DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Sometimes overshadowed in the midst of a championship celebration is the crew chief of the winning race team.
But for Doug Coby, a four-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion who captured his third straight title in 2016, it’s always been about the crew.
He always has been one to mention his crew chief Phil Moran and give him extra credit for the long hours in the shop to get the car ready. Coby is extra supportive of his entire crew for the hard work and effort they put into a successful championship season.
For his three-straight dream seasons, Moran has been right there beside him, working hard in the shop to prepare the car and then calling the shots when they unload at the track.
“The communication between everyone on the crew and Doug himself — it’s just one big happy family,” Moran said. “The biggest thing is that Doug is not wrecking the car so we can make it faster, we aren’t having to repair it every week. The guys in the shop are also incredible — we’ve had no DNF’s because of mechanical failure. All of it is just paying attention to small details and it enables us to finish the races.”
For Moran, the communication between the two has been an essential part of the run, but the success has also been because of the support of Fury Race Cars (formerly LFR Chassis). At the beginning of the 2015 season, Coby and Moran made the switch to the LFR chassis from Troyer and since then they have won 12 races in two years, along with 15 pole awards.
“It just keeps getting better and better, we learn things and we get better,” Moran said. “The Fury Race Cars really help because that car fits Doug’s driving style and it really fits my setup well. It’s been very important. I told Doug at the end of the 2014 season when we had the Troyer car that we were looking to step up to the next level and I told Doug if I was to build my own race car I would build the LFR, I was good friends with Rob Fuller. It’s just been a great fit for both of us.”
The combination has taken a liking to many tracks over the last few years. In 2015, Coby swept all four races at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park and was the dominant car en route to his title run. In 2016, Coby mastered the Stafford Motor Speedway, coming just five laps short on fuel of sweeping the four races at the half-mile track.
But they have also taken a liking to the new tracks that the tour visits, along with the tracks that the tour hasn’t visited in a while. In 2016, Coby finished third in the return to Seekonk Speedway and followed that up with a victory in the return to Oswego Speedway on Budweiser Classic weekend.
“Doug’s feedback on the new tracks that we go to is big. I’m kinda really looking forward to going to Myrtle Beach,” Moran said. “I have never been there and neither has Doug so hopefully we can go there and conquer it like we did Oswego. It’s just his feel, everything he feels in the car. We are able to fine tune because usually we are pretty good right out of the truck, which is a big shout-out to all of our product people that help us out so much.”
Looking back at the three year stretch, Moran is just as shocked as anyone else that the team has been able to pull off the impressive run. Although he knew from the start that they would be successful together, the magnitude of the success has been a dream come true.
“It’s pretty incredible, if you would have asked me this 25 years ago I would have never dreamt it at all,” Moran said. “Hopefully we can just keep it on a roll. As long as Doug wants to drive for us hopefully we can go and get four, five or six.”
About the Writer
Kyle Souza is an aspiring Journalism major at the Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I. Souza is Race Chaser Online’s New England motorsports insider, covering everything from the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour to the NASCAR Whelen All American Series and the PASS North Super Late Models.
When not writing, Souza works at the Seekonk Speedway as the track’s Friday night public address announcer. Souza also writes press releases for the Granite State Pro Stock Series. Souza also works for Area Auto Racing News, based in Trenton, N.J.
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