Super Sub: Doug Coby Wins Whelen Mod Tour Miller Lite 200 At Riverhead

Doug Coby celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Miller Lite 200 Saturday at Riverhead Raceway (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)

A week ago Doug Coby figured he’d be watching the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour competing at Riverhead Raceway Saturday like most fans of the series.

The six-time Whelen Modified Tour champion is running a limited schedule of events in 2022 and Saturday’s Miller Lite 200 at Riverhead was not a race on his planned schedule.

But team owner Tommy Baldwin Jr. needed a driver to fill in for Jimmy Blewett and he turned to the most accomplished available pilot out there. And the pairing turned out to near perfection at Riverhead.

Coby took the lead on lap 11 and never trailed again, holding off Patrick Emerling on a green-white-checkered overtime finish to win the Whelen Modified Tour Miller Lite 200 at Riverhead Raceway.

“This is just surreal to get a call on Tuesday,” Coby said. “A lot of people like to think I’ve got to drive certain cars with certain setups to do well and this is a team that I’ve never even really talked to them much.”

It was Coby’s 32nd career Whelen Modified Tour victory. He was making his first series start of the 2022 season. The race ended up going 213 laps due to a late caution.

With his daughter Kayla in the hospital earlier in the week, Blewett opted to sit out the event. Coby got the call Tuesday from Baldwin requesting his services.

“It feels awesome,” Coby said in victory lane. “More important is that Kayla Blewett is home with her family. So Kayla, this is for you.”

It was the third win in the last four series events at Riverhead for Coby, of Milford.

Coby went winless in his first 19 Whelen Modified Tour starts at Riverhead from 2004 to 2019. He got his first Riverhead victory on May 15, 2021. He followed it up by winning in his next start at Riverhead on June 20, 2021. The Long Island winning streak ended for Coby in the third event for the series in 2021 at Riverhead last September.

“Man, this place is so tough,” Coby said. “The lapped traffic is just unreal. I stayed out of trouble today. Tommy gave me a great car. I just want to thank him and all his guys for the hard work. … They called me on Tuesday to drive it. It was an unfortunate circumstance, but you’ve got to make the most of it.”

Emerling, of Orchard Park, N.Y., was second and Ron Silk, of Norwalk, third.

With qualifying getting rained out, the starting lineup was set by practice times with Timmy Solomito on the pole, Eric Goodale starting second and Coby third.

Coby went to second at the start and immediately began stalking Solomito.

On lap 11 Coby went by Solomito to take over the top spot. Coby began deftly maneuvering through traffic not long after while keeping Solomito at bay. 

The first caution of the race flew on lap 58 when the car of Justin Bonsignore, running sixth, began smoking and stopped on track. The field was slowed with Coby out front, Solomito second and Silk third.

The race restarted on lap 67 with Solomito edging to the lead before caution flew again lap 69 for the slowed car of Walter Sutcliffe. On the lap 74 restart it was Coby taking control back at the front of the field. The rash of cautions continued on lap 76 for the stopped car of John Beatty Jr.

Coby held point again for the lap 80 restart.

With Coby having checked out from the field, the race was red flagged on lap 122 when Craig Lutz and Matthew Brode wrecked hard together, a wheel of the Lutz car getting sheered off.

Coby held off Solomito on the lap 133 restart.

From there it was just a matter of Coby managing through traffic the rest of the way as he left the field behind.

Silk went by Solomito for second on lap 167 with Emerling moving to third not long after. Emerling got to second with about five laps remaining.

Coby had the field easily covered but caution flew on lap 198 for the spinning car of Tom Rogers Jr.

Coby took the outside lane for the final restart and made the most of it, easily clearing Emerling to control the final two laps.

“It’s Riverhead, that kind of stuff happens,” Coby said of the late caution. “I kind of knew the outside had way more grip from all the restarts earlier and that was the experience that told me to take the outside and see how much Patrick wanted to ship it in there and get into my door. I was ready for it.”

