Unmatched: Doug Coby Makes History With Fourth Whelen Modified Tour Title

Doug Coby celebrates his third consecutive Whelen Modified Tour championship and fourth overall following Sunday's Sunoco World Series 150 at Thompson Speedway (Photo: NASCAR/Fran Lawlor)

Doug Coby celebrates his third consecutive Whelen Modified Tour championship and fourth overall following Sunday’s Sunoco World Series 150 at Thompson Speedway (Photo: NASCAR/Fran Lawlor)

THOMPSON – In 2012 when Doug Coby won his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour it proved to be one of the biggest underdog tops them all storylines in series history.

Sunday there was little surprise to see Doug Coby celebrating another championship, just questions about just how far the Milford driver can go in rewriting the series record book.

Coby finished sixth in the Whelen Modified Tour Sunoco World Series 150 Sunday at Thompson Speedway to clinch his third consecutive series title and fourth overall.

“It’s awesome,” Coby said. “Every one is different and every one is special for a different reason. There’s many ways to win them and many ways to lose them and we’ve just found a lot of ways to win them. It just goes back to preparation and have a car that is just good everywhere we go.”

The 37-year old Coby became the first driver since the series’ inception in 1985 to win three consecutive series titles. Coby finished the season with five victories in 17 events. He closed out the season with a 12-point advantage over Justin Bonsignore, who won Sunday’s event.

“It doesn’t matter what era you’re in, it’s very difficult to win a championship and it’s still 17 races and it’s a war that you have to win,” Coby said. “We won a lot of the battles and tonight [Bonsignore], their team won the battle and did what they had to do. … We just put ourselves in a position all year. We just had a really clean season. I don’t think there’s any question that we just chipped away every week and got our wins.”

Mike Stefanik (seven championships), Tony Hirshman (four championships) and Coby are the only drivers in series history with three or more titles. Coby finished second to Ryan Preece in the series standings in 2013. 

Coby’s first title came driving for team owner Wayne Darling. He joined Mike Smeriglio Racing prior to the start of the 2014 season.

“I know we win a lot of poles and we win a lot of races and now three championships in a row, but we are so appreciative of what we have on this team and I am so thankful for the people that make this happen,” Coby said of his team, led by crew chief Phil Moran.

Coby started second Sunday behind pole-sitter Timmy Solomito but took a conservative approach for most of the event.

“Obviously I had a little better than a sixth place car today, but I just had to play it cool and keep my eye out for who was around me and what the situation was,” Coby said. “We did what we had to do today. It’s a different mindset when you’re trying to wrap this up.

“It’s so hard to do this. Every week these guys just, they don’t stop. I want to tip my hat to [Bonsignore’s team] and [Solomito’s team]. They really put the pressure on us this year. Everybody said we were going to walk away with it. … Man it was tough. It’s just so tough to win on this series.”

Coby is fully understanding – even embracing – of his growing place as the winner that many love to hate. Coby had one victory in his first 111 starts with the series. He made his first series start in 2002. Since the 12th event of the 2011 season he’s had 21 victories over a span of 77 events.

“There’s certainly a lot of people now that don’t like to see us do well,” Coby said. “That’s a different position for me to be in because I think for other than the last maybe four years, there were a lot of people that would have preferred to see me do well. I was always the lesser of two evils and now I’m the evil and I know that.”


  1. Congratulations on the championship to Doug, Phil, and the entire #2 team. Also hats off to Justin and the 51 team for a great season.

  2. I’m with Mazdaj. All hail the champs. The 51 made it interesting for sure by winning 2 out of the last 3 events but Coby”s lead coming out of Bristol was too much. Well deserved. The 2, 16 and 51 made for a great season. Can’t wait for 2017.

  3. The best car in a very weak series.

  4. The best car every week – best crew chief Phil Moran – best drIver, also the smartest – owner and entire team top shelf!!!! Three straight years – what an accomplishment. 51 and 16 had great seasons and got stronger and better -but there is no question which was the best team in 2016 on Tour, the DEUCE!

  5. Congratulations to Doug and MSIII Very consistent effort at putting the best car out there,Doug avoided wrecks and kept the 51 and 16 in the rear view mirror.It won’t be any easier next year but they will be the team to beat.

