Dynasty Rebirth: Doug Coby To Run Full-Time As Owner/Driver On Whelen Modified Tour

Doug Coby (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

When NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour team owner Mike Smeriglio III announced in November that he was retiring and shutting down his championship operation, there was a piece of the team that driver Doug Coby wanted to keep for himself. 

Of the three cars Smeriglio had in his stable, there was one that was Coby’s favorite, and the six-time series champion made it clear to Smeriglio he wanted to buy it to be able to possess a nostalgic remembrance of the team’s dominating run capturing five series titles in six years. 

“I’ve done a lot in my career from Quarter Midgets until now and I don’t have any of my old cars,” Coby told RaceDayCT. “I have no championship memories. I have no old car under a tarp somewhere at my dad’s house. We always sold everything to get to the next level. I’m finally in a position to at least have one car. … I probably would have bought the car and just put it in my garage.” 

That car won’t be under a tarp in a garage though. Instead it will be the cornerstone piece of equipment for a new team coming to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in 2020, with a familiar face leading that new organization as team owner. 

Coby confirmed exclusively to RaceDayCT Friday that his new team – Doug Coby Racing – will make its debut at the Whelen Modified Tour season opening event on March 21 at South Boston (Va.) Speedway. Coby said he is committed to running full-time and defending his 2019 championship and as also emphasized: “Maintaining the level of success we’ve had.” 

The 40-year old Coby, who is heading into his 19th year competing on the Whelen Modified Tour, has commitments from longtime crew chief Phil Moran and the rest of his former Mike Smeriglio Racing crew. He also has commitments from his primary sponsor Mayhew Tools, associate sponsors Reynold’s Auto Wrecking, Modzelewski’s Towing, and additional sponsors to be announced.

“It’s exciting but it’s also nerve-wracking,” Coby said. “I know what it takes to the run the [Whelen Modified] Tour and without the sponsors that I have it certainly would have never happened. 

“We built so much and we have such a great base and foundation of sponsors, crew help and fans and product sponsors. I feel like the foundation is really strong to begin with. Now we can go out and build on that and see where we can go.” 

Coby emphasized that the organization will be a work in progress coming out of the gate as he tries to boost sponsorship for the team to put them in a position to continue a legacy patterned after the dynasty Smeriglio created.  

After Smeriglio announced his retirement the hope within the organization was that Coby and Moran could facilitate a deal for a new owner to buy the entirety of the championship team. When that did not happen Coby began taking steps to secure his own future with the series.  

“Everybody was banking on that we would sell the whole team to somebody and obviously that didn’t happen,” Coby said. “I certainly didn’t have the ability to buy the entire team, but what I was able to do was buy the winningest car that we have. My favorite car that we win at Stafford [Motor Speedway] with all the time, and kind of start from there. 

“This is a good thing going forward. Becoming a driver/owner wasn’t necessarily what I expected to have happen. But the fact that I see how it’s unfolding makes me really excited for the team’s potential and what we’re able to provide for the sponsors that will help us out.” 

Coby’s push to start his own program was intensified recently when Smeriglio committed to selling a pair of cars to the family of upstate New York based Modified driver Tyler Rypkema and selling the team hauler to Kevin Stuart Motorsports. 

“My first concern was the people, and my crew guys will tell you that I was on them to give me some time to figure some things out,” Coby said. “The equipment always seemed like it was always going to kind of stay. So I was like I just have to worry about making sure that the people stay and they don’t go anywhere. Then when the equipment started going away, I had gotten the commitment from the people to stay, and then the equipment started getting sold. So I was like ‘Hey, I’ve got to figure out what I can possibly do with some of this equipment.’”

Coby’s rise through the ranks of short track racing went from Quarter Midgets to the Late Model division at Stafford Speedway, where he won a track title in 1998. He followed that up with a Pro Stock division championship at Stafford in 2000. He made his first Whelen Modified Tour start in 2002 at age 22. After spending 10 years as a series journeyman driving for a multitude of teams and owners, Coby won his first series title in 2012 driving for team owner Wayne Darling. He replaced Todd Szegedy at Mike Smeriglio Racing before the start of the 2014 series and has won all but one series title since then. He finished third in the standings in 2018.  

Asked if he ever thought he’d be a team owner Coby said: “No, but I also never thought I’d be a six-time [Whelen Modified] Tour champion.”

“I feel like my career has always been around No. 1 surrounding myself with good people and No. 2 surrounding myself with good sponsors and I have great commitments from people now, and sponsors like Mayhew Tools. It’s always been about figuring it out. 

“It’s funny because you go from the Quarter Midget to the Late Model to the Pro Stock the SK Modified to the [Whelen Modified] Tour, none of it was ever planned, it just got figured out. I spent a ton of effort from the middle of December until [mid-February] trying to make the right deal happen and I thought I had the right deal in place before and for one reason or another it just didn’t work out. But you just can’t give up. You have to start coming up with new ideas and use what you learned from the first one to get to the next one. I feel like that’s kind of what landed me here.” 

