Doug Coby Leads Whelen Modified Tour To NAPA Spring Sizzler At Stafford

(Press Release from Stafford Motor Speedway)

Doug Coby (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

Five-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby finds himself in a familiar place as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour prepares to descend on Stafford Speedway for the 48th Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler®.  Despite being a 5-time series champion, Coby has come to Stafford the past 2 years off to a slow start.  But with a win and top-10 finishes in each of the first three races of the 2019 season, Coby and the #2 Mayhew Tools team lead the standings and are poised to continue their success at Stafford.

“It certainly puts us in a better frame of mind,” said Coby.  “We’ve had some really strong runs the first 3 races of the season and we could have won 2 of the 3 races so it’s been a good start.  It can always go downhill from here so we just have to keep to our plan and chip away at each race one at a time.  I would expect us to be pretty strong again at the Sizzler.  With Stafford being my home track it’s a place that I know very well.  The track always seems to have a lot of grip for the Sizzler so that’s always fun with the lap times being pretty fast.”

Since Coby joined the Mike Smeriglio owned #2 team in 2014, he has scored 6 wins and finished outside the top-8 only 3 times in 18 Stafford starts.  Coby and the #2 team will come to the NAPA Spring Sizzler® this season with a new shock setup in his #2 machine that he hasn’t run at Stafford previously but has run in the first three NWMT races this season. Coby feels confident that the new package won’t throw him or his team any curveballs.

“We have a few different things with our team with a new shock package so we won’t have the same tried and true setup that we’ve run the last couple years,” said Coby.  “It’s something that we’ll have to adjust to and make sure the car will last all 200 laps.  It was pretty good at Myrtle Beach and Thompson so I think we’ll be good to go at Stafford and hopefully we can get a good starting spot so we can dictate our pit strategy and not have to worry about track position.  Everyone on the Tour works hard on fine tuning their cars and that’s why we’ve made some changes for our car this year and we’re excited to see where we stack up for the Sizzler.”

As good as Coby has been with his race finishes at Stafford, his qualifying performances have been just as strong if not stronger.  In the 18 Stafford races that Coby has been behind the wheel of the #2 car, he has 7 pole positions, including an impressive 6 in a row from 2015-2017. When he wasn’t starting on the pole he was starting in the top10, with top-10 starting positions in 17 of those 18 races.

“We have 2 poles in the first 3 races this season so far so I expect we’ll be strong again in qualifying,” said Coby.  “Stafford is going to be tough.  Chase Dowling set the track record last year after I had set it the year before at a 17.89 and I didn’t think anyone would ever get close to that and he ran a 17.72.  There’s going to be fast cars there for qualifying but I know our car will last the whole race and I think that’s where a lot of other guys are still trying to find out what will make their car last for 200 laps.”

Coby’s first career NWMT win came in the 2006 NAPA Spring Sizzler® when he was driving the #77 car owned by Curt Chase.  He has since added two more Sizzler wins in 2012 and 2016.  With 3 Sizzler wins to his credit, Coby trails only Mike Stefanik with 4 and Ted Christopher with 6 on the all-time Sizzler® winners list and he has his sights set on one day becoming the winningest driver in Sizzler® history.  

“It’s definitely the most prestigious race in terms of history on our schedule,” said Coby.  “It’s obviously a big deal for me.  It’s where I got my first Tour win and I’d certainly love to one day go down as the driver who has won the most Sizzlers if I can string together some more wins in the latter half of my career.  It’s a great race because of all the fans who come out and the weather is turning warmer, so it’s a lot of fun.  We always have a large turnout from Mayhew Tools and family and friends in the stands so hopefully we can get #4 this year.”

Coby will also be motivated to win this year’s NAPA Spring Sizzler® in memory of one of his long time supporters.  In addition to Mayhew Tools, Coby and the #2 team have brought back Reynolds Auto Wrecking, who will be on the car for the NAPA Spring Sizzler® and the remainder of the 2019 season.

“We brought Reynolds Auto Wrecking back on board with us after several years away and they’ll be back with us for the rest of the season along with Mayhew Tools,” said Coby.  “Harvey Berube was a big supporter of mine and he passed away last November and his wife Kim came to me and wanted to get back on the car in his memory.  There’s a special relationship there and I’d love to be able to get a Sizzler victory for the Berube family as well as Mayhew Tools.”

The NAPA Spring Sizzler® spans 3 days kicking off Friday, April 26th with a full afternoon of practice for Stafford’s weekly divisions.  The weekend continues Saturday, April 27 with qualifying for all divisions including group qualifying for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour as well as feature racing for the Vintage All-Stars, Limited Late Models and Street Stocks.  New for 2019, the Saturday Street Stock feature will be a 30 lap special event as part of the RMSPCO.com Street Stock Triple Crown.  Sizzler® weekend is capped off Sunday, April 28 with the NAPA Auto Parts Pit Party and feature racing for the SK Modifieds®, Late Models, SK Light Modifieds, and finally the NAPA Spring Sizzler® 200 for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

Tickets for the “Greatest Race in the History of Spring” are on sale now by calling the Speedway Box Office 860-684-2783 or online at www.staffordspeedway.com.  Discount NAPA Spring Sizzler® tickets that include access to the NAPA lunch buffet are available at participating NAPA Auto Parts Stores.  For a full list of participating locations throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont, please call the speedway office or point your web browser to www.staffordmotorspeedway.com/participating-napa-auto-parts-stores


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Comments

  1. Pretty impressive entry list so far. Should be a good event.

    It’s a very long drive to get there for me, but worth it.