  6. Coby the best

  7. One really cool thing that was lost in the shuffle this weekend is the fact that Wade Cole finally led the first laps of his career (I checked racing reference and NASCAR home-tracks stats). This includes 412 trips to the track in NWMT competition (322 starts and 90 DNQs) over a 31 year career. So in nearly 37,000 laps of competition he finally has laps led on the Tour. I’m really not a stats guy but when I saw Wade stay out and get scored the leader under caution I wondered when the last time it had happened for him. So after a couple of quick checks I found out this seems to be the first time ever. These numbers just blow my mind. Wade is the nicest guy to talk to at the track, everyone roots for him and I just think this is really interesting. Every one knows this guy shows up every week with a wildly underfunded team. it is so awesome when he pulls up with his mod on the back of an old wrecker behind these million dollar operations that run up front. You can’t say enough nice things about the guy. Even on his shoe string budget he still helps other drivers field a ride on the Tour. Nothing really ever gets said about this guy so I figured I’d do this little post. Congrats Wade!

  8. Another thought. Is this the first World Series without the King Ted Christopher? I remember when he had like 4 rides

  9. Grey Matter says

    The King? Hahahaha… I needed a laugh today. Ted was the king of Stafford in the SK a while back but no more and I’m fairly certain that the only person that has a chance at that throne in the tour is Mike Stefanik and possible Coby in the future.

  10. I’m surprised that TC in not more focused on getting win #100 at Thompson.

  11. Grey, TC has won in more divisions at Thompson then anyone…. He also referred himself as the King back in the day that’s why I used the word.

  12. Hey Grey, you mean to tell me Richie is not the king of the mods? Really? I need a laugh also, no disrespect to Mike but it is going to be a long, long time before anyone dethrones Richie!

  13. wade is a great guy …loves the sport fore sure …but to be real over all these years he has also caused more yellows to come out than anyone out there…between useless spins by himself ….to being in the way making the leaders go three wide to get around him …..everyone gets on the 01 but long before her wade was the biggest problem out there ….great guy but just way way to slow to be out there ….there was a reason for 90 DNQs……before the days of short fields ….

  14. Kind of refreshing to see positive comments regarding the 2’s championship. I was expecting a lot of negative blabber. Then again, all the folks who spent the last two months telling us Coby wasn’t going to win have gone silent. Funny how that works.

  15. Facts Matter says

    Good whatever has all winter now to figure out how the 16 and the 51 got so fast can’t wait.

  16. Troyer,Spafco,LFR It comes down to setup,driver,crew and luck.Many teams are capable of winning.It comes down to work and consistency.Carb Smarb.It will be a good season coming up if Nascar doesn’t wreck it.I also think something should be done about slow traffic especially when no improvement is seen.And yes I know about low car counts

  17. Coby is good, not great at all. He happens to have a ride that is far ahead of the rest, for whatever reason. Can’t race in traffic. Put Szegedy back in that car and it will win another championship. Szegedy is good, but not in the neighborhood of Evans and Stefanik. Evans and Stefanik were consistent, car to car. The rest depend heavily on having the best of the best equipment.

    There is no comparing eras. Richie is still the greatest. If you never saw him race, too bad. I saw him race many, many times, over several years. He could drive like nobody else. His cars were his, he made the calls. Stefanik is also very good, did well in many different cars.

  18. agree 100% goodfella ……stefanik also won 80% of his races in cars he built or designed ….32 wins alone in only 4 seasons in the X-6 a radical car he designed ….at the same time running the full busch north tour all of those four years ….racing on same days ….same weekends never sitting in the car until the feature starting last ….during those years none of these so called slide job can’t pass a car with out going thu it drivers
    would last a race pulling that crap no less winning one ……

  19. Facts Matter says

    It’s a joke what some people think of the greats someone also cleaned house with a motor while Good whatever was paying for his soda sitting on the bleachers in aw no one new what was going on ha ha today we call it a 18 degree engine Nas car never heard of it guess who?