Coby has made 236 Whelen Modified Tour starts dating back to 2002 with 28 career victories, 30 poles and 141 top-10 finishes. His first career victory came in the 2006 NAPA Spring Sizzler at Stafford Speedway driving for team owner Curt Chase. He had one victory in 2011 driving for a split ownership operation of Darling and George Bierce. Darling’s first full-time effort with the series resulted in a five-victory championship season with Coby in 2012. The team finished second in the standings in 2013 with a pair of victories before Coby went to the Mike Smeriglio operation in 2014. Coby had 19 victories over six season with Smeriglio including four victories in 2019. Twenty-six of his 30 career poles came with the Smeriglio operation, including eight in 2019. 

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  1. I can’t wait for the season to start Doug should do reel good. GOOD LUCK DOUG COBY RACING

  2. Nice to see that Doug Coby and Phil Moran will be racing this year! Coby did a phenomenal job wearing the driver’s helmet. It will be interesting to see how he does with the owner’s hat on top of it. I’m betting they will do very well as a team.

  3. Great news. The tour is a better place with the Championship driver Doug Coby racing and it sounds like most of the elements are in place to successfully defend the title.

  4. Like him or Not, YEAH we know who on here doesn’t!! It def is good to Keep Doug Coby on the WMT and keeping the band together should be fun and interesting. LETS GO RACING

  5. Not a Coby fan, but this is great news. Not only was Doug able to keep the team together, but became a car owner in the process. Best part, he’ll be Wheeling his favorite car to boot. A true fairy tail ending would be for him to win the 2020 NWMT championship, it would be the proverbial icing on the cake. Good luck Doug Coby ,car owner. Good Luck Doug Coby , driver. And good luck to the whole number?? team. Hope 2020 has you finding continued success

  6. darealOmniscience says

    The car he kept obviously had the best carburetor. Remember that according to those with the utmost in racing expertise, the WMT is a carburetor racing series.

  7. congrats doug will you still have the number 2

  8. Good luck Doug and team!! #10 perhaps?

  9. I’m still recovering from an hour and a half of Doug Coby on Doug Coby in the Stafford podcast and won’t be supporting the Flying Real Estate Agent either.
    Nonetheless this is great news. Net, net the Smeriglio dissolution went about as well as it could have gone. Some equipment going to a talented new full time team that should do well with it. Coby keeping the stud in the stable and the stud on the crew as a nucleus for a new team. Will they contend for a title and compete at every track. Unlikely but they don’t have to be the old team to be a successful team.
    Not mentioned LFR. The 2 delivered for Rob Fuller and visa versa. One has to wonder if there is some sort of mutually beneficial relationship in store in the future.
    From his father to Don King to Wayne Darling to Mike Smeriglio, Coby has had supportive guys paying the bills while he drove to success in most cases. Now he’s paying the bills and managing the entire team. He’s a college educated guy and business owner and clearly has the tool set for success. Including putting massive amounts of money out on house flips in the hope of achieving success at some point in the future that is not unlike owning a race team. NWMT team ownership may be right up his ally. However even with the old sponsors on board it will be different being responsible for the entire shebang. The sponsors are used to success and now it’s Coby that is accountable to them. One thing that won’t be in short supply is self confidence.

  10. Sharpie Fan says

    Good Luck Doug!

  11. Definitely a better tour with them back. Resource wise, still going to be difficult to compete with what the 51 has.

  12. My goodness… a multi-champion driver becomes available and there are no owners willing to take him on?

    Gee, I wonder 🤔 why?

    No bidding war, like an auction to see what team would land him?

    Will this special car be branded Fury or L/TFR (or whatever it calls itself today)?

    Who will be the public relations person for this organization? You know, the face and voice of the organization, the representative for the sponsors?

    So glad to have Phil Moran participating on the Tour.

    This team will need to put together another car soon. It’s tough running a one-car operation.

  13. Wouldn’t expect anything less from Dadope

  14. Have you ever had a positive thought Dareal?

  15. Coby goes from a three car stable to one and people question the point.? It’s a legit question as we stand today in terms of making a title run. Again, the 51 has a garage full of cars. Put another way, when was the last one car team to win a championship. I think Darling had two when Coby drove for him. It’s been a while for sure. Maybe DC orders up another one in 2020, maybe not but it’s foolish to dismiss DaReals point.

  16. David Fisher says

    Can’t believe the experts didn’t tell us weeks ago about this. Someone just has to say “i knew this.”

  17. The Thought Police are out in force.

    💭 🤔 💭 🤔 💭 🤔 💭 🤔 💭 🤔 💭 🤔 💭 🤔

    Thought Police are so negative.

  18. Oh well hate to be the one to bring bad news the 2 team just bought another car they have two cars now and Dope Feller with your aerodynamic wisdom lol maybe since you know Phil and we know who you are you could give him some pointers on air flow when he runs NH so there is no huge airflow problem under the car😂😂

  19. sour grapes of rumor says

    could probably buy a second car from the most popular driver on the tour.. was that car for sale at one time ???

