Doug Coby, Crew Chief Phil Moran Parting Ways



Phil Moran (left) and Doug Coby (right) celebrate winning the 2019 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship at Thompson Speedway (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)

In the rumor mill of Modified racing it’s been one of the hottest stories swirling over the last two months.

It was the rumor that driver Doug Coby and crew chief Phil Moran would be separating after eight years together.

Wednesday a definitive answer came to light when Doug Coby Racing made the official announcement that Coby and Moran will part ways following Sunday’s Thompson 300 at the Sunoco World Series at Thompson Speedway.

Moran will move on to serve as crew chief for Ron Silk with Haydt-Yannone Racing in 2022.

“Phil and I have a great friendship and a strong bond due to all of our success together with the No. 2 team owned by Mike Smeriglio and our No. 10 team,” Coby said in a release. “We made each other better and had great communication over the last eight years, winning five championships, and a lot of races together. I wish him well in the next step of his career with HYR.”

Coby and Moran came together when Coby was hired to drive for NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour team owner Mike Smeriglio III before the 2014 season. When Smeriglio shut down his team following the 2019 season Moran took on the crew chief role with the newly formed Doug Coby Racing organization.

“Bittersweet,” Moran said to RaceDayCT. “Just a great relationship. Great relationships come to an end sooner or later. Doug is looking to pursue other things and hopefully it works out for him. For me it’s just the security with Tyler Haydt and Joe Yannone with Silk. It’s a new opportunity for me and I’m looking forward to that. There’s no animosity between Doug and I.  It was just time to move on I guess.”

Together they won the Whelen Modified Tour championships in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019. In their other years together they finished third in the standings in 2018, third in 2020 and fifth in 2021.

In 115 Whelen Modified Tour events together since 2014 Coby and Moran have teamed for 22 wins and 72 top-five finishes together. They also won the 2016 Tri-Track Open Modified Series Open Wheel Wednesday event at Seekonk Speedway.

It’s unclear what the future holds for Doug Coby Racing going forward.

“I’m fortunate to have great sponsors who support my team,” Coby said. “Mayhew Tools is on board with us again for 2022, so we will evaluate our opportunities to continue to build our relationship together. I haven’t made a decision yet as to whether or not I will continue to own and operate a full-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour team next season or pursue a different path, like driving for someone, or even mixing in some other types of racing.

“The primary reason I started the No. 10 team was to keep Phil, myself and the crew together after Mike Smeriglio retired. With Phil moving in another direction, it gives me the opportunity to consider driving for someone else again. I’m just going to focus on finishing out 2021 and then consider what opportunities are available for next year. It seems as if I’ve been through this type of change more than anyone and great opportunities have always presented themselves, sometimes even when they’re not expected. I’m not going to rush into any decisions yet, but with the support of my sponsors and crew members, I’m confident we will have a game plan for 2022.”

Comments

  1. Well Doug Coby only has one choice for any future success. Recruit the smartest guy in the world, Dareal, as his new crewchief. Otherwise he’ll just keep the 01 company at the rear. Seriously though, I hope it works out well for both of them. Should be a great move for Silky, provided they have the funds available.

  2. Think I may have hinted about this awhile back but I don’t want to sound like someone else , Doug will be lucky to finish in the top 15 or worse with out Phil and I mean he can’t drive in traffic ,what’s he going to do , he might have to go to a Fury chassis

  3. Silk and Moran will be the other car to compete with the 51. Pretty sure they wouldn’t associate with a slouch outfit.

    Good luck to Dug Kobe, he’s gonna need it.

  4. 🌈🦄2020 says

    Well that’s the end of Coby’s career. Just ask Dafella. He’ll tell ya.

  5. Fast Eddie says

    A “silly season” comment: Does this make Coby in the 25 more of a possibility? Or could Lutz or Solomito be there? I hope Coby keeps his own team going, as that move would take another car away.

  6. Fast Eddie says

    Sorry folks, I meant Coby in the 85. Fat fingers, little keyboard!

  7. Don’t worry , Doug Coby will be just fine next year ! Just wait for the announcement

  8. JBon is not happy about a Silk-Moran union at all.

  9. So let’s just take a look at how Just Me-The Original is doing on his predictions.

    Just Me – The Original says
    September 25, 2021 at 11:07 pm
    My predictions:
    #7NY – Driver change – Mike Christopher
    #10 Closes shop Coby to the 85
    #1 Ed Harvey closes shop
    McKennedy to his own car #79 and Rob Fuller crew chief
    Phil Moran to the #16 team
    Ok, what’s your predictions????

