STAFFORD SPRINGS, Conn. —
Another Stafford race, another Stafford win for Doug Coby.
On Sunday — in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour NAPA Fall Final 150 — Coby put a bad taste in his mouth from the August Stafford race in the rear-view mirror. He had run out of gas in the lead that night, one where he looked to be well on his way to victory. But that’s all behind him now.
The win was his fifth of 2016, his 22nd career and his 10th at the famed 3/8 mile Arute family-owned Stafford Motor Speedway.
“Everyone is gaining on us, this surely wasn’t an easy win,” Coby said. “We came out and had that long green run after the caution and we got tires and we made an adjustment and the car was really good. It all just kinda played into our hands tonight.”
Coby was challenged by his closest title contender Justin Bonsignore early, but then Bonsignore got bounced knocked back and fourth and pushed deeper into the top five. The car all of a sudden lost power under a caution just before halfway and Bonsignore was pushed to pit road by his fellow competitor Jeff Goodale.
Bonsignore went a lap down and was able to get the lap back within a few laps via the lucky dog — but he never got back to the bumper of Coby.
It was basically clear sailing for Coby — until the final restart.
The race went green for a while but on lap 137, Ron Silk went around in turn three in his Danny Watts owned No. 82. For the final nine laps, Coby had to hold off a hard-charging Timmy Solomito who was all over the bumper in the final few corners.
“I think maybe Timmy had a better car than us at the end, I think if he woulda got by me he probably would’ve pulled away,” Coby said. “I probably had an easier run than him, I thought that Justin and Jimmy were a little bit rough there in the first 40 laps. And then of course the cautions have to come out late, that’s just the way it goes and you know that’s going to happen. You have a three second lead then the caution comes out.”
Solomito scored another top five run on the season, his eighth. Though the final laps didn’t go his way, he was still happy with the result.
“I spun the tires on the restart but I was able to get back to second and run him down,” Solomito said. “I probably could have gotten a little more aggressive with him there at the end but he is running for a championship and I wouldn’t want to be raced that way if I was running for the championship. We brought the Flamingo Motorsports No. 16 home second and that’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
Coming back from a spin in the middle part of the race, Blewett finished in third in the Starrett Tools Mystic Missile No. 4. Blewett spun trying to pass Rowan Pennink at lap 112 and then went to the rear of the field. He charged all the way through in the final laps and captured a podium run.
“Just never give up,” Blewett said. “You can spin like that and just ride around in the back like some people do, but I came here to race. I gave Doug the best run I could there early on but I put everything I had out on the line the whole night. You can’t really give anybody an inch.”
Bonsignore came back from being a lap down to finish in fourth spot, with defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Rookie of the Year contender Chase Dowling rounding out the top five. Rowan Pennink, Max Zachem, Matt Swanson, Woody Pitkat and Shawn Solomito finished the top 10.
“We got tight there at the end which is weird, and he was rolling into the middle good,” Coby said. “I got tight into the middle a few times and I just ended up using a little bit of Stafford Speedway experience. I think if he hadn’t wiggled he would have probably had the ability to knock me around a little bit. I had to have enough to stay away from him and then just protect the bottom.”
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to action at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park as they crown the 2016 champion next Sunday Oct. 16. Going into the event, Coby holds the point lead over Bonsignore by 20 points.
- Doug Coby
- Timmy Solomito
- Jimmy Blewett
- Justin Bonsignore
- Chase Dowling
- Rowan Pennink
- Max Zachem
- Matt Swanson
- Woody Pitkat
- Shawn Solomito
- Ron Silk
- Jeff Goodale
- Craig Lutz
- David Sapienza
- Jamie Tomaino
- Wade Cole
- Walter Sutcliffe Jr.
- Bobby Santos
- Eric Goodale
- Melissa Fifield
- Kyle Ellwood
- Ken Heagy
- Donny Lia
- Gary McDonald
- Dave Salzarulo
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 and press writer, and is also the Media Director for both the Granite State Pro Stock Series and the Tri Track Open Modified Series.
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