  20. David Fisher, I knew this. I expected the announcement to be a little later, to string it along a little more.

    If Coby didn’t land a ride with a team, which was not going to happen, he HAD to start his own operation. So he spent a couple days trying to get a ride, it didn’t work out, so he had to do the last resort… start his own operation. The longer it went on without an announcement that he had a ride, it simply became evident that he had to start his own operation. I might have mentioned it on these forums a few times that Coby was going to have to start his own operation. A young, 6x driver should have been snapped up within hours after MSR III announced it was shutting down, but that never happened. So it was clear shortly after the ’19 season ended that Coby was going to have to start his own operation or sit out. Clearly he has been working on this, setting up his own operation, for several weeks or a couple months, or shortly after he was notified by Mike Smeriglio and he never got an offer. Starting your own operation is not something you decide to do just a couple weeks before the start of the season.

    Could you imagine how humiliating it would be to be a young driver and a member of a multi-championship team to be without a ride?

    I wonder about the hauler…. will it be Wade Cole style? That would be A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!!!!

  21. Being the driver and owner, how does that even work? There aren’t many driver owners as far as I can see and none at the top of the standings. That’s a heavy load. Sure you have all the car related decisions but how about travel plans, lodging and paying for all that. Keeping and attracting new sponsors. Balancing Moran’s needs to make the car(s) faster against what is affordable. Yikes. Getting in the car and driving will be the easy part.
    Success isn’t competing with the 51 is it? That would be unrealistic. Success is competing in a number of races, accepting there will be some tracks they just can’t contend at and winning one or two. Maybe top 5 in points. Wouldn’t that be a rousing success?

  22. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Mr. genius How many WMT rides are open every year? Should Amy Catalano fire one of her sons? maybe Charlie Pastreyak? Dean Rypkema who bought the other 2 cars say sorry son Coby is my man? Kevin Stuart fire SILK, Jan Boehler fire Swanson, Jennifer Emerling fire Patrick, The WMT is mainly made up of Family rides, maybe 5 teams hire drivers and 2 just ceased operations

  23. Well, looks like that testing the #2 MSR III team did in Iowa right before they announced they were shutting down will come in handy.

    🐷 🐖 🌽 🌾

  24. David Fisher says

    I knew that you knew, dareal, i knew that you knew.

  25. I find it hard to believe Doug bought a second car between the time this article was written and the time you posted Racer.

    Yes, there are a lot of family operations but there are plenty of owners who hire drivers. The 82, Eddie Harvey #1, 51, 85, 3, 2/21. This sport has a long history of drivers getting replaced by “better talent”.The 3 in particular has used countless drivers. I think part of Coby’s issue was most people thought the 2 team would return in some shape or form as it just did. Not sure he was ever viewed as a true free agent. Solomito had to buy his own car too. As things cycle through I would expect Tim to land a full-time gig at some point.

  26. Good Luck to Coby and his new team. I would think a couple of wins and a top 5 point finish would be a very good season for this new team. Financing out of his own pocket will be tough to accomplish long term as the cost to compete is astronomical. Just providing for the crew with licenses, motel rooms, and travel expenses, Moran’s salary, not to mention maintaining the car is just a losing proposition money wise. You are competing with many highly financed teams with very capable paid crew members. Welcome to the land of the big spenders Doug

  27. wmass01013, drivers are always being forced to play musical car seats. Owners move drivers out to put another driver in. Look at all the different owners that Szegedy, Pitkat, Coby, TC, Stefanik, Marquis, Santos, Blewett, Silk et al. drove for. The Tour ends up with the same drivers in different cars. It’s been going on like that forever.

  28. Great news! Good luck to the new team!

  29. Dave Fisher, your last comment is spot on. The man, the myth, the legend.

  30. wmass01013…. look up Coby’s driving record… he was a journeyman for about 10 years, maybe a little more, bounced from car to car to car to car to car to car to car to car to car …

  31. Liz Cherokee says

    I think we should make dareal drink a whole bottle of sake 🍶

  32. David Fisher wrote, “I knew that you knew, dareal, i knew that you knew.”

    Dave, there have been a couple others that have made rather pointed comments on these forums about the future of Super Doug. Things like how they were shocked that nobody bought the MSR III op already for Super Doug, and more along those lines.

    A young 6x champion and nobody wants him? What does that tell you?

    Why do drivers run their own operation? Because owners won’t hire them.

    Hey wmass01013, MSR III racing booted Szegedy to replace him with Coby. 💩 happens. So yeah, I would expect a team that thought Super Doug was a benefit would indeed replace their current driver with Super Doug. It happens all the time.

    Maybe Dale Carnegie can be a sponsor?

  33. It’s so much more to run your own team and just driving I wish him the best it’s a tough road

  34. Liz, you have quite the 🍷 🍺 🍻 🥃 🍸 reputation. You don’t want to go there.

  35. C’mon people… rub those two brain cells together.

    A young driver with multi-championship experience. He’s tasted blood, and wants more. Lots more.

