Nailed It: Doug Coby Wins Whelen Modified Tour Season Opener At Myrtle Beach

Doug Coby celebrates in victory lane following the Whelen Modified Tour season opening Performance Plus 150 at Myrtle Beach Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont)

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – It seemed the racing gods were determined to make sure five-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby started the 2019 season in a hole at Myrtle Beach Speedway. 

After winning the pole in qualifying Coby was forced by NASCAR to drop to the rear of the field for the start of the Performance Plus 150 Saturday after the team found a nail in a tire while bringing the car to the track for driver introductions and was forced to make a change.

Then on lap 26 Coby was involved in an early melee, dropping him once again to the rear of the field. 

But the rallying attitude never waned for the Milford driver. 

Coby used a late pit stop for tires to rocket from 14thplace to the lead over 13 laps and drove away through traffic over the closing laps to win the Whelen Modified Tour Performance Plus 150 at Myrtle Beach Speedway. 

Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford, Mass. was second and Jimmy Blewett of Howell, N.J. third. 

Following the race Coby expressed his displeasure with NASCAR’s decision to drop him to the rear of the 32-car field for the start. 

“What happened at the start of the race, after the pit party out here, NASCAR decided to drive us in all the junk behind the track and as the first car through there we picked up a nail or something in the left front tire. [My Crew chief Phil Moran] saw it right as we were ready to go. The officials saw it and it was leaking air real bad and it was going to go flat. And the rule is that I guess you’ve got to go to the back for that. I don’t think that’s a good rule for any series to have. I’m really supportive of good rules and I’m really critical of bad rules and that’s not a good rule. I’m sure [none of the fans] had any idea what was going on and that’s not good for racing.

“… I know you guys don’t like those cookie cutter drivers that have no opinions because they can’t say their minds. But if you follow the Modified Tour enough you’ll find that most of us drivers here aren’t afraid to say what we feel and I think that’s good for racing.”\

It was the 25th career series victory for Coby, who won his first series title in 2012 and then won four consecutive from 2014-2017.

“I’m really happy to get this win for Mayhew Tools and I thank all the fans from Myrtle Beach for coming out,” Coby said. “That’s really important.”

Coby restarted in 14th after pitting on lap 109. He took the lead for good on lap 122.

After Coby went to the lead Blewett hounded him at the front briefly before falling back to third late.

“I don’t ever make excuses but the battery died in this car and I only had a quarter throttle,” Blewett said. “The thing was breaking up down the whole straightaway. Once I got into second it just started missing. I didn’t know if I was running out of fuel or what the problem was. We definitely had something for him, I just didn’t have the power with the battery being dead. Hats off to Doug and his guys.”

Said Coby: “There’s 32 cars here and if there’s one I don’t want behind me with 10 [laps] to go it’s Jimmy Blewett. I was trying to keep my distance from him. … I just wanted to stay as far ahead as I could.”

McKennedy was left to celebrate first runner-up in an event he won in 2018.

“We came through the field twice and were just a little bit too tight at the end,” McKennedy said. “Doug was really good at the end. We are happy with a second. We ran well and they knew we were here. It was a great way to start the season.

“… We still had the best car out there. Our strategy hurt us a little bit there. It was a gamble we took and the competition was close here. But we qualified second and finished second.”

Denise DuPont contributed to this report


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Comments

  1. In the short term anyway Coby’s mojo…….de-funked.
    The Possum’s glow from New Smyrna……….dimmed.
    The Dive Bomber-better then Williams
    The field……..outstanding.
    The crowd……….don’t like Yankees

  2. Congrats to Doug and the 2 team. Pole and win in an impound race. Great job!!!

  3. Great coverage by Fans Choice. Seeing it live is cool and in a few days we will get to see it from another view on NBCSN!

  4. So what was Lutz mad about at the finish there??? Fans Choice commentary was PAINFUL to listen to. Sooooo many errors, not knowing drivers, and in general not knowing what was going on. Solid race, great start to the season!

  5. NH MOD CHASER says:

    Lutz lost his brakes at the end,apologized to the 2 team after race..

  6. What happened to Bonsignore and Hirschman? Bad pit/tire strategy?

  7. Great job Chris Pasteryak on your top 5 in the new LFR.

  8. Great race. Looks like the abrasive surface beat many of the teams. Many didn’t manage tire wear and were left with nothing at Go-Time. The last few laps were a race against the track surface and if they had enough tire to last.

    Not too bad of a wreck-fest given the season opener and an unfamiliar track.