    Pretty good so far aye?

  10. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Coby in the 85, only makes sense especially with the resources available.

    With Moran the crew chief at HYR, the Ron Silk 16 could just be the car to beat in 2022.

    I think Baldwin will keep McKennedy in the 7NY for WMT races and MCJ in the car for open shows in preparation for a future full time seat on the WMT.

    McKennedy will continue to run the super. He will run family 79 on the TTOMS and Thompson outlaw shows.

    The question is will Lutz land a ride? Maybe Sap steps back to part time and puts Lutz in the 63 on the WMT? If that happens, then the 51,16 and the 85 if Coby lands there better be prepared for a fight for the title in 2022.

    IMHO

  11. Coby got a taste this year of higher level stuff when he was on national TV that night at Stafford. I think he’s looking at a division a little bit higher in the food chain than tour mod.

  12. Even after winning 6 championships, he couldn’t get a job driving a Mod for another team owner, and had to start his own operation. What makes you think some other owner will hire him now? All other drivers moved from team to team… Stefanik, Christopher, Marquis, etc. Yet nobody wants the current 6x champ driving for them. 🤨 🤔 Wonder why?

    Silk-Moran for 2022!!!!!!!!

  13. Just Me - The Original says

    dareal – Please tell me which cars/owners were available for Coby to go to? The good teams didn’t have any openings and/or the owners where happy with their drivers.

  14. COBY to 7NY and Phil will not last long with Silk.

  15. wmass01013 says

    JUST ME I HAVE ASKED THAT ?????? a dozen times over the last year NO REPLY

  16. Just Me he has no idea if anyone offered him a ride or not , he just makes this crap up because he hates Coby , he’s going way out on a limb with his prediction Silk,Moran ,and don’t forget$$ !!!!

  17. JMTO… any and every owner. If a desirable 6x champ, or any good driver, becomes available, there should be scrambling to land him… not this time.

    Look at TC… he had a few good years in top notch equipment, then spent his last years in declining, lesser and lesser quality equipment. Won just ONE championship. It was no secret that TC was tough to deal with. Just listen on the radio. And that TC just wrecked too many times. Many owners wanted nothing to do with him. The 36 team with Brad as crew chief for TC was like an ongoing WWF event, and then it imploded.

    If Dug Kobe was that good and desirable, an owner would make room. That simple.

  18. Just Me - The Original says

    Elect, Coby and I are friends, don’t understand where you get hate him. My prediction on Coby to the 85 is, Moran was moving on( I called that ahead of time) , the 85 sold both his cars, Coby has two cars, motors and a great sponsor. In my mind that looks like a great fit. It’s an educated guess, that’s all.

  19. Just Me , I’m not saying you , I’m saying Dadope has no idea if anyone asked Doug to drive , he just hates Coby , I agree with you

  20. Just Me - The Original says

    Sorry Elect, all is good between us

  21. It seems highly likely Coby talked to teams at the point the 2 operation shut down. However the reality was he’s had great success and knew with what was available the odds of continued success with another team was diminished. In the end he did start his own team and it was very competitive from the get go. That’s a resume builder near as I can figure not a negative. Support him or not Coby is a pretty smart guy. He said in victory lane at Stafford he’d be back next year. I’d bet it’s in a car that can contend for wins and the championship.
    The 85 sold both their Fury chassied cars you say. Sounds like a team shutting down doesn’t it after losing a top driver. Yet the prediction on the table is a merger of equipment and expertise with a LFR guy. The plot thickens.
    Hope springs eternal for race fans but this could be shaping up to be something really good. Instead of hoping someone can contend with the 51, on paper there’s the possibility of having four contenders next year. Emerling’s back and will be more confident. The Haydt-Yannone race team is shaping up to be an all star entry. Lastly Coby will likely work some kind of magic that puts himself in a place to be a contender simply because he would accept no less. What they all share along with Massa is they have extensive financial resources and have no interest in simply placing well in the top 10.

  22. Elect, JMTO, and the rest of you idiots… are you trying to insinuate that Dug Kobe received numerous offers to drive but turned them all down and started his own operation instead?

    Idiots.

    Like I said earlier… years earlier… Kobe had to do all he could to keep Moran as his crew chief. Apparently Moran sees greener, happier places elsewhere. That should tell you more than enough about Dug Kobe Racing. But then, you need cognitive ability to understand what that means.

  23. At least you acknowledged your real name

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