    If he isn’t going to get hired, he’s gotta go on his own. Was that too obvious??? If he was going to get hired, it should have happened as soon as word was out that MSRIII was shutting down. I have to think that MSR let guys like Super Doug and Moran know about his decision some time before he went public. So Super Doug had plenty of time to try to get a ride. There are only a handful of potential cars, so it didn’t take long to figure out he wasn’t getting a ride, and he would have to make his own. He’s been working on this for a while, long before this announcement. Put it this way… he’s had plenty of time to decide to go on his own and waiting until three weeks before the season starts would not be the brightest thing to do. Preseason testing? Super Doug has all those sponsors he could bring to an established team, I’m surprised owners were not enticed with all that sponsorship moolah 💰.

    Thinking 🤔 💭 does not hurt.

  36. First year owner driver or not, he will not fail. Same car, same crew chief, same engine builder, same sponsors, same crew, chemistry is already established so I will say it again; he will not fail. Coby will come out of the box firing on all eight and WILL contend for the championship. Remember who said it FIRST and where you read it. Not Dareal, Earl.

  37. Let me rephrase that, he will be a front runner for the championship come seasons end.

  38. Quite frankly, I am not a huge Coby fan. I respect what he was doing and actually he pulling for him late in the year. I really want the 46 to win the title next year. But I will be wanting Coby to repeat otherwise. Stafford race, he got screwed. Not the first time. He is a solid driver that I quietly root for. Just don’t tell anyone.

  39. MSR III racing didn’t boot Szegedy… Todd was going through a very emotional situation and he had to take some time off and regroup. He ended up going part time with the #15 team after he sorted things out.

  40. wmass01013 says

    Just me HOW DARE YOU CORRECT DAREAL?? He know everything about racing whether CUP TO THE WMT, knows who is going to run UPFRONT or midpack, knows weather for every track, knows all about WATERFORD and Bruce Bemer, knows everything about carbs and Doug Coby,Phil Moran, Stafford, Thompson, LFR, TROYER, the WMT, MRS, ROC, TRI TRACK,WE ALLL just bow to his wisdom and Knowledge!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He has never been wrong, JUST ASK HIM!!!

  41. Smeriglio/Moran/Szegedy in 8 years, 10 wins, ZERO championships. Smeriglio/Moran/Coby in 6 years, 19 wins and 5 championships. In those 6 years that Coby was driving the #2, how many times did the #2 team offer the seat back to Todd?

    With the exception of the season with the #4, Todd’s career was over since he was out of the #2. That season with the #4, he finished fourth place in points, and could have been much better if not for some bad luck and accidents. The #4 was always a very strong car looking for a similar driver. One infamous accident was at Loudon on the last lap when the #2 took out the #4 when the #4 was ahead. Coby took out Szegedy. Remember that famous last lap, #2 Coby vs #4 Szegedy Loudon, the T1/T2 debacle?

    So this deal will be interesting. Super Doug going from helmet bagger to driver/owner.

    What could go wrong?

  42. LMAO!!!!!!!!!!

  43. Birnie Bro 2020 says

    We don’t think dareal, we let you do the thinking for us. There is no way we can compete with your level of knowledge and insight. On behalf of everyone here I want to thank you for that. Without you this site would be trash.

  44. Hey Dadope there is a guy named Matt Sheppard who formed his own team on dirt a couple years ago , how’s that working out for him

  45. Time to throw my 2 cents in. Dareal, you keep harping that no one would hire Coby. First off, there were no open seats for someone to hire him. The only way he would have gotten hired is if someone started a new team, which with all the uncertainty in the world today, allot of people are holding on to their Money. You keep harping on Todd Szegedy. I don’t even know what Todd Szegedy has to do with Doug Coby starting his own team. As far as how Coby will perform, that’s an unknown. Although he will be in the same car, with the same crew chief and crew, we must remember that allot of teams have upgraded their equipment, and we may see some new faces running up front. Being a driver, where you just show up and drive the car, is a far easier job then being the driver, and owner, not impossible, just a bit more stressful. One positive thing about being an owner/ driver is it puts you in more control if your own destiny. 2020 looks to be an exciting season, and although I’m not a Coby fan, I will quietly be pulling for him. 6X champ or not, in racing, your only as successful as your last race, that’s the beauty of it all. Just my opinion.

  46. And, wether he finishes first, or last, at least he’s out there making the effort, and doing what he loves. And I’ll guarantee, no matter what, he’s better at it than you…or me.

  47. Birnie Bro 2020 wrote, “We don’t think …”

    So true. I agree. It is obvious.

  48. I do not post much, But I have to say this. Dareal you are a idiot. Only you can argue that another team back onto the series running full time is not a good thing, Maybe they will get back right away to their winning ways or they might have some struggles but that is racing. Good luck to them and I hope they prove you wrong. And I am not even a fan of him.

