February 19, 2014 — By Jason Christley, NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications — Getty Images photo — DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Doug Coby was in the right place at the right time and came home with the big prize Sunday at Daytona International Speedway.
Coby took advantage of a late-race incident involving a dominant Ryan Preece and drove to victory in the NASCAR Whelen Modified-Whelen Southern Modified Tour portion of the UNOH Battle At The Beach on the short track at “The World Center of Racing.”
Daytona was Coby’s first start in the No. 2 of Mike Smeriglio III Racing. The team won the inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach a year ago with Steve Park behind the wheel.
The reigning Whelen Modified Tour champion, Preece led the first 147 laps after winning the Coors Light Pole Award earlier in the day. But lap car Dave Sapienza got into Preece on Lap 141 to damage his left rear wheel.
On the ensuing restart Preece faded wide in Turns 1 and 2 to open the door for Coby, who restarted third. Coby, the 2012 Whelen Modified champion from Milford, Conn., then powered to the lead and held off a hard-charging Jason Myers for the victory.
Coby and Myers were followed across the line by Luke Fleming, Preece, Burt Myers.
Rookie Tommy Barrett Jr., Cody Ware, Ron Silk, Eric Goodale and JR Bertuccio.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour opens the championship points season April 6 at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway. The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour kicks off March 9 at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C.