Said Emerling: “I was really hoping for a restart there. I think my tires were just marbeled up and I just couldn’t quite it get it going. He had an awesome start. He started early and he did get me a little bit when I got on it. I was standing still there.”

Bonsignore, the reigning series champion, suffered his second bad finish in three events this season. He finished 70 laps down in 25th place in the 30-car field. Bonsignore had an early exit because of a mechanical issue in the first event of the season on Feb. 12 at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway. He won the second event of the season on April 1 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway.

Doug Coby (left) and team owner Tommy Baldwin Jr. (right) Saturday at Riverhead Raceway (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)


  1. Let’s see who’s that guy who keeps saying Coby can’t drive traffic and is nothing without Phil Moran after winning 3 races at Riverhead and this one without Phil I guess Goodfella your all washed up

  2. I think that was a bigger deal then it may first appear. Both Coby and the 7ny iconic brands in modified racing. But the 7ny for some reason has not done well at Riverhead. Not last night that’s for sure. The car was near perfect and Coby on the restarts and navigating traffic was near perfect as well. Emerling was the best car on the track in my view and would have gotten Coby had there been time to set him up but that’s racing. Great camera work concentrating on the 07’s remarkable march through the field.

  3. Good to see Baldwin Jr. got his car to run well last night. He entered mod racing on the legacy from his father, but overall his cars failed to perform commensurate with that legacy. Things are looking up, and since Riverhead is his home track, the 7NY better run well there. Overall, the record of the Baldwin Jr. run 7NY is not that good. The occasional win does not erase that record. The 7NY needs a few seasons of CONSISTENT top level performance to live up to the legacy and reputation of Tiger Tom Baldwin. Baldwin Jr. is still learning how to get a car to run CONSISTENTLY and COMPETITIVELY.

    Give a monkey a superior car and the monkey will do well. 🍌 Most of the time. Dug Kolby and his own car, without Phil Moran or a well prepped car, isn’t running all that well. See the pattern and correlation?

    For those that still think Missy is living her dream, you need serious help. Who would dream to do this?

    I do not know what’s going on with that 51 car, but watch out for JBon… he’s going to be focused like a laser beam. Do not get in his way. If they get the car sorted out, this could be an epic recovery to watch unfold. Just realize that other cars will have bad days and DNFs.

  4. Doug Cobys Current Career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Stats (End of 2021 season):

    258 career starts
    31 career wins (tied for fifth on all-time tour list)
    107 career top-five finishes (41% of his starts)
    159 career top-10 finishes (62% of his starts)
    32 career Mayhew Tools Dominator Pole Awards
    Nearly 5,500 laps led
    Career average finish: 10.3
    Career average start: 8.7

    Major Career Accomplishments:​

    Six-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion (2012, ’14, ’15, ’16, ’17, ’19)
    Joins Richie Evans, Jerry Cook, Mike Stefanik and Tony Hirschman as the only drivers to have four or more NASCAR Modified titles

    I am not a Doug Coby fan but pretty impressive stats.

    What got my attention was climbing into a car he never sat in or turned a lap in before last night, practicing in the top 5 then wining the race in a car that wasn’t an LFR or prepared by Phil Moran. Great job by Tom Baldwin and crew on a dominating performance.

  5. Thanks for the stats Earl.. now I’m not looking to bicker with anyone here but I really don’t get the distain for Doug, I really don’t.. I was at Stafford when he won his first in the 77 (great performance btw) and saw his struggles to get quality finishes in years prior. Ride hoping until he lands in the 2, the man has paid his dues. He’s a 6 time champ and I don’t personally care if Phil held his hand or more like they just worked well together – it takes two to tango. Doug’s chatty, so what, speaks his mind… he’s built helps own team, running select races, fills in for a night and wins, to me, not shocking.. congrats Doug. The guy has my respect.. oh, and the SRX thing? I mean come on, what does this guy have to do, walk on water?