  49. If you’re transfixed on a driver, love following him and his persona but not necessarily supporting him on the track are you a fan?
    Coby is just a super interesting guy. Some folks here may know of additional cars being built but as of Monday in the public domain Coby has been keeping all his plans really close to his vest. As of Monday he’s only admitted to buying one car from Smeriglio and that was without a motor. He kept the plans to form a team quiet that most would agree is a good thing until you’re ready for an announcement that he has done here first then on Speed51.. He says he’s got a lot of things in the works as they thrash with only three weeks to go before South Boston but says nothing other then generic team building stuff. The interview on The Morning Bullring was about a close to perfect as it could have been. Built anticipation but disclosed virtually nothing.
    There’s another Coby that shoots before he aims like the Stafford F bomb, lecturing a school board of a town he has no connection to on Facebook without knowing all the facts and this gem on Twitter January 10th.

    “Today on social media @JBonsignor and I saw people who drive race cars on COMPUTERS having “media days” announcing “sponsorships” with @JRMotorsports and hanging out with @denny Hamlin on Lake Norman. Makes real race car drivers, Want. To. Puke. “

    As anticipated there was blow back and a Coby defense and if interested you can check it out.
    I suspect many here would agree with what he said about video racing but that’s not the point. Why say it? Why name drop while you are saying it? About a growing sport if you can call it that that many young drivers do all the time. That fans may do that also go to races to see the real thing. And older drivers use video to hone their skills like Ryan Preece who has a sophisticated version of his own. Ryan Preece that Doug Coby himself said was one of the guys he respected the most on his Stafford podcast.
    There’s the bone head Doug Coby popping off and offending people for no reason. And the one we see here that is measured, disciplined and sparse about his own plans.
    How is it not great to have this character in the NWMT field not only to see him compete but what he will say next? Especially without a highly disciplined owner whispering in his ear to think before he speaks.

  50. Look, Super Doug’s mouth has been writing checks paid for by Smigs and manifested by Phil Moran. He’s a 6x champ and never a Most Popular Driver. NEVER A MOST POPULAR DRIVER. Super Doug is NOT in the company of Most Popular Drivers like Stefanik, TC, Tony Hirschman, Preece, Steve Park, Ruggerio, Bonsignore, Baldwin, Flemke Jr., etc. The pressure is on Phil Moran to retain and attract sponsorships. Somebody has to find a way to muzzle Suave Super Doug for his own good. Why do I feel he’s just going to infinitely double-down?? Super Doug without Phil Moran is just a Doug.

    This is a great opportunity for LFR/TFR/Truffulleroyer to sponsor a car to act as the de facto all-important R&D car. Or act as the marketing department of LFR/TFR/Truffulleroyer with hardware provided by LFR/TFR/Truffulleroyer and set up by Phil Moran. 🤯 💥

    Elect wrote: “Hey Dadope there is a guy named Matt Sheppard who formed his own team on dirt a couple years ago, how’s that working out for him”

    Hey Elect, there are 184,934,255,902,744,131 non-competitive, unknown, owner operated teams out there. How’s that working out for them? Tom Baldwin was an owner-operator, a Most Popular Driver, and he did well. Super Doug is no Tom Baldwin. The statistics are overwhelmingly stacked against owner operators.

    Let’s see if a helmet bagger spending someone else’s money can transition to owner-operator and pickup where he left off.

    I’ll be carefully watching the Phil Moran prepared car this year. Will the owner provide Phil with all he needs to do his job?

    tpc wrote, “Only you can argue that another team back onto the series running full time is not a good thing,”

    tpc, please quote where I said that. Thanks in advance.

    Rob p., seats don’t have to be open when a driver becomes available to hire said available driver. An owner can move someone out and take in another driver whenever he feels like it. Drivers are changed like that frequently. Remember the Don King Gong Show? Seats are always available, ask any driver that has been moved out of one.

    Rob p. wrote, “And, wether he finishes first, or last, at least he’s out there making the effort, and doing what he loves. And I’ll guarantee, no matter what, he’s better at it than you…or me.”

    Rob p., that is and always will be the stupidest argument or comeback. Still sounds like it is right off the nearest schoolyard.


  51. Weren’t Richie Evans, Jerry Cook , Maynard Troyer, Jimmy Spencer, Charlie J ,owner or family owned, they didn’t do to bad , they might have had some pretty good sponsors and Coby might have pretty good sponsors also I’ll wait and see

  52. Dareal,

    If you put a quarter of the effort into life as you do with your posts you might not be such a loser.

  53. wmass01013 says

    MAN u do hate Coby!!! HELMET BAGGER, WOWWWWWW
    So a 6x Champion HAS NEVER won the Most Popular Driver award, I am sure he loses sleep over that, also seeing that the award was stopped after Ms. Fifield won 3 yrs in a row IN 2014- 2016.
    Your stupidity shines more with every post, what did Coby do to you???????? got to be something because you say Coby is NO Tom Baldwin, now I was one of the Biggest TB fans around and I think a 6x SERIIES Champion swings Coby’s way on that.
    Rob P made a great point about open seats but No to you because in yur foolish mind, yes KEEP AN EYE on Phil Morans car this year!!!

