team went to work on his car on pit road under caution. He lost one lap to the field before getting back on track just as the race restarted on lap 42.

“We just had an ignition wire come free,” Bonsignore said “… It took us a minute to figure it out. Honestly we owe the night to [Jeff Goodale]. Thank god they were nice enough to give us a push back to the pits. The tow truck would have took forever to get to us.”

The caution flew once again on lap 48 which gave Bonsignore the free pass back onto the lead lap at the rear of the field.

Blewett went by Coby for the lead on a lap 53. After a lap 61 restart Coby and Blewett put on a side-by-side battle for the top spot for three laps with Coby grabbing the top spot back just before caution flew on lap 63.

Officials had announced before the event that there would be a halfway break and mandatory pit stop as a safety precaution because of damp conditions on pit road. When the caution flew on lap 63 officials decided to move the break up, a decision that disappointed Bonsignore.

“I had a really good car,” Bonsignore said. “Unfortunate, I know with the weather with the break we had to do that tonight for safety, and I’m all for safety. I just wish we would have had it at [lap 75] instead [lap 63] because I think I could have passed a few more cars before the break on older tires. We were still really good but once you get guys on [new tires], 10th or 12th, everybody is so even. It just took us too long to get back through.”


  1. With all the weather delays, does anyone know if the race will still be telecast on NBCSN?

  2. Paul,
    The TV production crew was there until the end.

  3. Fast Eddie says

    I made the mistake of believing New England weather people on Friday when they said Sunday afternoon would only be cloudy, so I bought my ticket in advance. After listening to the football game and the Cup race while sitting in the parking lot, my money was on the rain; I was only waiting for the track to make it official. I was dumfounded and amazed that 1) They DIDN’T cancel or reschedule earlier, 2) They were actually able to dry the place out, and 3) THEY RACED!! Thank-you to the track crew and racers for your diligence and determination to get ‘er done! AND… there was great racing by the WMT, SK’s and LM’s. I reluctantly passed on the Legends, as 5:45 a.m. comes awful early when you get home at 1:00 a.m.! I’m payin’ for it today, but it was definitely worth it!

  4. Where is everybody?

    Did anybody go to this race?

  5. Well, the place was empty. The SK race was pretty good.

    The WMT race was good. Racing for 2nd place, that was a given.

    The 51 had a scare, lost power. Great sportsmanship by Jeff Goodale to push the 51 around so it didn’t lose many laps.

    Hope Kolbie wasn’t too upset, he was raced, nobody got out of his way. He was in the way of Silk and Blewett, who were side-by-side, and they drove into him, got him loose, and then Blewett went around him.

    Lot’s of wrecking. The 8, 18, 26, etc., the usual cast of characters. Some hard hits in the T1-2 wall.

    Good write up by Shawn.

    Early in the race was pretty funny. The 51 was in the lead and the 2 was just bolted to his rear bumper for many laps. Just riding there. Antagonizing the 51.

    I’m glad I support my precious local small tracks.

  6. I got to the track about 5:30 P.M. and waited out the track drying and got to see some good racing. I am happy they stuck it out and raced last night. They definitely took a hit with the Sunday walk up crowd but it was best for the competitors to run yesterday.

  7. Facts Matter says

    And if the 2 car drove in and got into someone you would have a two thousand word comment.

  8. Facts matter, why would I have something to say if the 2 did what you say? If the 2 got into someone, he would just get himself into trouble and risk losing the championship. What’s to say about that?

    Thompson will be interesting. Kolbee is a marked man. A big car count is needed. The drivers from P4 to P8 can see some shuffling in the points, that’s where the real racing will be taking place, with those cars. I’ll be watching those cars.

  9. Fast Eddie says

    Coby was not invincible by any stretch on Sunday. Before Bonsignore’s had their problem, he was driving away from Coby coming out of the corners; they were hooked up! Coby was getting in deeper though, that’s what kept them together. Had he not been in a fight in the end with Blewett, he might have still had something for Coby. He might have used it up getting back to the front. Silk and Solomito were real racy too. Coby was holding on for dear life at the end, Solomito was all over him. Good racing!

