Sizzling Again: Doug Coby Wins Fourth NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 At Stafford Speedway

Doug Coby celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 at Stafford Saturday (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

STAFFORD – At 39 years old, five-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby has established himself as one of the best short track drivers of his generation in the Northeast. 

He’s won and lost hard fought battles on short tracks up and down the east coast. 

But since his teenage years winning weekly division championships at Stafford Motor Speedway, some of Coby’s most hard fought battles on race tracks have come at the historic half-mile oval. 

According to the Milford driver, none was ever tougher than the one he fought Saturday to add to his amazing Stafford Speedway resume. 

Coby held off the furious charges off Craig Lutz over the final 10 laps to win the Whelen Modified Tour NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 at Stafford. 

It was the fourth Spring Sizzler victory for Coby. He got his first career series victory in event in 2006 and also won the Sizzler in 2012 and 2016. 

“It’s so special,” Coby said. “The Sizzler is the cat’s ass. This is the race everybody wants to win. We just battled all day.” 

Lutz, of Miller Place, N.Y. was second and Ron Silk of Norwalk third. 

Before heading to the Whelen Modified Tour Coby spent his formative years in stock car racing at Stafford, winning a Late Model championship in 1998 and a title in the former Pro Stock division in 2000. Defending his turf is still a factor that runs through the emotions for Coby. 

“It’s my home track,” Coby said. “It’s no different when I go to Riverhead [Raceway] and Justin [Bonsignore] and Timmy [Solomito] are trying to to keep me in third and second and fourth and knocking me around. This is my turf.” 

Saturday it was another Riverhead developed driver like Bonsigore and Solomito trying to knock Coby from his home track throne. 

Lutz looked to be on his way to his first career Whelen Modified Tour victory when he took the lead from Silk following a lap 184 restart. 

Coby, who had pitted for tires on lap 157 and clawed back through the field, followed Lutz into second on the restart. 

Coby got to the bumper of Lutz on lap 187 and two laps later used a diving move into turn three to take over the top spot. 

But Lutz was unrelenting in his fight with Coby. On lap 192 Lutz made a strong mover to get under Coby into turn one, but Coby was able to fend off the attack. Lutz haunted Coby’s bumper for the rest of the event. 

“It seemed like he got a little bit better after I passed him,” Coby said. “I would have liked to have drove away by two or three car lengths and have that be that. 

“This was the hardest I ever drove a race car on any track trying to win a race. And the car responded. I just did what I had and pushed it a little bit more every lap just to try to get a half a car length or a little bit of breathing room. … This was a hard fought good win for our team.” 

Said Lutz: “It’s what you dream about. He’s obviously one of the best here. To be able to run with him for the last 5-10 laps was fun. It’s probably the most disappointing second place just because I felt like all day we had a really good car.” 

It was 26thcareer Whelen Modified Tour victory for Coby and the second of the season. He won the season opener on March 16 at Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Speedway. 

It marked the third consecutive podium finish for 2011 series champion Ron Silk, who won on March 30 at South Boston (Va.) Speedway and was second in the Icebreaker 150 on April 7 at Thompson Speedway. 

“Things are going good,” Silk said. “Positive momentum. We’ve just got to keep trying. It feels good to run good for sure.”  

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  1. Richard Reynolds says

    Congratulations Doug Coby and crew

  2. Congrats to Doug and the 2 crew.

  3. It was a great race after the halfway point. Dowling was the dominant car and it was great to watch him come from the back after pitting for three tires, just a shame he broke right after that.

  4. Bobby Hank Hill says

    Wonderful tour race. If Ron Silk pit with Dowling I feel he would of won. His car was hooked up but Coby had the freshest tires. I will say something about . I feel Stafford shouldn’t have imposed a blackout especially after postponing their event three times. Some people can’t make it to the race and to impose a blackout is a stupid decision. I get the optics of it, but I just feel it wasn’t necessary. The broadcast itself was good besides a few audio and feed issues making it seem it was on purpose. I hope they don’t do it again. You want eyeballs on the product? Don’t blackout the broadcast out. This isn’t MLB.

  5. Sounds great Bobby let’s put your conviction to the test.
    This summer start a lemonade stand. Make a sign, buy lemons, sugar,disposable cups and a pitcher and open the stand in June. Then give the lemonade away for free. As folks consume your free lemonade and critique it as too tart or too sweet smile, thank them for the feedback and be happy that you’ve given more people exposure to lemonade.

  6. Rich Gourley says is owned by NASCAR, THEY were broadcasting their own series . It was NASCAR giving their product away for free, not Stafford, and obviously they have no problem with it, since the entire series will be broadcast for free.

  7. Bobby Hank Hill says

    I gave you my opinion Douglas. You don’t have to agree with it but it doesn’t mean I’m wrong. Thanks. I care more about your one one paragraph assessment of the race if you watched it.

  8. Bobby Hank Hill says

    Stafford had everything to do with the blackout Rich. That was my point. In my opinion it was petty to black it out. To get by the blackout restriction , you use a VPN. I UNDERSTAND the optics behind it. Again, my opinion I’m expressing.