  54. sour grapes were not in the budget says

    it speaks volumes when a 6x champ along with the equipment from the team are for sale “available ” and no one picks them or it up as a package deal. COST. the tour is too expensive .. period..
    so someone else will buy championship winning /proven equipment… coby will finance his own team and keep his crew and crew chief.. who cares ???… really who cares??? plenty of guys still have money to burn but were not willing to burn it on a 6x time championship operation… nuff said.. P.S. if LFR is so great and the single factor in winning why so long to sell of what is now know to be backup cars ???? (coby kept his favorite car and or winning car )
    you would think if you could buy a turn key LFR possibly minus seat and carb LOL you would pay just about anything it took right ??? COST.. how about just hiring phil moran to maintain your race cars and crew chief ??? too much money ???? forget Thompson .. the bowl is moving fwd despite the bad press people will race and even if the car counts stink the purse money will be there!!! .. OK have at it !!

  55. We don’t give owners enough credit in these pages. Coby being an owner is a big deal. And not just any owner he’s inherited the expectation of success when it’s not even the same team.
    Imagine you come home and say honey, I’m starting a business. It will involve hundreds of thousands of dollars and be guaranteed to lose money. But don’t worry I’m working with some people that will cover the losses. That’s what owners do.
    Mike Smeriglio was a huge asset to the NWMT and is a huge loss.
    So how’s a well respected CPA and financial planner from toney Greenwich, Ct get to racing modifieds at the grass roots level. Danbury RaceArena is how watching Chick Stockwell, Don LaJoie, Lou Funk and others mix it up on the third mile. It’s been two decades in racing for Mr. Smeriglio. The guy had staying power first in SK’s then on the tour. About as atypical an owner as one could imagine commuting from advising high powered clients in the NY region to the burgers and beer crowd at regional tracks. If you could imagine a type of owner you’d love to attract that you’d normally think would never have an interest he’d be the guy. And he was here for two decades.
    So he fielded a team for years and years with drivers including Szegedy and Coby. Szegedy may not have been as successful as Coby but he was certainly successful and you could argue at a time when there were more elite teams. Coby bringing home all those championships for Smeriglio speaks for itself.
    It’s not hard to imagine Smeriglio gave Moran pretty much every resource he asked for to compete at every track for the win. It’s not hard to imagine Smeriglio had his office staff assure all the paperwork, licenses, credentials, travel arrangements and lodging were never a concern for the team. That every team member and piece of equipment needed to have the best chance of winning was at every race no matter how far away. That testing at tracks was arranged when needed In short that every distraction that could divert the team from winning the next race was eliminated from the team members list of concerns. Who better to manage details then a CPA.
    So now the burden of expectations that Coby does not seem to be dialing back has changed completely with a new foundation that we kind of think is the same but may not be at all. Ownership is important and the change is like night and day. It transfers from a highly disciplined guy who’s job is to put financial data in very specific slots with accuracy absolutely critical to a guy that sells the American dream. Both successful business owners but very different businesses with completely different management styles.
    So thank you Mr. Smeriglio for so many years of great cars and to the other owners as well including the newest one Doug Coby. Coby has gone from a swash buckler who “only” had to drive well while enjoying most of the acclaim. Who was accountable for bad decisions but didn’t have to pay for them. To the guy that has to pay for everything including the bad decisions on the track and calculate if they are worth the risk in the first place. He’s on the hook for what will be hundreds of thousands of dollars and deserves a new level of respect for that. He could have chosen to be like other good drivers including Pitkat or Dowling. Have helmet, can drive,will travel.. No doubt he had offers to drive other cars. He is putting it all on the line and taking the risk calculating it is his best shot to win and further cement his standing in the record books as one of the best.
    You don’t have to like him to appreciate that.

  56. Doug wrote, “We don’t give owners enough credit in these pages. ”

    A few years ago when car counts were scary low, I posted in these forums that when you see an owner in the pits, walk up to them and thank them.

    I think I posted that a few times over the years.

  57. Elect, all those names were not helmet baggers, and were well known wrenches.

  58. Of course you did , we all knew that

  59. sour grapes… it’s not too expensive, it’s not the cost. It costs what it costs.

    It’s a matter of who is interested and can afford it. Either you can afford it or not.

  60. Elect wrote, “Weren’t Richie Evans, Jerry Cook , Maynard Troyer, Jimmy Spencer, Charlie J ,owner or family owned, they didn’t do to bad , they might have had some pretty good sponsors and Coby might have pretty good sponsors also I’ll wait and see”

    That was a totally different era. Those guys worked on their cars. Those guys were not helmet baggers. I watched Evans and crew change an engine in the infield. Those guys got their hands dirty.

    The only team close to that today is the #3 team. These guys build their own.