  20. Not all of Doug’s titles came in the 2.

  21. You can not be great and win a title. You win four in a row with two different teams, chassis and engine builders and history will reflect kindly on you. Jimmie Johnson may not be the best wheelman but he has done what nobody else has ever done and already has a seat waiting for him at the Hall of Fame. Coby has earned his place in history. I think he has gone to the World Series each year having to beat somebody for the title. No blown saves. He always gets better as the year goes on.

  22. Mark,Dougs record speaks for itself.I would say though when our hero Ryan won his championship Doug was interviewed I believe on this site and stated” he’s got it wrapped up.All he needs is a top 20 finish.He will be very careful and stay out of trouble”.If you remember Ryan qualified near the top and proceeded to race at a torrid pace wheel to wheel with the leaders all day and only a amazing effort by Rowan Pennick kept him from winning the race.I don’t know how Derrick and Sly felt,but for me it was a thrilling day.I think Ryan will do well in the years ahead.Doug will add to his record unless MSIII loses his marbles and puts anyone else in that seat.

  23. Art, I agree, Kolbie’s record will speak for itself. Just look at it:


    Kolbie didn’t have a real ride for the first 9 years. Played a journeyman role for 9 years.

    Then the B52 deal came along, a remarkable shoestring budget deal, that was a very good car. Two seasons of that, pretty good results in a pretty good car. That team shut down, and Kolbie goes to the 2 team. Szegedy is moved out, Kolbie is in. The 2 team equipment gets better and better. I admire the car. It is by far a superior car, make that engine and carburetor. That is remarkable in this day with the rules the way they are, yaknow, things like parts must be used as from the manufacturer.

    Stefanik also said it, it is clearly the right parts. The parts are so good, Kolbie has not had to race, just drive fast to keep away from traffic.

  24. dareal,I think that not having a real ride for 9 years and still being able keep your nose to the grindstone is real good experience.The 2 called, and Doug comes in and immediately the 2 turns into a winner.The car seems to continually improve.Thats Phil Moran.Then last year Doug turns into Kolbie.Maybe last years wrecking,junking,and pissing and moaning on the podium were an anomaly,as his performance this year was up to what I had been used to seeing.My earlier post about him not racing for the win is something I think most drivers and owners would do.That being said,four championships in a short time with two teams is very impressive.Add to that they are the team to beat going forward.The 2 will have very stiff competition from the get go next year.Good for all of us!

  25. Art, points racing prohibits racing for the win. Better to finish with the points and championship than try to get a win and blow it all.

    Art, the 2 had the championship locked a long time ago, and only three cars were potential contenders, with the 16 falling out a couple races before the end. The 2, 51, and 16 collected the lion’s share of bonus points. As I said before, it was racing for second place. This looks no different than built motor racing. Still no parity. NASCAR still has plenty of work to do to level out the playing field.

    The competition will still end up being between two or three cars, as always. Three cars, the 2, 16, and 51, won 13 of 17 races. The 2 would have won that Stafford race if it didn’t run out of gas with a couple laps to go. The 82, 44, 4, and 58 won the other races. So in the beginning of the 2017 season, are you going to say that there’s 10-15 cars that can win on any given race? Will you, and others, say that yet again?

    Do you want to say that 10-15 cars can win on any night, and see that 10-15 different cars actually win on any night? Well, then NASCAR has to establish parity. In this day of SPEC motors, cookie cutter chassis, and one tire manufacturer, there should be much closer racing, within the race and for the championship.

    I say get rid of points and the points fund, distribute all funds through all races, let each race be a stand-alone event, and the car that has the best average finish at the end of the season gets a trophy. Load up first place with bonus bucks to make drivers go for it. Award bonus bucks at certain lap points, say ¼ of the race, ½, and ¾ to force racing within the race, so there’s no pacing and saving for the end. A race will now be a concatenation of sprints to the bonus lap, with a big payout for the last sprint. I think they should try this at least one race, but it needs a purse to distribute at the bonus lap points. Maybe Tri-Track could do this at one of their events..