    Plenty of good cars had nothing left and fell away.

    Rob Summers was doing great until Pasteryak put an end to that.

    Jimmy Blewett had a great race, he can drive.

    Thanks FANSCHOICE for the great coverage!!!!

    South Boston, NEXT!

  9. Pretty sure the FANSCHOICE commentary was done by the local track announcers. You could tell by them before the race starting talking about something specific to a weekly division there and you could also hear them telling the Late Model teams not to stand in the middle of pit road while the race was going on. I am almost certain all of the NBCSN tape delayed broadcasts had play by play added later in a studio by announcers who were not actually at the race.(they may have one reporter there, but they are not calling the race)

  10. So now that the first race is over, let’s all go back to the article last month and see exactly how dumb and way off Dareal is. Let’s read his post together about the 2 car slump and the 75 not being able to improve. Whew, that man has missed more marks than anyone here. But he’s so much smarter than everyone in his defunct world, poor little man.

  11. Paul I’m with you , but let’s not forget it’s one race and I won’t let him forget his comment after first race last year ( Troyer 1_2_3 ) , how’d that work out for him . I’m sure he can put his twist on it and tell us how good he is

  12. Paul needs to read the interview with Coby talking about the problems the 2 had in 2018 and how it all started in 2017, and how they tested, and tested, and tested in the off season to address those issues.

    Oh boy, hand out the participation awards. Seriously… 5th place is an improvement? Apparently you also have low expectations for the 75. Attrition by plenty of good cars, such as the 60, 51, 16, 54, 64, 46, 25, 85, 36, 3, 82 and a few others left a void for the 75 to fill.

  13. moonglum says:

    i was away for the weekend had no cell phone my question is did mckennedy drive his own car or for some one else

  14. Moonglum,
    Raced for Baldwin.

  15. Good race IMO, having the 2 come from the back of the pack proves that it makes the racing better if the cars are handicapped. The 2 had fresher tires at the end, would have been interesting if Showtime didn’t have the battery issue.

  16. I’ve read all I need to read from you. The gradual turnaround by the 51 comment was all I and everyone here need to read. Zero wins and frustration in 2017 and total domination like NO TEAM has done in the history of the tour in 2018. Gradual…..that’s like saying your a little off with comments.

  17. Attrition? So all those cars dropped out? Not. Looks like pure and simple they made the wrong call on pit/ tire strategy.

    We all know you don’t like the 75 but let’s give credit where credit is due. They made the right call at the right time, what is it called, oh yea, racing the race. Where did he finish last year in the same race with his Troyer? Sure was not 5th so was it an improvement from last year driving his LFR? Answer is yes.

    It is ok just to say hey, I was wrong.

  18. Viva race fan says:

    Did Melissa in the 01show ?

    Always a fan favorite .

    Bet Dareal don’t think so ..

  19. x-6 stefanik 97,98 check your stats laps led /top 5 /top 10s /Wins

  20. Looks like Paul found the interview with Coby and how the 2 started the slump in ’17, went through ’18 in a slump, and how they tested and tested to get ready for this year. So what does Paul do? Changes the subject to the 51. 🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡

    The 51 took a very slow and steady path to improvement. Did well in ’18, which was enhanced because the 2 was slumping, the 16 had a bit of an off year, Preece was gone, Pennink was out. The 51 won a few races in the years before ’18. Finished a couple recent seasons in top 5 (’17, ’16, ’14) and top 10 in previous seasons. That’s slow and steady progress. Get it?

    So he eventually wins a championship in ’18. He was on that trajectory over many years.

    Paul, do you have a point? Paul, like no team in history? Really? Check the stats, some guy named Mike Stafanik.

    humphry, don’t worry, I tell you when you are wrong. Definition of attrition: the action or process of gradually reducing the strength or effectiveness of someone or something. There was a whole lot of attrition going on. Many, many cars that are usually top 10 and top 5, faded out of contention, well behind 10P. Very unusual to see that many good cars fade off like that. Only 9 cars on the lead lap, the last few laps were boring because the race was pretty much over several laps before the checkered flag. Even the cars on the lead lap were fading and spreading out, driving to the limits of what they had left. Perhaps they were expecting more yellows given the first race of the season and not that much experience with the track.

  21. Humphry gave a heads up on Pasteryak and was right. A top 5 has it’s own column in the NASCAR stats as a very good thing. It’s not average or OK. It’s top tier. Was this not an outstanding field of cars?