  9. Well said Bobby Hank Hill, very well said.


  10. commonSense says

    Rich, the track pays the entire purse, nascar has literally nothing at stake in these events. In this case the purse is north of 70k for the WMT alone. Forget the operational cost of opening a venue. The tracks are not compensated for fanschoice. Put 2 and 2 together and tell me how that makes sense.

  11. Rich Gourley, Stafford hosts the events on their property at their expense. They are effectively the promoter for the day. Stafford pays the NASCAR fees. All that investment will hopefully be recovered by ticket sales, sponsorship, selling some ads, and concessions. I’m surprised Stafford did the blackout after Thompson had outstanding attendance when the IceBreaker was televised by fans It is the track that is taking the financial risk, not NASCAR.

    Announcing that fanschoice would televise ALL events, and then pull this blackout stuff at the last minute is very shrewd and does not look good for the tracks that are pulling this blackout stuff. The tracks need eyes on this in order to get people to the track. There is hardly any exposure to this local racing other than at the tracks themselves. NASCAR NEEDS to get every event on I don’t see any advertising for these events.

    As nice as the fanschoice coverage is, it’s not great. Not enough cameras and camera angles, etc. It is not better than being at the track. fanschoice is not a viable substitute for being at the track, but a great promotion to get more people to the track.

    Not the greatest event, lots of wrecked cars, lots of wrecked good cars, lots of yellow laps. But when the racing was happening, it was good. Would liked to have seen Dowling finish, that would have been very interesting.

  12. Stuart Fearn says

    Stafford giving the race away for free (or next to it) would be the dumbest thing ever. Why do they really care if more people watch at home and they get nothing? Think about your comment for more then the 15 seconds it takes to type it out.
    Stafford is there to make money and stay in business, that’s as simple as it gets. It’s bad enough the weather screwed them for weeks now people only want to see the product they pay NASCAR huge money in royalties for free cause they don’t want to get their asses into the seats. Sorry that’s not how it works.
    Look at any NASCAR race on TV and it looks pitiful with ridiculously low attendance. It makes me think, well why should I even tune in, there is no one even interested enough to actually go to the race. See what I mean

  13. I followed the updates on here!
    Very good!
    Thanks Shawn and Denise!

    Denise posted that Jimmy Blewett was “punted”.
    Does that mean he was intentionally spun out? If so,by who?

  14. Like I said before- this social media and tv is a double edge sword. If it wasn’t for mylaps, Facebook and text, I would most likely go to the track more often. Right now I get almost live updates, so I feel I don’t miss much. Years ago I used to call checker flag announcer nightly to get my results or I went… I think Fanschoice TV is great for the tour because it keeps my interest in the tour and i believe it will grow the fan base. I do think blackouts are a good idea, why would you give your product away for free.

  15. I want to refine my lemonade stand analogy.
    It’s like you have your roadside stand and you’re charging a buck a cup for cold, refreshing lemonade with just squeezed lemons. At the same time you’re consigning your lemonade to some guy that is delivering it to peoples homes for free. The ice may have melted and it may not be quite as refreshing but it is after all free..
    So the logic is the people getting free lemonade will think it’s so good they will just have to get the colder, more refreshing lemonade at your stand, be willing to travel to your stand and pay for what they get.
    I have to say that business model sucks. Furthermore if you support the existence neighborhood lemonade stands you could at least understand why a person selling the lemonade would want people to pay for it.
    Sounds more like people that never sold lemonade wanting a continuous stream of lemonade for free.

  16. wmass01013 says

    Congrats to Stafford on being persistent and making the choice to Run Saturday
    crowd was thin to start at 1, Just a sk light consi run
    7 car, 15 lap LLM race was ok to sit thru
    18 Late Model race had some good racing.
    Sk Lites was a good race but the Narducci kid has to learn some tact, u have had lots of success but when u don’t u call 1 guy a moron and say a guy should of stayed retired over the pa system, grow up!
    sk had some pains to start with cautions but BERNDT was very fast all race.
    street stock had some fun moments, Meg Fuller looks like dad taught her well
    WMT was def no snoozer, lots of action, 99 was fast all day until isssues, 51,58, 2 interesting pit agendas, 75 was fast as well until issues, was rooting the 46 would make the final pass, he sure dam tried and made Coby work real hard!!
    all in all a fun sunburned day, no stalling, things ran pretty smooth and the crowd grew as the day went by, thank u Stafford

  17. Not sure how anyone can be happy with the Tour race. The race is 200 Laos and 77 were run under caution. NASCAR needs to do something with the counting caution laps.

  18. Rich Gourley says

    I watched an interview with the owner of Berlin Raceway where he described what having his races on has meant for his racetrack/business. The end result was an uptick in at track attendance, increased sponsor $$$’s and the ability to get his product seen world wide.

  19. Rich, good point. TV exposure is always a good thing. Stafford on TV would have been great. They could have promoted their future events.

    JBon smudging the 75 up against the wall was not very nice.