    200 laps at Stafford will take tire management.

  2. Shouldn’t come down to tire management, the teams should be given a set number of tires per event, and how they use them should be their concern. They should at least be able to change 2 tires at a time. The only thing the one tire rule has done is make cautions longer.

  3. It’s always about tire management. SoBo was all about tire management. This is a 200 lap event, they are going to have to stretch their tires.

    Almost all of the field comes in for tires early in the race, well before halfway. TC used to spend the early part of the race adjusting the car and took tires at the end. He laughed in interviews about this, and how he was able to dominate and charge to the front when everyone else was on old tires and slower. All he had to do was stay on the lead lap until late in the race and then take tires. He did this all the time and nobody tried to keep with him, they kept taking tires early and had no way to compete with a car with new tires at the end.

  4. The tire change rule is four (4) tires, any position with the option to use a 500 RR. One of the change tires must be a practice tire. Also, teams are going to need to take on fuel.

  5. Go back to 80 laps. I don’t enjoy watching race cars just ride around

  6. Who has the best book and resources may be the real story.
    Looking at the top three results for all the NWMT results at Stafford over the last three years may provide clues.
    The obvious favorite should be Coby with three wins in 9 races and 6 podiums. Also obvious is Justin Bonsignor’s lack of success. A second and third in three years neither of which was recently.
    Goodale could be the second favorite to Coby with a third and a win in the last two years as well as a win in a Stafford Open. Goodale is a late race tire changer as he demonstrated in the Open and at South Boston.
    Wild cards with track familiarity and a podium could include Dowling in the Jet’s car, the 3, Blewett who had success at Stafford in the 4, Silk with momentum and maybe Pitkat.
    All of which probably assures that JB who is behind the 8 ball, has one of the two best teams in the series and is due will win it going away.

  7. That’s allotta laps for so little tire.

    Look for a little racing the first 25 laps, then pacing until the last 25 laps. Any car that has the freshest tires will be in the hunt at go time. Crucial to save tires. Just pace for 175 laps, tweak the chassis, wait for that later yellow to take on tires. The cars that take on tires early have no chance.

  8. You said it dareal, 4 tires for 200 laps, especially seeing how these setups work all 4 tires. Guess we’ll have to wait and see. Right now the weather calls for a 70% chance of rain (subject to change), we may be looking at a 100 lap (or so) race. Looking forward to getting back to the track.

  9. This is a long distance race for the allotted tires. The special flux capacitors will be installed.

  10. “TC used to spend the early part of the race adjusting the car and took tires at the end. He laughed in interviews about this, and how he was able to dominate and charge to the front when everyone else was on old tires and slower.”

    I also remember Rowan Pennink and team successfully using a similar strategy in the 25 car in open events. Just drive in circles at the tail of the lead lap, with plenty of space to avoid back of the pack messes, until halfway, then dominate and win…

  11. Weather update. Long range looking great. Sunny Saturday with a pesky wind gusting to 28. High near 60.
    Sunday nearly ideal. Sunny, high near 62 with wind nil.

  12. Out and about on social media.
    -What’s the status of the chassis war early on. Top 10 has 4 Fury/ LFR, 5 Troyer and the 3 that is in it’s own class.
    -is it Fury/LFR? Fury seems to think so since they chime in every so often laying claim to Coby and JB’s success on Twitter. But we all know who the mastermind is don’t we?
    -Was driving for LFR an opportunity for Kyle Benjamin or is he more a part of the sales team?
    April 10, LFR Facebook
    “Well that didn’t take long……the LFR house car is SOLD! Congrats to Chris Pasteryak and his racing family on their new purchase! This will put 2 LFR cars in their stable for 2019”
    -ya know this guy Coby could be pretty good if he and his team didn’t have such bad luck. Nails in tires before a couple races and the costly miscue at Thompson. In spite of all that he’s in first place you say. Whoa, that 2 team can tie a arm behind their back a still be the car to beat.
    -And being in first place is a good place to be when you are getting some good natured chops busting by some pretty heavy hitters for blowing a likely win on pit road.
    -Who is LFR’s engineering department go to guy for feedback…the very same no 2. Also mentoring young Kyle in the unique characteristics of modifieds.
    -do families share the same race chassis loyalties. No. Justin and Kyle Bonsignor LFR and Troyer. Kieth and Jeff Rocco Troyer and LFR.
    -speaking of Jeff, LFR and EH Racing have put the finishing touches on an LFR chassied car in preparation for Stafford. Something to keep an eye on.

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