  26. dareal,being more creative with the scoring probably will never fly.People are to conservative.Not to say it would be a bad idea.Also purses so low they’re ashamed to publicize them doesn’t help.It may be only three cars in the thick of the championship next season but I am prepared to say on a given nite the 2,51,16,4,8,85,58,89,3,44,and 82 could win.I will also say that of two races at Riverhead there are 2 or 3 locals that could take it down.I went to Monadnock last summer and was shocked to see very few interested in taking a shot at that pot.Maybe we’re wrong about purses being to low.A racey place that everyone has lap time on and an easy drive for many New England teams and nobody takes a shot.

  27. Season ending championship ! !

    Because of your lack of real and actual racing knowledge or actual hands on experience, along with the highest level of humorous spew, we the readers have awarded you with the championship trophy for the most read and most laughed at posts on the entire internet ! Due to non-live TV you only have 3 hours to give your award acceptance spewage. Please keep testing during the offseason so you can be right up there with the 2 car in 2017. Thank You for a most humorous and pleasurable time this season while I was sitting on my porcelain throne.

  28. And in the off season maybe you can grow a few more pencils in your front pocket

  29. darealgoodfella says

    Art, go look over the statistics, also known as facts, for the number of different winners per season over the last few years. You will be disappointed to find not many seasons, if any, come close to ten different winners in a season. By the middle of the season, the championship race is down to just a couple cars. Season after season after season…

    I admire your optimism.

  30. Fast Eddie says

    Dareal, the next Speedbowl race seems to me to be a little like your suggestion. Two 35 lap
    “qualifiers” (first 1/3 of the event) with $3K to win and the “feature” (last 2/3) with $5K to win, along with good payouts through the field. I thought last year’s event was really good with this format. I like both the TTOMS formats; the best racing of the year for me.

  31. Spec-tre, hang on he’s got one more shot after this weekends show at Waterford which should be priceless!

  32. dareal,they are facts indeed,but you can look at the cyclical nature of all sports to see that in a given period there will be strong teams and weaker ones.Then they fall by the wayside and others take their place.That said i will fall back on the age old cliche “on a given sunday”.That is precisely what you asked me and I stand by my answer.
    P.S. I neglected to include the 6 which is capable of winning anytime anywhere,and of course the 01 is always capable of a top 20.I know somebody who will drink to that.

  33. In addition to Monadnock dropping the WMT off the schedule for next year it looks like something similar may be coming for the VMRS. The below is posted on the MTS website and the first 2 dates they give have been annually for the VMRS as the Bond Auto Spring Dash and the Firecracker. I know this is off topic but wanted to know if Shawn has heard anything more about this.

    The Modified Touring Series is proud to announce, after months of talks, the signing of our first three dates of the 2017 racing season: Monadnock Speedway (April 29, July 1 and September 16). Larry and Deneen Cirillo along with Fred Pafume of Monadnock Speedway have been supporters of MTS from the beginning. Hosting our first race, The Winchester 200 in may of this year.
    Teams will be racing the 2017 season for a $40,000.00 point fund and a per race event of $3000.00 to win. We will also be introducing an exciting points chase that will ensure that each race will keep competitors and fans on the edge of their seats every time the drivers hit the track.
    We are currently in talks with other tracks for more dates for the upcoming season.

    Per Race Purse:
    1st $3000
    2nd $1600
    3rd $1300
    4th $1075
    5th $975
    6th $925
    7th $875
    8th $850
    9th $825
    10th $800
    11th $775
    12th $750
    13th $725
    14th $700
    15th $675
    16th $660
    17th $660
    18th $660
    19th 660
    20th $660
    21st $660
    22nd $660
    23rd $660
    24th $660

  34. Andy Boright says

    Art, if you knew teams would need to buy 12 tires to have a chance to win at Monadnock, then the lack of cars wouldn’t have shocked you.

    The race sponsor on the other hand, was counting on teams buying a bunch of tires.

  35. Andy,I thought you could buy up to 12 tires.Didn’t the 6 buy tires in the pits from another team?With the purse for that event you buy some American Racer tires and call it a day.It’s a harder compound and 12 tires is probably way more than needed.The tire people must have paid a good chunk of the purse or the tires that everyone runs would have been the choice.Has ROC gone back to Hoosier?Matt Hirschman ran some races last year and didn’t pit for tires at all.

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