  20. -10 crashes, 3 breakdowns this race compared to average of 3.7 crashes and 4.3 breakdowns on average for three events in 2018 at Stafford.
    -13 cautions this race compare to average of 10 for three races at Stafford in 2018.
    -13 lead changes among 7 drivers this race compared to 7 lead changes among 4.3 drivers for 3 races at Stafford in 2018.
    -34 cars started in this Sizzler vs 32 in 2018 Sizzler.
    -6 cars in the top 10 moved up an average of 11 spots from starting positions and 14 cars in top 20 moved up an average of 11 spots. Not including cars like Coby that lost and regained positions.
    -6 cars with starting positions 11 and down invaded the top 10 at the finish. Compared to an average of 3.7 for three races in 2018
    -on average NWMT races at Stafford take a average of 31 seconds per lap of elapsed time to complete. Aside from NHMS with an elapsed time of 37 seconds it’s the longest of any other track on a per lap basis. Myrtle 29, Thompson 25, South Boston 21, Seekonk 19, Riverhead 15, Osweego 21.
    -Disappointment must reign for the 3 as Swanson has come in 18, 11, 7 and 34 in the first 4 races this year. Compared to Penninks finishes of 3, 3, 4 and 3 in 2018.
    -Dowling was his own crew chief Saturday with mostly locals guys crewing so you could say he learned a thing or two from Fuller last year. On the other hand the rear failed and that’s on him as well isn’t it?
    -Within 24 hours of the finish of the Sizzler the NWMT race as well as the SK feature was available on youtube with others put up shortly after.
    -if you search “Berlin Raceway loves fanschoice” you’ll see an article from Short Track Scene that elaborates on the pretty astute observation Rich made. Beware the site may contain malware.

    The numbers don’t lie. That was a very strong race from a competition standpoint. Aside from Coby the tier system of prior years is dead with unexpected shuffling and surprises throughout the top 15 in particular. It’s not just the NWMT but Staffords SK’s, SK Lights, Late Models and Streets also have thrown out last years pecking orders as well.
    Promises to be a banner year indeed.

  21. Fast Eddie says

    I’d like to second wmass01013’s thoughts! Overall it was a great raceday, thank-you Stafford! I’d also second Dareal’s and LM’s comments. Bonsignore needed a little more finesse with Pasteryak. The 75 had the potential for at least a top 5 finish. LM, you confirmed my thoughts about cautions. It almost seemed like NASCAR was allowing any teams the possibility for multiple stops at every caution. Some of them were much longer than they should have been. That should be part of the pit strategy: “Is there time for more than one stop?” Instead it was, “Caution, stop as many times as you want.” When NASCAR and the track is ready it should be “go time.” If you’re still in the pits that was the gamble you took to go in a second or third time.

  22. 13 cars out of the race. Many were very good cars that left openings for others to move up. 84 lead laps between the 99 and 75.

    7 cars running at the end outside of the lead lap. Well, I guess 13 cars out of the race looks a big loss, not many cars left to fill out the mid-pack. Not a single lap led among them.

    14 cars finished on the lead lap. The survivors. Good to see some cars that have a hard time finishing in this group.

    How about some kudos for Max Zachem. Goes to tech!

    The 64 needs some good luck.

  23. wmass01013 says

    I will agree about the length of cautions, seems it takes a few laps for pits to open, don’t know why that is and once you let 1 team come in 3 times under 1 caution to change 1 tire then u have to let alllll the teams do the same under following cautions, my point was just seemed like quite a few teams had fast cars and a chance to win, 51, 2, 58, 75, 46, 99 and good runs by 20, 16,85, was not a snoozer with 1 guy leading 150 or more laps.

  24. Fast Eddie says

    I’m with you Dareal, definite congrats to the Zachem team! The 20 and 64 have been getting luck from the same place, unfortunately much of it bad! Hopefully this will start Zachem’s team in the right direction. Robbie Summers and the Murphy team are WAY overdue for some good results.

  25. Fast Eddie, there are quite a few really good cars that do seem to get a disproportionate amount of bad luck. When they run, they are fast and pretty competitive, and that takes talent. But they seem to trip up along the way and rarely finish well. That’s the thing about the teams that finish consistently in the top 3, 5, and 10… they don’t make many mistakes, and deal with very little bad luck. There are many cars in this “bad luck” category, and if they ever got their 💩 together, there could be numerous cars in a pack going for the finish line.

    The deal with the 51 & 75 was bad, but I don’t think it was on JBon. His spotter should have been letting him know a car was outside. That altercation put the 51 at risk too.

  26. I thought BFF night is buy one tix get one for free? Not one mention in the add that says that.

  27. Steve,
    Friday is BFF night. And yes, as has been the case for previous BFF Night’s, you buy one adult general admission you get a second one free. That fact has been mentioned in numerous places on the Stafford website and through their social media channels. Obviously you already knew what BFF Night was and the promotion that goes with it annually, so I’m confused as to why it’s a concern of yours that it wasn’t specifically spelled out in an advertising box? There’s only so much space in ad box and the BFF Night promotion is mentioned in their ad. I feel like sometimes you try too hard in looking for things to complain about that Stafford Speedway management does. You’re definitely reaching on this on.

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