Passing Grade: Doug Coby Wins First Tour Type Mod Feature At New Smyrna World Series

Doug Coby celebrates his first career Tour Type Modified victory at New Smyrna Speedway Monday (Photo: Jim DuPont)

Editors Note: Second place finisher Patrick Emerling was disqualified following post-race inspection for left side weight issues. Third place finisher Matt Hirschman was moved to second and Jimmy Blewett was moved from fourth to third.

NEW SMYRNA, FLA. – When Doug Coby and his Mike Smeriglio Racing team began analyzing their preparation plans for the 2019 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season, it was realized that their options for preseason testing were fairly limited. 

It led to the team’s decision to head to New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway for the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing for a weeklong test session in Florida. 

On opening night for the Tour Type Modifieds at New Smyrna Monday it was Coby, of Milford, showing that he had done his homework and was ready to ace the test. 

In his second career start at New Smyrna Speedway, Coby went to the lead at the start and never trailed again on the way to victory in the 50-lap Tour Type Modified feature. 

“It’s awesome,” Coby said. “This is like a brand new track for me. I don’t have any experience here. These guys have been running here, for some of these guys, 10-12 years. … They’ve got 80-90 races on me. It helps to have a great prepared car by [crew chief] Phil Moran and all the guys on the Mayhew Tools [sponsored] team. We’ve got a very small crew here this week.” 

Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park, N.Y. was second and Matt Hirschman of third. 

Coby, the five-time Whelen Modified Tour champion, qualified second to Emerling in the 24-car field which started straight up from qualifying. 

Following a lap 22 caution the race went green to its conclusion, with Coby easily checking out from Emerling. 

“Great to start off with a win,” Coby said. “We worked really hard on Thursday to come up with some changes and we left them in the car to see how they would race and they raced pretty darn good. We’re going to try some more stuff. That’s why we’re here. We’re here to test.” 

Said Emerling: “He was just a little bit better than me. … We finished second to a five-time NASCAR Mod champion. That’s not a horrible day for us.”

The Tour Type Modifieds will run five consecutive nights at New Smyrna, culminating with the Richie Evans Memorial 100 on Friday.

Coby’s only other start at New Smryna Speedway came in 2014 when his team was in Florida for the Battle at the Beach for the Whelen Modified Tour at Daytona International Speedway. 

“I don’t care what race track it is, Doug Coby, he can get it done,” Moran said. “We came down here to try some stuff and so far so good.”

Coby had a streak of four consecutive Whelen Modified Tour championships snapped by Justin Bonsignore in 2018. Coby ended up third in the Whelen Modified Tour standings last year. 

“We want to win races, but we’re here to test for the [Whelen Modified Tour] season,” Coby said. “I’ve got to come after Justin Bonsignore.”

Coby understands that the weeklong grind will bring unforeseen challenges.

“Some of these guys ran some fast laps,” Coby said. “But we do not care about fast laps, we care about fast race cars. … We now have to worry about the [John Blewett III Memorial 76] and [the Richie Evans Memorial 100] races. And qualifying good every night to stay up front. Matt Hirschman is going to be tough to hold off. He was really strong and had a really good run tonight. I think that Emerling was holding him up a bit. If he had gotten by him he would have had a good shot at it. It is a long week here and we are trying to keep these cars in one piece.”

Hirschman is looking to defend his World Series Tour Type Modified championship from 2018.

“The car was good,” Hirschman said of his third place run Monday. “Better than the driver I think because I was not making passes that I should have. I just have to get a little bit better. I had a couple of times that I was able to get a wheel but the one time I had a good run I ended up slipping up.  Really this is a good start for the first night. Hopefully the weather cooperates so we can get all the nights in and hopefully we can get a little ahead here.”

Denise DuPont contributed to this report

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  1. Impressive win. Great job for only his second time there but of course quality teams bounce back when down. LOL in the VL interview telling Justin he’s coming for him. I’d not wager against the Mayhew team anytime soon.

  2. Winners and disappointments
    Winner-Doug Coby-from practice to qualifying to the feature consistently turned in the fastest laps and consistently beat off Emerling on restarts.
    Disappointments-Jankowiak and Tommy Catalano-equipment failures derailed their races but aside from that disappointing lap speeds for the first night.
    Winner- Emerling- Hirshman was consistently faster but was kept at bay through guile and tenacity to take second. Sometimes the status quo can be exciting.
    Disappointment-Hirschman-see his article comments and Emerling above
    Disappointment-Preece-not only for the equipment issue at the start of the race but the fact his lap times were not as good as he clearly was expecting.
    Winners-Willis and Gerstner plus 10 spots each to finish in the top 10.
    Winner-Amy Catalano- yes it’s sexist but coming home with a respectable 12th for a cihck against some of the best is tour modified racing was an accomplishment.
    Winner- Solomito-survived a flat tire and came back to 7th while showing top three speed.
    Winner-the field with no week ending racing wrecks.
    Winner-all modified racing fans. Not a lot of movement in front but a lot of drama throughout an absolutely loaded field on the first night.

  3. I heard Emerling was disqualified, anyone know the reason?

  4. Which cars were the new Troyer? I’m sure the 16 had one and the car we saw Tommy working on was one also. I’m asking because we have one at home and I hope it will be a answer to the LFR cars. Not sure our family owned team made the right decision when there is one LFR car in the field and folks he won by a ton. I saw what you saw Doug. Just not sure how to tell my dad how the new cars ran when he asks this morning.

  5. Is Doug the only LFR car there? Is Fuller there with a house car? I’m a fan folks so please don’t start with the LFR bashing that seems to happen frequently on this thread. I appreciate hard work that leads to results. Doug you might be able to help answer this. You seem to have some connections.

  6. CG,
    Hearing it involved a left side weight issue.

  7. I believe Spec’s are only allowed 55 ls vs builts 56. Don’t quote me on that.
    Emerling’s car is a new Troyer and I believe Hossfelds is too.

  8. Boring Race JMO – Now if they handicapped the field for tonight it would no doubt be better – I missed the K&N race

  9. Steve it’s only the same few that trash LFR, but like I’ve said before Troyer hadn’t done anything to update chassis for years till LFR came along , now I think this is the second new chassis to come along in a few years from Troyer so like Fuller or not I think it’s good for us fans as far as the quality of racing and for some a chance to cheer for there favorite chassis builder .the more the merrier

  10. Tammy, I guess I am wondering why your dad bought a new TA3, a car that is seeing its first track time this week and yet to be proven. I certainly would wait a bit until it had some R&D and races under it before making the investment.

    If he is going Whelen Tour racing where they use the lighter aluminum spec engine I see LFR is definitely the ticket from where I sit. Any other Tour division where they run the heavier steel block engines then Troyer seems to rule the roost.

    This is only my opinion and by no means am l picking on you so please don’t think I am.

  11. Sure wish Preece didn’t have that shifter problem. The 6 CD car ran very well.

  12. NH MOD CHASER says

    Hossfelds car is a new Troyer

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