Beach Bound: Doug Coby, Smeriglio Racing Heading To New Smyrna World Series

Doug Coby (right) and his Mike Smeriglio Racing crew chief Phil Moran (left) will head to New Smyrna Speedway in February (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)

The handicapping of the championship predictions for the Tour Type Modified division at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing in February took a dramatic turn on Tuesday. 

On Tuesday morning when New Smyrna Speedway officials revealed their latest entry list for the Tour Type Modified division for the Feb. 7-16 World Series included on the list was five-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby. 

Coby told RaceDayCT Tuesday that his Mike Smeriglio Racing team will compete in all five Tour Type Modified events at the track during the World Series. 

Coby said the decision to go to New Smyrna ultimately was about preparation for the 2019 Whelen Modified Tour season, which kicks off on March 16 at Myrtle Beach Speedway in Myrtle Beach Speedway. The series will also head to South Boston (Va. ) Speedway March 30 before heading to New England for the Icebreaker at Thompson Speedway April 7. 

“We had been trying to come up with some ways to do some preseason testing and I guess our biggest concern with the tracks we were going to go test at were just some unknowns with the weather and whether the track would be ready,” Coby told RacecDayCT. “We could have had all these great plans to test somewhere in the Mid-Atlantic region or even kind of close to like North Carolina or so, just to get some shock stuff tested and some new ideas that we want to try. We were just really concerned about whether or not we’d actually be able to get to those tracks before the Myrtle Beach. 

“We had talked about New Smyrna and said we were not going to go and then the more we thought about it the more we really realized that this was the only guarantee that we would have to get the car on the track before Myrtle Beach. That’s kind of what started it, and then we said ‘If we’re going to go we’re going to go run all five nights and do as much testing as we can and try some new setup stuff.” 

Coby saw his championship streak of four consecutive titles snapped in 2018 by Justin Bonsignore, who ran away with his first series title. Coby had one win in 2018 and finished third in standings in 2018, 118 points behind Bonsignore, who won eight of 16 series events. 

At New Smyrna Coby will be learning as much as his team. Coby’s only experience at the track came in 2014 when his Smeriglio team made one start after the Whelen Modified Tour’s Battle at the Beach at Daytona International Speedway. 

“That’s the only experience that I have on the track,” Coby said. “In 2014 when I first went there that was the first time I had ever seen. So I’m still kind of a rookie there.” 

Coby said despite the team’s focus on testing, their goal is to win races at New Smyrna and chase a World Series championship. 

“I think maybe the opportunities to just get on the track for practicing is more where we’re gearing our testing ideas for. … Don’t get me wrong, we’re going down there to win some races and testing is going to happen simultaneously. We’re aware that obviously you can tear up a car down there. We wouldn’t go if we didn’t have enough cars to bring one down. You take the risk of some misfortune to try to make our program better than it was last year.”

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  1. Stellar field of cars for the World Series of Stock Car Auto Racing at New Smyrna.

  2. As of 1/16/19
    1NY Chris Ridsdale. Rochester, NY
    2 Doug Coby. Milford, CT
    2 Bertuccio Racing (Driver TBA)
    4 Jeffrey Gallup. Feeding Hills, MA
    6 Ryan Preece. Berlin, CT
    12 Andy Jankowiak. Buffalo, NY
    16 Timmy Solomito. Islip, NY
    17 Bobby Measmer. Concord, NC
    21 Jimmy Blewett. Howell Township, NJ
    22 Chuck Hossfeld. Ransomville, NY
    25C Calvin Carroll. Johnsonburg, NJ
    25N Nikki Carroll. Johnsonburg, NJ
    33 Gary Fountain. Wesley Chapel, FL
    36 Dave Sapienza Riverhead, Ny
    45 Timmy Catalano. Ontario, NY
    46 Jeff Goodale. Riverhead, NY
    54 Tommy Catalano. Ontario, NY
    55 Jeremy Gerstner. Wesley Chapel, FL
    60 Matt Hirschman. Northampton, PA
    64 Amy Catalano. Ontario, NY
    71 Jimmy Zacharias. Candor, NY
    83 Mike Willis Jr. Grantham, NH
    92 Anthony Nocella. Woburn, MA
    05 TBA Bullet Racing Entry
    07 Patrick Emerling. Williamson, NY

  3. WHAT?????? The 2 is testing???? 🤯 I thought all those LFR cars were a 😍 team ❤️ that shared setup data? I’m gobsmacked and flabbergasted. Don’t the LFR cars come with a top ㊙️ secret ㊙︎ setup manual from the factory?

  4. If last year is any indication FanschoiceTV will announce they are covering the World Series from New Smyrna somewhere around January 27. Or not.
    If they do it could be considered one of the highlights of 2019 for we in the frozen north made all the more compelling by a field that is shaping up to be simply outstanding.
    At no time can you see the best of the ROC, NWMT, VMRS along with some southern teams go head to head let alone head to head on 5 consecutive nights.
    Like last year the ROC is well represented with a full stable of Catalano’s, heavy hitters Hossfeld, Jankowiak and Emerling. The VMRS has front runners Nocella and Willis. The NWMT Solomito, Coby, Spienza. Yes the lines are blurred with divided loyalties sometime but you get the idea.
    Super freelancer and perpetual front runner Matt Hirschman will of course be in attendance and will no doubt spend most of his time up front. As will our biggest name and reigning man of the people Ryan Preece. Somehow breaking away from his top tier commitments to provide us with a nostalgic flashback to his modified roots greatness in the 6.
    Who else will show? Eric Goodale, the 7 NY, Silk, Williams, Bohn, Lutz?
    Hirschman and Preece you’d expect to win. But of the rest who will surprise? Hossfeld, Jankowiak, Sapienza in his new LFR or Emerling? Or ???
    Best binge of the year and to my knowledge the only time the ROC is present in force at an open event to show just how good they are. If we’re lucky like last year we’ll be able to watch live.

  5. Pretty good roster so far.

    I’m gonna have lots of fun this year.

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