    .. and TBR, really fast, superior cars (at times), it will all come together, sometimes it just takes a few years for all the right pieces, parts and people to come together. I think it’s awesome to see the 7NY in victory lane at Riverhead – TIger Tom must have been smiling! Congrats to Tommy and TBR..

  6. “Bicker” what a great word. In these days of shouting at each other bicker seems too understated to make the cut but it’s good to see it used so it gets a pin. One of grandma’s favorites that I haven’t heard in a dog age.
    The thing about Coby is he’s so out there on social media with his opinions it’s really hard for some of us that are not members of his tribe to look past his strong opinions and just see the racer. I know we’re in the minority here but if someone is routinely mocking the things you believe in it’s hard to forget.
    That said you have to give the guy his due. When the lights are the brightest he produces if he has the equipment. It’s just a joy to watch. When he’s asked his opinions on the race his commentary is insightful and informative without the racing cliche’s.
    I can’t help but wonder if he was like Preece who keeps his opinions to himself on anything remotely controversial Coby would be far more popular but I guess he knows that and set his priorities accordingly.

  7. Godly , there is only one who has a great disdain for Coby , we all have our favorites and ones we don’t care for , the one known as Dadope is the one who said Coby couldn’t win at Riverhead and was nothing with out Phil , he also said Hirschman would not even enter Sizzler because he couldn’t win at Stafford , he has a problem with Rob Fuller also

  8. Hoping Jimmy Blewett’s daughter gets well soon.

  9. Doug, in layman’s terms it’s called picking you’re battles. Coby is a very smart man when it comes to that.

  10. Suitcase Jake says

    Build Bridges with those who have opposing views… Not Walls .. have a conversation not combat…. Coby is loaded with Talent … He wheeled that car through traffic like a Master technician…There is no denying His Skill level … 6 Championships sets Him apart with the top Drivers in the Modifieds…His ability to Finish Races is also a Strong Suit…

  11. RaceDayNH says

    “ The 7NY needs a few seasons of CONSISTENT top level performance to live up to the legacy and reputation of Tiger Tom Baldwin. Baldwin Jr. is still learning how to get a car to run CONSISTENTLY and COMPETITIVELY.”

    2022 – Currently 1st in points
    2021 – 6th in points (only 6 points out of the #85’s 4th)
    2020 – 2nd in points
    2019 – 7 starts with 5 top 5s

    I guess not perfect stats. But that’s pretty consistent and competitive right out the box for the WMT. Over the past 3+ Years is there any other car on the tour besides the 51 and whatever coby is driving that’s more competitive and consistent. I guess you could throw the #6 in there but that’s obviously not a full time operation.

    So if your measuring stick is the top 3 elite rides/drivers I guess the 7NY doesn’t quite stack up. But I don’t see any other teams being obviously more consistent or competitive than the 7NY besides them.

  12. HA,, I guess there is hope for Missy yet.. if a monkey can win,,then,, Missy can be the Champ…

  13. Well, clearly Baldwin brought a good car to Riverhead, and I sure wish Blewett was driving it. He could use a win.

  14. RaceDayNH… good points, but recall earlier that the 7NY sucked. When it started out, it was hailed as a competitor on the Tour, but floundered with relentless technical gremlins, ran out of gas, etc. It was not competitive. Recently, it has shown some potential. The 7NY made a splash when it entered the Tour with McKennedy, but faded into obscurity with all the mechanical issues and poor placings. Baldwin Jr. appears to be putting out better cars, and I wish McKennedy was the 7NY full-time driver. McKennedy deserved better than what Baldwin Jr. was giving him years ago. If you recall, years ago when the 7NY was sucking, I posted to the effect that Baldwin Jr. needs to get his 💩 together and get his cars running competitively and consistently, that all the technical issues were unacceptable car prep deficiencies. The 7NY cars have indeed been getting better. It took many years, but it is happening.

    Go back to the 2018 season and look at the 7NY stats. You omitted some data in your presentation. Abysmal. You can ignore and deny facts all you want, but facts shall remain facts.

