Riding High Again: Doug Coby Dominant In Whelen Modified Tour Seekonk 150

Doug Coby celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Seekonk 125 Saturday at Seekonk Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

In the words of legendary Public Enemy MC Chuck D: Once again back is the incredible … 

Six races, three victories and a contender to win in all but one event in 2019. Yes, Doug Coby is back to the dominating form that carried him to five NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championships. 

Coby, of Milford, made Seekonk Speedway his personal playground Saturday on the way to a dominating victory in the Seekonk 150. 

Coby won the pole, lost the lead early to Matt Hirschman, but went back to the lead on lap 14 and was never challenged the rest of the way at the front of the field. 

“What an amazing car,” Coby said. “Every time in practice here my guys yell at me because I cry a little bit about how bad the car is. ‘I need it better, I need it better.’ And we run a lot of practice laps. But you just have to tweak it here. It’s very important to have a car that just drives like that all night and I really wanted that and my guys gave it to me. I give [crew chief Phil Moran] all the credit for putting a great car underneath me and all my guys for living with me being antsy about having a winning a car.” 

Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville, N.Y. was second and Craig Lutz of Miller Place, N.Y. third. 

For Coby, who saw a record streak of four straight series titles snapped by Justin Bonsignore in 2018, the feeling that his team has found that old championship groove is growing. 

“We feel right now that we’re at our best and we’re only six races in so we’ve got a long season left to get even better,” Coby said. 

Coby won the season opener at Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Speedway on March 16 and was victorious in the NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 at Stafford Speedway on May 11. 

A pit road miscue late while leading in the Icebreaker 150 at Thompson Speedway on April 7 cost Coby another win. And he was dominant for much of the Jersey Shore 150 on May 18 at Wall Stadium in Wall, N.J. before getting spun out of the lead late. 

“I think obviously we are establishing ourselves as a really dominant car at all different size tracks,” Coby said. “We have been on our game and picked up our game everywhere [compared to last year]. It’s a long season, and we just need to make sure we keep learning if we are going to be the ones to keep winning races.”

It was 27thcareer Whelen Modified Tour victory for Coby and his second series victory at Seekonk. 

A caution on lap 124 bunched up the field for a late showdown but Bonsignore had nothing for Coby for the closing run. Coby was able to pull away and cruise easily to victory. 

“[Bonsignore], certainly winning the race [at Seekonk] last year, that’s not the guy I was hoping to see in my mirror,” Coby said. “But he seemed to be struggling a little bit through the middle and up off the corners and that’s where I was at my best.” 

Said Bonsignore: “He’s been on kill all year. We’re playing catch up a little bit. We’ve had a tough couple weeks here. To get a second is good. Obviously we want to win races. We came from eighth. Didn’t have the raw speed that we needed all day. We kind of chased the race track. … We’ll go on to Thompson where we’ve got a shot at six [series] wins in a row [Wednesday in the Thompson 125].”

Lutz bounced back from a rough last event on May 18 at Wall Stadium when he finished 26thin the Jersey Shore 150. 

“It’s nice to be up here,” Lutz said. “We had a rough [last event] but my team dug deep and we got this car fixed and to be on the podium is an awesome night for us.” 

Ron Silk of Norwalk and Timmy Solomito of Islip, N.Y. rounded out the top-five respectively.

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  1. Camerissa says

    Not a very entertaining race. outside groove didn’t seem to have it’s usual grip. Doug was quite vocal after Wall that on tracks with outside pits there should be no break. This race would have benefited from one to create passing. Sooo…does NASCAR listen to the teams or the fans??

  2. The 64 needs a break. Unreal.

    Thought for sure Mighty Matt would show up. Oh well.

    Good crowd, rain didn’t happen. The 2 stayed out front, away from traffic and trouble.

  3. Bonsignor, Solomito, Pasteryak, Krause and Pitkat all made big moves to get into the top 11.
    I like the Fanschoice coverage as much as anyone. To be fair though they focus on leaders and can’t give the deep in the pack moves too much time or they miss them entirely. You have to be there to really see the big moves and only if you pay attention to the guys doing it which in itself is hard to do because you don’t know they’re big movers until after pop up in a place they weren’t before. I know that sounds idiotic but there’s some truth to it.

  4. knuckles mahoney says

    What was the deal with the 64?

  5. Not the usual Seekonk thriller but coming off of the Wall wreckfest and Thompson being 4 days away the boys were on their best behavior. Everyone was taking care of their equipment. The 60 and 51 couldn’t hang with the 2 vice a few laps here and there. Coby had nobody who could run alongside and pinch him down.