  22. I’m sorry and know no good can come from this but there is something obvious going on here that can’t be ignored. Love him or hate him Trump is known for never admitting being wrong. DGF same thing. The irony being DGF hates Trump but in every regard emulates his tactics.
    The goal of DGF is not to use facts to build a point based on events as they unfolded. It’s to repeat the same vague nonsense that justifies the point he originally made and can’t step back from.
    Humphry said it best.
    “It is ok just to say hey, I was wrong.”

  23. So in 2018 the 75 finished 18th at Myrtle beach and this year he finished 5th. That is in your words dareal a bigly huge improvement. So I have no problem telling you when you are wrong as well.

  24. So in 2018 the 75 finished 18th at Myrtle beach and this year he finished 5th. That is in your words dareal a bigly huge improvement. So I have no problem telling you when you are wrong as well.

  25. It was a really good race for the most part. Cars were all over, action throughout the field. Impressed with the low number of yellows. The long runs and abrasive surface had a role in the outcome. Good race. I’m looking forward to South Boston.

  26. -Ticket price $20. Even so a disappointing crowd?
    -12 lead changes among 7 drivers
    -6 cautions for 33 laps
    -Outperformed: Blewett (3), Emerling (4), Pasteryak (5), Nocella (6), Meyers (7), Seuss (8), Fleming (10)
    -Disappointments: Hirschman (11), Bonsignor (12), Sapienza (15), Swanson (18), Summers (22), Catalano (26), Silk (25), Rameau (31), Lutz (20).
    -Coby for the second time in 2019 going to the rear or penalized to rear for pre race tire change.
    -only 9 cars on lead lap at the checkers
    -Tomaino in to add to his unbeatable race start record and Dowling out.
    -Funk Meter: Coby (OFF). Solomito (ON)
    -Officially only 3 cars not running at checkers: Tomaino (brakes), Putnam (crash), Sutcliffe (clutch).
    -Best single lap speed under race conditions: McKennedy (20.126), Tommy Cat (20.154), Blewett (20.181), Coby (20.198), Bonsignor (20.27)

  27. SK Mod Fan says:

    Welcome new WMTSeason. Good race too. The 2 played their hand well in saving the car and pit strategy. Great interview too saying he was trying to get away from Showtime, 32 cars there and that car he did not want behind him. Showtime bombed and bounced off, drove up many cars. Fun to watch but no friends made, something to watch for as the season unfolds.
    Where was the #15 LFR House car?? I thought the “Mooch” was going full time ride on that. Crew Chief on that car Kopcik was wearing and helping the 2 team with his Father. Hmmmm.
    It was cold but not Thompson cold. We had nice southern hospitality. And Doug, yes, no Williams or Dowling. Apples and oranges for the 21 results. The skeleton crew of the 21 last year had the car fall off the jack, lost the lead lap in the pits and left 2 stickers on pit road never being able to get the lap back with the lucky dog and less cautions than this year. Williams had to save the car to fight another day vs go for positions on old tires. I was there last year too. Joe not Stash was the Crew Chief making the calls last year and apologized to Williams as soon as he exited the car. Apples/Oranges.
    Lots of strategy for these teams on this tire eating track. Look at the 16, 36, 46, 51, all good teams with bad results for them. Let the season begin!

  28. Performance can’t be gaged on 1 race. Let’s see where the teams stack up say after the sizzler. Not taking anything away from those who had good runs, just too early to tell.

  29. Kyle Benjamin is in LFR car for select races, Mooch was never in that car, that’s what was announced way back anyway, but I guess things can change

  30. Sharpie Fan says:

    Question — was this an impound race? If so, and the Tour required all cars to go out to the pit party on their race tires then this flat tire is on them and Doug should have been allowed to change it — no penalty. This is the exact reason that many local teams don’t go out to the pit party on their race tires unless they will be staying on the track for the first race.

  31. It was an impound race I’m not a Coby fan but he has a right to be mad.Made all the cars drive through the dirt typical nascar unfortunately the officials are legends in there own minds.

  32. If it was an impound race, NASCAR should allow the tire change and pay for the tire!!!!

    I often wonder about the risk to the cars with these pit parties and displays, especially the tires. It’s crazy seeing the stickers on the cars for these displays.

    I believe Coby & Co. went testing at Myrtle, so they had a huge advantage. They were aware of how abrasive the track is and how to manage it.

  33. There was testing at SB as well last Thursday before MB so some have a jump on next weekends event too.

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