    Is any chassis shop running the all important R&D car???? I don’t see it. What number is it running? 😝😝🤣😝🤣🤣😝🤣😝🤣😝😂😂

    As far as Dug Kolby goes… couldn’t get a ride after Smig’s shutdown. He’s young, had to start his own operation, that is now faltering, he still can’t get a full time ride. 🧐 🤔 If he really is as good as those stats can appear, why the current reality? As crazy as this sounds, I see Dug Kolby driving for owner Missy, with some up-and-coming decent crew chief such as Kopcik or Dowling, or somebody from Fury, in the near future. Truth is stranger than fiction. Missy with her multiple Most Popular Driver awards, Dug with him being himself… pure tabloid stuff… wait for it.

  15. You’d think it would get tedious after a while this deal with Fifield. Yet year after year after year it the same thing. The winner and Fifield. So much action, so many teams and it usually boils down to the same thing. Let’s talk about the winner, winner, winner, winner get bored then Fifield. Tell you what, there’s still one fact that remains and made with some hair raising experience at Riverside Park. Driving micro tracks is challenging. Unlike bigger tracks where you get a moment to breath it’s constant sensory overload. This forum may be dominated by humans with double sack deuces but she still has one up on all of us. Fifield is the only one with the stones to be on the track at Riverhead for 9 laps or 200 being lapped or not.
    And speaking of being lapped I wonder what McKennedy was thinking as he was being lapped by his former ride…….multiple times. He used to drive that car you know. One win in 42 NWMT races in the 7ny for the guy and one win in 78 total NWMT races. Christopher got a win at the Thompson World Series in 2020 then another at a Stafford open in only a handful of races in the 7ny. Caleb Heady a win in Smart in only a few races in the car and Blewett would have been a winner at New Smyrna were it not for a guy named Hirschman. Coby a win in exactly one race.
    Has there ever been a brand new team, with brand new owners that has ever gotten more noticed then the Lepine 79 car? With full TFR backing they destroy a car right out of the box at Thompson at the 2021 Icebreaker, order up another one then go up to Star and win a MMTTS race on May 22, 2021 in dominant fashion. That’s pretty much it isn’t it. He was named the lead man last fall on the 79 wasn’t he so we’ll see how that works out.
    Hey you know who Walter Sutcliffe and Gary Mcdonald’s best friend should be? That’s right Melissa Fifield. The two consistently non competitive but as long as you have the one chick in the field getting lapped then retiring early you have a shield. You can add the great Wade Cole to that group as well rest his soul. Driving all over the countryside with his car on that open trailer Fifield shielding him as well. Spending the vast majority of his time being lapped in 371 races the bronze statue is on back order, the chick gets ridiculed. Year, after year, after year, after year. Tedious man tedious.
    You boys can have your catnip with Fifield mine this year is McKennedy. His white hot star burning brightly in the Supers doesn’t burn as hot in the modifieds as far as I can see, something seems missing. Preece can step into an under performing Ole Blue and all of a sudden it’s challenging Hirschman in the Sizzler for the win. That’s Preece value added modified expertise for the lack of a better word. Near as I can figure McKennedy did not bring value added to the 7ny nor has he to the 79 at least so far.
    But then again after a decade of racing maybe all of a sudden Tommy Baldwin discovered something new in his cars. Sure that explains it.

  16. Doug if you want to compare the 7ny from
    Tour races to tour races that would make sense but I don’t remember McKennedy running too many open shows with it the last couple seasons. But I do remember him winning some races down south to include a northsouth shootout I believe in previous years. The open shows were never a problem for the 7ny over the years. So not surprising seeing it run well in smart races or open shows with heady or Christopher. McKennedy had 4 top 5s in 13 races in the 7ny last season all of which were tour shows and got a second in points the only full tour season they ran. He also gave Tommy Baldwin his first ever tour win as an owner. But I guess no value added there.

  17. Lapped Traffic says

    I believe the 7NY of 2022 is not the same it has been the last few years with JM driving, new equipment and I think TB learned from that. JM’s new ride is learning and will be there in the end!

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