  10. Yeah, it would have been more interesting if the 51 didn’t have the electrical problem and would have raced the 2. When they were together, it was certainly tense.

  11. Coby will race the 51 all day long. As long as the 51 is in his sights the championship is his. If the 51 does pull it off I’d expect a rule change next year. The 58 pushing the 51 could have a major impact on championship which really isnt right in my eyes.

  12. Fast Eddie says

    Yes, VERY!! I think we’re going to see two battles in the Thompson war; the 2 vs. 51 battle for the championship, and the 4, 16, & 82 battle for another win.

  13. NH Mark, that is sportsmanship, and the way it was done regularly back in the day. It was cool, great to see. Back in the day, everybody helped everybody. Today, they aren’t even cordial.

    I think the Riverhead boys are gonna pull for their own at Thompson. Good luck to the 2, he’s gonna need it. I can’t wait to see this.

    If the 2 finishes 20+ spots behind the 51, and still running, and the bonus points are not a factor, that would be incredible. But I doubt anyone would look back to the 48 pushing the 51 and make a rule to prevent that. That was great sportsmanship. The 51 has lost many more points through the season for other reasons that they probably regret. We need a good car count to help the 51 and put distance between them in the event the 2 trips up.

    I do hope the weather is suitable to the Fairweather Johnsons so they show up at Thompson and support local short track racing at its finest.

  14. Fast Eddie says

    I think it was the 46, Jeff Goodale, and I also thought it was a great showing of sportsmanship for him to give Bonsignore some assistance. And how did NASCAR reward him for his good deed? They put him to the rear of the field for not maintaining proper track speed during a caution! REALLY?!?

  15. I get the sportsmanship aspect but that will be one of the main reasons the 51 wins it if he does win it. I believe that is barred on the national level now. I just like seeing it settled on the track, racing. Dollar to donuts,Coby would be getting killed on here if someone helped him get a top five. I get the Long Island Gang sticks together but…

  16. NH mark u got that right. If someone had pushed coby to pits there would be calls for his disqualification by some (most) that post on here. Especially Mr. I know everything and everybody else is stupid.

  17. Muddbus461 says

    Imagine,I went to Oswego and I could have on the way home seen the mod feature.

  18. If you look at the Stafford web site you will see the track is rented the next 3 weeks,so you would have been racing in November,I guess Coby was the only winner

  19. NH Mark, sometimes, it takes forever for a towtruck to get to a lame car. The track could then be accused of favoritism, as if the slow response is to put a car down laps.

  20. The tow guys are slow period .Nobody gets special treatment on this division that I`ve seen but i`m sure you have facts to show differently with all your vast knowledge.

  21. The next open date for the track and the WMT would have been Oct 29th.

  22. The next open date for the SMS and the WMT would have been Oct 29th.

  23. Rusty Wallace racing experience has the track on the 29th and there will be more people there than were there this past Sunday

  24. I don’t agree with any of you. Monday was a Federal holiday. Most race fans had the day off. I am retired so it did not matter to me. Stafford should have postponed the race to Monday at 1PM. It was nice and sunny and much warmer out. I would have come down for sure. I am an hour away and when I saw the post that Stafford was drying the track at 6:30PM, it was still raining pretty hard where I live. Congrats to the 2 and to the 81. See you next year.

  25. I’m guessing that most crew members are not Fed employees,just a guess so joe you would have had to pack your firesuit and helmet

  26. Elect, you don’t have to be a Federal employee to take a Federal holiday off. Everybody in the United States gets it off. Maybe I missed your point. Explain it to me again. I think it would have been better to race Monday when Stafford had a chance to draw a couple thousand race fans instead of just a few on Sunday night. Yes the crew members would have had to get a room or sleep in their truck or whatever. All part of racing. I’m out.

  27. Yo Joe, I don’t know of anyone outside of public service that had the day off. I worked, and so did all of my neighbors. Of course you’re retired. Otherwise, how else could you be so out of touch with the reality of working for a living.

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