    All the rest use sourced cars, many buy turnkey rollers, don’t even assemble their own. Maynard Troyer developed the whole mass production modified and dirt chassis business model that we see today.

    Elect, Super Doug is not a member of that list of names you provided. Never will be. Give Super Doug all the sponsors he can handle and he’ll never be in the league of Evans, Cook, Maynard Troyer, Spencer, or Charging Charlie. Why? It has nothing to do with sponsors. It was big news when Super Doug was given the task of doing his own tires last season. 🤣🤪😜🤪😜🤣. I hope Phil puts Super Doug to work. It will be a great start when Super Doug can figure out the business end of a screwdriver.

  61. sour grapes of reality says

    DA REAL “sour grapes… it’s not too expensive, it’s not the cost. It costs what it costs.It’s a matter of who is interested and can afford it. Either you can afford it or not.” DA REAL you are out of touch..A ridiculous statement. ask Tinio, Garbarino and the other teams who have left the tour ..they had the bucks and decided it wasn’t worth it any more.. cost VS reward.. you are a liberal for sure . NASCAR is a joke and some quality teams have left the tour tom race with other series of left altogether .. put on your Thompson t shirt and go watch the tour… you will have plenty of room and no waiting in line for the worlds most expensive racetrack fare

  62. SOUR GRAPES 🍇, Tinio is not a good example on your part. Not a bright bunch. They bought what they thought was an SK operation. Turned out it was a Tour Mod operation. That’s what’s known as “More Money Than Brains” disease. Costs quite a bit more to run a Tour car than an SK car. Don’t know much about the Garbarino operation other than they did not use a Cup style hauler, the owner had to be > 80 years old when he finally stopped racing, he has been in mod racing forever. That guy ran a mod for decades, like 55 years. It’s strange not hearing the Garbarino name at the track anymore. People don’t keep jobs that long. He was THE name associated with Tour Mod racing. I just checked the NEAR site, Garbarino started as owner in 1961. Most people that started working in 1961 have been long retired.

    Very bad examples. Worked against your argument.

  63. sour grapes you proved my point says

    your words not mine DAREAL you insult the Tinio family “more money than brains” they decided to stop fielding a tour car..cost vs reward .. had one of the best drivers bar none on the tour in Santos… as for Garbarino a perfect example.. was on board since the tour started.. so you rank on him cause he never bought an expensive hauler?? .. stayed in the game long enough until he decided it was NOT worth trying to keep up with NACAR and the jones`s.. always had a competitive car top notch team.. your pathetic and with your statement just proved you are out of touch.. the hobby that used to be racing is gone …. NASCAR with its “tour” has driven the cost of racing thru the roof… plenty of guys outspent Garbarino and couldn’t lick his boots or catch his cars or buy his class and integrity .if it was up to you DAREAL the guys with the most toys win right??? .. like I said see you at Thompson with the empty seats and the overpriced food.. you should fit right in with the 50,000 haulers and tractors .. no wonder the oval will be closed.. priced right outta the game. good riddance. PS even a CPA tour owner champion decided it wasn’t financially feasible to continue anymore .. stop saying” more time with family”.. What Smeriglio meant was more money for my family .. …… LOL sad but true

  64. Sour grapes 🍇, my words, your lack of cognitive capacity.

    Sour grapes 🍇, the Tinio operation went shopping for an SK operation and bought a Tour car operation. They had no idea what they were buying. I don’t have to insult them, they did it to themselves. 🤪😜 There were threads on these forums about it. Maybe if they knew what they were doing, they would have bought an actual SK car and would still be SK racing today due to the lower cost to run an SK. I didn’t insult them, they had no idea what they were doing when they thought they were buying an SK and ended up buying a Tour mod. It was no surprise when they were not that good. I mean, they couldn’t tell the difference between an SK mod and a Tour mod. 🤪🤪

    I was not “ranking” on Garbarino for not using a Cup style hauler. Pay attention, I’ve often commented on the inappropriateness and excesses of using a Cup style hauler in Tour Mod racing, especially when there is massive complaints about the cost of racing. Quite the opposite. Complimenting Garbarino for running a normal and appropriate hauler while fielding a top competitive car for so long. Darling ran his op out of a trailer, the #3 runs a normal and appropriate hauler. Many very competitive teams run small and effective operations, no excessive haulers needed. Many non-competitive mid-pack wannabe teams run keeping-up-with-the-Jones’ Cup style haulers. The huge hauler doesn’t help on the track at all. They should spend that money on brains 🧠 instead of all that hauler.

    Sour grapes 🍇, rub that brain cell of yours… see if you can warm it up and get it to work. A small fortune can be saved if a team ran a modest and appropriate hauler like the Garbarino team did, instead of all those HUGE and $$$$$$ Cup style haulers. Don’t go spending wasteful and excessive $$$$$$$ on an unnecessary Cup style hauler and then complain that it is too expensive, and then you want to get out to spend more time with the family.


