Owning It: Doug Coby Has Up And Down Day In Debut Of New Team At Jennerstown

Doug Coby (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

It was a rookie team owner on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour celebrating a seventh place finish in the season opening Wade Cole Memorial 133 presented by Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Repair Sunday at Jennerstown Speedway. 

Though it was a team with a driver slightly disappointed he couldn’t get more out of the debut of the new organization he introduced to the series Sunday.  

Such is the case when you’re a new team to the series that is owned and operated by a six-time series champion. 

Doug Coby Racing made its series debut Sunday with reigning Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby running near the front for most of the first half of the race, but fading out of the top-five late to settle for a seventh place finish.

Despite being the fourth team to go out in time trials, Coby qualified second Sunday and ran with pole-sitter and eventual race winner Justin Bonsignore for the first 71 laps of the event.

Caution flew on lap 71 to set up NASCAR’s designated scheduled pit stop for all teams. After the lap 75 restart it was clear Coby had a different car from the one he had before the stop. 

“We were trying to think of what we had to do to beat [Bonsignore] and we just over adjusted trying to make it better,” Coby told RaceDayCT. “We ended up just really really tight after the break and trying to find the handle on the car around the track and find a line that it would like so that I could be somewhat competitive. And it took me probably 20 laps to figure out what it wanted being as tight as it was. Then we kind of just raced with that pack of cars there at the end. I had a decent finish. We could have finished somewhere between fifth and 10th based on how close we all were. I don’t want to say it’s what we wanted because obviously we wanted to win and that’s why we made the adjustment, because we thought we were doing the right thing and it just turned out to not be. Not a big deal.” 

The now car owner in Coby was more disappointed to miss out on the financial rewards that come with winning the pole and finishing in the top-five than he was upset about the actual finish. 

“I’m more concerned with qualifying second and not winning the $1,000 pole award,” Coby said. “And then sliding back through the top-10 towards a finish that the purse is not great. Every couple hundred bucks if you’re not going to win it’s nice to not lose it. I certainly didn’t drive any different being a car owner and I’m not even thinking about points or how many races we’re going to have or where we’re going to go. It’s not even on my radar based on how the season is starting. I’m happy the car is in one piece. We just misread it. Up until lap 70 all we had to worry about was [Bonsignore] and we knew that they were going to get better. So we thought we did what we needed to do to get better and we were just wrong. Not a big deal, we just have to come back next time and try to read things a little differently.” 

In 2019 Coby won his sixth series title overall and his fifth title in six seasons with Mike Smeriglio Racing. Not long after the season ended team owner Mike Smeriglio III announced he was shutting down his operation. Coby announced the formation of his new team – Doug Coby Racing – in late February. 

Coby purchased one of his old No. 2 Mike Smeriglio Racing cars and brought most of his old crew to the new operation, including crew chief Phil Moran. 

“I would say we all probably felt like it was just the same if the No. 10 had a No. 2 on it,” Coby said. “We all did the same things. The race day and the practice went pretty similar to how it would have if we were the old team.” 

Coby was disappointed that NASCAR did not allow him to transfer the team owner points benefits from 2019 from the Mike Smeriglio Racing operation to Doug Coby Racing. He also questioned why the new No. 50 team owned by Paul Les with driver Ronnie Williams was allowed to carry over points from the 2019 season from former team owner Eric Sanderson’s No. 16 Flamingo Motorsports operation, which closed up shop following the 2019 Whelen Modified Tour season finale. 

“It was a little frustrating that we were double pitted in the back at the end of the pit stalls,” Coby said. “It was frustrating to see the No. 50 team being given the No. 16 team’s owner points from last year and we weren’t given the No. 2 owner points from last year. That’s a question maybe for NASCAR, I’m not sure why that was allowed to happen. For me, going into this race, I think everybody, we all did what we always did. It was fine. We were fast in practice and … then we went out fourth for time trials and held off everybody off until [Bonsignore] went out last. Not to say that going out last is an advantage but it usually is. … And we raced good for 70 laps and then we just kind of sucked the last 60 or so.” 


  1. He’s got a beef on the pit stall deal.
    Hey, I thought it was an impressive start for a new team. You kind of think he should be in the front seeing as how a lot of the equipment and personnel are the same but it is a new team after all.
    It’s also impressive seeing Coby add a partner and buy another car. It’s a credit to his business and marketing skills.He’s go a big nut now and he’s managing it very well.
    The 10 will win it’s share of races.

  2. Wonder why an established top notch team owner didn’t pick him up.

    Oh well. 🤷‍♂️


  3. Goodfella stand with Bubba all you want why made a big deal out of a normal way to make a garage pull down rope check the facts before you shoot off your mouth

  4. New old team in it’s first race, at a track the tour hasn’t visited in years, and he’s disappointed with a 7th place finish. There are 23 other guys who would have been ok with finishing 7th. Some people are never satisfied.

  5. wmass01013 says

    DIDNT we go thru this 6 months AGO?

  6. racer, a noose as a rope pull is NOT normal to non-racists. To you maybe a noose is normal.

    A noose is a symbol of hangings. Common in Alabama. As is the Confederate flag.


  7. wmass01013, if an owner wants a top notch driver, the driver is pursued. It’s that simple. The seat will be emptied and then refilled. That’s the way it works.

  8. Anyways, back to the Team Coby-Moran debut. If this team does not perform as it did in previous years, it would be clear that they relied heavily on testing… trial and error… to find a set up. But then, it’s not known how much testing Team Coby-Moran will do this year.

    There are other ways.

    Moran is clearly very good with the trial-and-error approach. Ryan Stone is good at what he does.

  9. Goodfella did you see the picture of the noose as you say it is? You can get 2 fingers in it and it’s not wrapped like a noose I no what a noose if for look at the picture a garage full of engineers and they have to get the FBI to tell them what it was? And the wood brothers told them they did it last October you make a mountain out of a mole hill just like all your stupid ranting about Coby

  10. Racer blathered, “Goodfella did you see the picture of the noose as you say it is? You can get 2 fingers in it and it’s not wrapped like a noose I no what a noose if for look at the picture a garage full of engineers and they have to get the FBI to tell them what it was? And the wood brothers told them they did it last October you make a mountain out of a mole hill just like all your stupid ranting about Coby”

    The Wood Brothers have been assisting the FBI and have reported that they also noticed the noose was there when they used that stall some time ago. The Wood Brothers didn’t do it as you wrote.

    Anyways, I’m glad this does not appear to be a targeted hate crime against Bubba. If it wasn’t a noose, I’m sure that all the people that have seen it would have said so. So clearly it IS a noose which is why it has made the news. Still sad that a symbol of hanging is used so commonly. So it is a noose that was in place for some time, not put there exclusively as some sort of threat specifically against Bubba.

    So NASCAR still needs to address the use of using a noose, a symbol of white aggression against people of color for centuries, in the garage. A noose is just as bad as the Confederate flag.

  11. Looking at what, six races? Maybe seven? Two at Riverhead, Coby’s worst track. The 51s best track to boot behind Thompson. No way he repeats. Go ahead and engrave Justin’s name on the trophy if there is a trophy this year.

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