MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – In his first race for new sponsor Mayhew Tools, Doug Coby emerged with a pole and a victory on Saturday afternoon at Myrtle Beach Speedway.
In a strategy-filled, caution-free 50-lap Charles Kepley Memorial for tour-type modifieds, Coby saved his tires and then charged with just enough time left to pass leader Jason Myers coming to five laps to go, going on to score the win by 1.453 seconds in his No. 2 Mayhew Tools/Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Repair Chevrolet.
In victory lane, Coby said he expected more of a challenge in the final laps, but that his competition “should have gone faster, sooner” if they wanted going to beat him.
“Everybody knew that this was gonna be a race of strategy, and I’m standing here wondering when the race was going to begin,” the four-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion admitted. “I want to apologize to the fans (for the lack of action), but we have no tires on these cars to last … so we were playing cat-and-mouse all day.”
“I thought those guys were going to be coming, but they just never did, so when it got to be 10 (laps) to go and Jason was a little bit ahead of me, I said ‘All right, I’ll just go be the rabbit for the last few laps here.’ They were a straightaway back and I had so much left … so I went. It’s a great win for our new sponsor, Mayhew Tools, and I’m proud to get them a pole and a win today.”
Coby led the field to the green flag from the top spot, but was edged out for the lead on the opening lap by a charging Jimmy Zacharias.
Zacharias ultimately cleared Coby for the lead on the outside, leading the first seven circuits before Coby bounced back on lap eight to assume command, bringing Myers with him into second in the process.
Myers took the top spot the next time around, using an authoritative move on the inside of turn one to take over the lead, and he powered away in a hurry as he ran his own race out front. In a lap and a half, Myers had established a full second’s advantage over Coby as the field strung out and tire conservation became apparent.
By the halfway point of the event, Myers held a 2.341-second gap over the field, with Zacharias slipping back by Coby for the runner-up spot just before the crossed flags came out. Meanwhile, drivers like Ryan Preece, Burt Myers and Matt Hirschman were hanging back and saving to the extreme – nearly a half-lap behind the leader as time ticked off the clock.
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