    As far as Smigs spending more time with the family, his kids work with him at his firm. How much time is he gonna spend with grown adult kids? My kids graduated college about 10 years ago and I am still celebrating being an empty nester! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

  65. I’ll bet the kids are celebrating even more

  66. Allot of the teams using the “cup style” haulers, are actually using used cup, Xfinity, or truck series haulers. When the teams get rid of these, they can be picked up rather cheap. As far as running cost, a big rig is actually more efficient to run if you go by a per mile cost. The 16 flamingo, now Skowyra 50 hauler was a used Wood Brothers setup, that Eric got at a great price. Plus you can carry 2 cars and allot of spare parts, all your pit equipment, and even have a lounge for privacy. With a 35 foot 5th wheel, you have room for only 1 car, some spares, and pit equipment. Plus, most of the big rigs have a sleeper on the tractor, so if your truck driver gets tired he just hits a rest stop, and can sleep in comfort, try doing that in a crew cab dually. Just my opinion

  67. sour grapes of empty heads says

    Hey da real “Sour grapes 🍇, my words, your lack of cognitive capacity”.you and your buddy Smigs can go to Thompson and get all the fried dough you want in those empty stands.. this will be the last year of the oval.. MY prediction .. as usual you fail to answer the question . anyone who thinks “smigs walked away a 6x champ for personal reasons is delusional. he got tired of spending the money …. PS why did no one hire the great Phil Moran?? same reason not worth the money…

  68. Rob p., you’re just making 💩 up.

  69. Lightsout says

    Coming from someone who has worked in the shop with Doug, I can verify that Doug is not helmet bagger. You can label the guy all you want but unless you know him outside the track personally, I suggest you not make assumptions to his character. Starting so sound like a bunch of school children bickering about who has better xbox games. Maybe you guys should take up iracing so you have tangible link to racing in your life because as a spectator to these comments, y’all are a bunch of rafter captains and keyboard commandos.

  70. Hey sour grapes 🍇, how about Smigs shut down to get away from Super Doug?

    I do hope Super Doug realizes all the success he is capable of achieving.

  71. Dareal, Not. The Flamingo teams shop is only a couple of miles from my house. I remember when he bought that setup some years ago, actually his second one. And ask anyone who drives a hauler, the big rigs are better in the long run in both capacity, and operating costs.

  72. It’s a matter of principal. You can buy a 35 ft tag along trailer, and have room for 1 car and your pit equipment, and tow your back up car on a separate trailer. Or you can invest in a cup style over under setup, and haul 2 cars, plenty of spare parts and your pit equipment, plus have a nice lounge for privacy. I’d invest in the latter, as most teams do.

  73. Rob p how dare you , Dadope use to design , build and drive those haulers , he knows

  74. Rob p. wrote, “It’s a matter of principal.”

    What does that mean?

    Rob p. wrote:” Dareal, Not. The Flamingo teams shop is only a couple of miles from my house. I remember when he bought that setup some years ago, actually his second one. And ask anyone who drives a hauler, the big rigs are better in the long run in both capacity, and operating costs.”

    The Achilles heel to your premise is that most teams don’t last long enough, there is no such thing as “long run” since teams come and go. If you were correct, Garbarino, BRE, and Wade Cole should have bought Cup style double stackers decades ago and would have saved fortunes.

    The only thing going for spending the big bucks on a USED double stacker since it is only going to be owned by a particular team for a couple years is that it has already depreciated and it can then be sold for a price not much less than it was purchased as used.

  75. Ok, Dadope. Let’s say it’s a matter of preference. Some teams prefer to have the security of a back up car, spare parts up the wazoo, and maybe a few extra motors. Others prefer to use a small trailer, hauling only one car, and a few spare parts. While some prefer to be able to say mine hangs lower than yours. I really don’t even see your point on the whole matter. It comes down to some teams being able to afford the comfort and convenience, others unable. In some cases some aspect of the team had a tractor, so it made sense to buy the big trailer. Some teams get by with a normal trailer, so they can spend more on the actual race car. In the end I really don’t think a teams hauler is an indication of that teams performance, it’s just their preference. Just my opinion.

  76. Rob p. wrote, “It’s a matter of principal. ”

    Rob p. wrote, ” Let’s say it’s a matter of preference.”

    Rob p. wrote, “And ask anyone who drives a hauler, the big rigs are better in the long run in both capacity, and operating costs.”

    Rob p. wrote, ” It comes down to some teams being able to afford the comfort and convenience, others unable.”

    And Rob p. completely stopped making sense.

  77. If you want to see excess, go to You Tube and search ” Scott Bloomquist Hauler”. That thing is a beast, and reportedly cost almost a million dollars. It features a pimped out luxury coach/ tractor towing a n over under trailer. Scott said in an interview that he prefers to travel in comfort, as well as having everything he needs at the track. He also stated that he uses the coach to entertain sponsors at the track during those long race days common on the world of outlaws dirt late model tour. Now that’s over the top, yet practical.

  78. Like Doug and wish him nothing but the best in his search for number 7

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