    Doug was throwing it into 3 & 4 at the end and absolutely sticking it onto the bottom. The 51 will need to find more speed. Coby will be the favorite everywhere except Riverhead. That’s his bugaboo track.

    The 75 was there all night. Good run for them.

    Next year we should get Martinsville and Seekonk back to back. Can’t wait to do that dudeuble!

  6. knuckles, the 64 & 58 tangled on the second lap. Ended the night for the 64.

    A rather blasé race. But the law of averages is in play. After Wall and all that wrecking, a bit of a snoozer like this should not be unexpected. And there’s a race in a couple days, so they were extra careful.

  7. Crazy in NY says

    “…..The track changes a lot- not just from day to night or hot to cool-it changes during the race. It’s the most temperamental track I have ever raced on.”
    Matt Hirschman quote from June 2019 Speedway Illustrated magazine pg 100.
    If ever a race begged for a half way break it was this one. If not for tires at least allow stagger measurement , pressure adjustment, wedge and panhard bar. A snoozer to say the least. Congrats to the 2 team. They got it right. Many teams were complaining of loose loose after.



    12th place!!!!

    Crazy wrote: “If not for tires at least allow stagger measurement , pressure adjustment, wedge and panhard bar.”

    LOL!!!!! AT LEAST… stagger, pressure, wedge, and panhard. LOL!!! 😝 😆 🤣 😂 How about drop the nose too???? LOL!!!! Would you like to take some tire wear measurements and adjust the camber too?

    Nice quote from the magazine. So MH was very familiar with Seekonk, and still missed it.

    It was long after sunset, cloudy all day, 60ºF and 58% RH when the race started and finished. It was a short race, the race lasted only 40 minutes.

    Crazy, what motor was the PD running? Built or SPEC? Even though this was not a HP event. MH might do well against the Open and TriTrack competition where there are little to NO NWMT teams, but like I said before, when there is NWMT competition, MH can’t compete. And now seeing MH fail bigly on a bullring, his specialty, in a NWMT event, is more evidence. 12th place.

    The 2 was far from loose… it was on a R-A-I-L!. Everybody is using the same tires. Some know how to get more out of them.

    Bullrings can be great equalizers, since horsepower doesn’t matter. It really comes down to talent and who has the talent to make the right calls to race the track, given all the rules, weather and conditions of the track. The same rules and conditions that apply to all.

    12th place.

  9. Fun fact. The NWMT came back to Seekonk in 2016. In the previous three races to Saturday’s event there were 7 cautions in each race. This one 4 confirming the consensus that this was not the race to be taking chances with a quick turnaround.
    Another fun fact. What race had the most cautions this year? It doesn’t begin with W and it got rained on before it sizzled.

  10. wmass0103 says

    CMON DAREAL MH and CRAZY will redeem THEMSELF at Thompson, NO ahhhhhh New Hampshire, No, ummmmmmmm Riverhead, NO, Stafford, um NOOOOOOOO, Thomspon in AUg, ummmmmmmmmmmmmm NOOOOOOOOOOOOO, OSWEGO, THERE YOU GO!!!

  11. Coby vs Money Matt again June 26th. Not sure results will be different if Coby is that dialed in.

    This has become the modern day Evans-Cook rivalry almost.

  12. Crazy in NY says

    You know Dafool I would have tried to have something of an intelligent discussion on the race and why and who failed but I read this> ……. but like I said before, when there is NWMT competition, MH can’t compete. ……. I realized it was futile. What a completely ignorant thing to write. You are beyond clueless.

  13. Crazy, MH takes 12th place on a bullring, his specialty, in a NWMT event. That says it all, what I’ve been saying all along. Proves what I’ve been saying all along. MH can’t compete in NWMT events. If he could, he would be, make that would have been, running the Tour all these years. No NWMT car owner wants him.

    Did MH “fail” as you mentioned, or did he just not have what it takes to compete in the NWMT? Let’s see how you dance, divert, distract and evade that reality.

  14. At a track He dominates and a race that was a tire management race Matt Hirshman layed an egg, it happens folks. What people dont understand is he has 3-4 carreer WMT wins in multiple starts for many years. He has 100s of wins in far less teched levels of Modified Racing. I hate that people compare him to the greats, his acomplishments against the best are on par with the likes of Goodale or Beers or Civali even Pennink. No offense to any of those guys but their names are not mentioned with the elites.

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