Doug Coby Talks Of Moving Forward While Being Celebrated For Whelen Mod Tour Title In Charlotte

Crew chief Phil Moran, team owner Mike Smeriglio III, Mayhew Tools president John Lawless and Doug Coby (l-r) with their Whelen Modified Tour championship winning car Saturday at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo: Jim DuPont)

By Denise DuPont

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – As NASCAR Championship Awards preparations were falling into place at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, NC, teams dressed up for their spot in the limelight Saturday, but there are a lot of unknowns for 2020 race season. 

That stands true for Doug Coby, who won captured his sixth Whelen Modified Tour title in 2019, but soon after found out that team owner Mike Smeriglio III was retiring. 

Coby won his first series title in 2012 driving for team owner Wayne Darling. Since Joining forces with Mike Smeriglio Racing prior to the 2014 season, Coby has won every series title besides in 2018 when Justin Bonsignore topped the standings. 

“This year was our best season that we have ever had statistically,” Coby told RaceDayCT Saturday. “It was my best ever average of all the championships. I got some good wins and the car was fast every week so that was what our goal was – to show up and be competitive.  And at every track, at every race, at every size track because we kind of lost that in 2018.”

Now Coby’s mission is to find new ownership interested in keeping the tight knit Smeriglio Racing group together, including crew chief Phil Moran. 

“So the year was awesome and we are moving forward with the changes that we are faced,” Coby said. “It is something that I am kind of use to. I am more use to it than anybody. I have always turned pages on chapters and closed certain chapters and moved on to new ones and they have always been better. It is crazy to think that something could be better than this but that is my mindset – whatever will come will be different but it will not be worst.”

Moran is working with Coby in the effort to regroup for 2020. 

“We are just trying to line something up and make the right decisions because there are just so many moving pieces,” Coby said. “From me as the driver, the sponsors, Phil as a full time crew chief and then trying to keep as many guys together as we can. And that is the thing that I am most nervous about – being able to keep everybody together as long as we possibly can.  We are just trying to find the right situation and hopefully it is out there. If it meant to be, it is meant to be.”


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Comments

  1. It’s a perfect press release under the circumstances.. Hopeful they can keep the band together but promising nothing.
    Say what you will. Terrific off season drama. If they can somehow cobble a team together that can remain in the top tier it will be the success story of the decade in the NWMT.

  2. Agree with Doug it’s a perfect press release. What we haven’t learned, is how much it would cost to ; A. Buy MS3 out. And B. How much to retain Phil Moran, and Doug. What we do know is that based on some reports posted here in the past it won’t be cheap. Don’t know if MS3 will part out the team, which reportedly consists of 3 cars, 5 motors, Aton of spare parts, tools and the hauler, or if he wants to sell it whole. Are the other team members paid as part time help, or are they volunteer? I do believe in the end Doug and Phil will find a way to stay together, but wonder if they’ll have to rebuild the team. Wish everyone the best of luck, and hope for a fast resolution to this dilemma.

  3. Where is Jeffrey when yo need him , hasn’t been around lately

  4. Wonder if there is a chance the 6 team comes back. I know it was said that was Preece’s ride but there is an owner that seems to love the sport and at times has run multiple cars. Maybe a good fit for Coby, or Solimito being a long island guy. I have no idea just more curious then anything. It would be a shame to not have Coby in a top flight car in the series, love him or hate him he is the ambassador of the modifieds. He speaks his mind, has intelligent thoughtful perspectives and is dedicated to the series.lt would be a shame to loose what he brings to the track and to the sport.

  5. Yeah, there are hundreds of guys lined up outside the MSRIII shop with their checkbooks. There’s just hundreds of people out there looking for a turnkey modified operation.

  6. As far as the press release, what else can really be said? They are the ship in a storm looking for a port and in todays economy it will take an individual with a big checkbook to make it happen given the investment necessary. What a time for CD to make a comeback on the modified tour!

  7. Earl,
    This wasn’t a press release from the team. It’s an article.

  8. Doug said; It’s a perfect press release under the circumstances.

    Rob P said; Agree with Doug it’s a perfect press release

    I said; As far as the press release,

    Enough said……….

  9. Well a 6 time WMT CHAMPION, an award winning CREW CHIEF AND a great sponsor in MAYHEW should entice owners!!!!!!!!!!

  10. My bad calling it a press release. Dareal love the sarcastic post. Haven’t seen anything regarding the MS3 situation.

  11. Absolutely, Mayhew Tools. Who apparently still like Coby very much as they roll out tools on Coby’s Facebook page. And why wouldn’t they like the guy. ” He speaks his mind, has intelligent thoughtful perspectives and is dedicated to the series.” as unbiased said very nicely.
    We here sometimes confuse press releases for articles. I saw the “staff report” and made the reverse faux pas. But it isn’t a press release from some nameless person with an axe to grind, I’s the one and only Denise Dupont who gives us the outstanding live updates from the races. I too regret the slight to a great race reporter and will not make the same mistake again if we’re lucky enough to see more of this.

  12. Authorities have been called to the MSRIII race shop for crowd control. It appears the saying in racing is true, “If you want to make a small fortune in racing, start with a large fortune.” Innumerable billionaires and multi-millionaires from southwest CT are lining up to buy the idled turnkey MSRIII Modifed racing operation. They need the tax write-off. Jeffrey has landed in the area in one of his helicopters.

  13. Goodfella your going to look like a fool in about 2 weeks lol

  14. IN 2 WEEKS???????? he has done that weekly the last 3 yrs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. All joking aside, haven’t seen anything regarding the equipment MSIII owns. Still Wonder if it’s a package deal, or if he’ll split it up. There are probably things on those cars Phil Moran would rather the competition not see. Really hope someone buys MSIII out, and keeps the team intact. But given the economic unrest, this may be unrealistic. Still hope for the best for Doug, Phil and the team. Happy Thanksgiving.

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