STAFFORD, Conn. — Doug Coby was not going to be denied on Friday night at Stafford Motor Speedway.
The five-time and defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion was sliding through the grass early on, and had to pass more than a handful of cars in his efforts to charge back to the front of the field.
However, when it mattered most, the Milford, Connecticut, pulled back into Victory Lane for the first time in nearly one year.
The victory in the Starrett 150 was the first of the season for Coby, his 24th career in Whelen Modified Tour competition and the 11th of his career at the historic Stafford half-mile.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Coby said. “We didn’t win at Stafford at all last year, and it seemed to be a place we were always good at. When I have a good car here, I like to try and defend my home-turf. This is great for our team. We are excited to be back in Victory Lane.”
Coby found himself racing Justin Bonsignore for the lead on lap 13 when the two made contact and Coby went sliding through the grass, narrowly avoiding disaster and entering the track back in the 15th position. Luckily for him, the wreck left him with no damage, but from there, it was an uphill battle for the veteran.
He pitted on multiple occasions, slowly worked his way back up through the field, and stayed out during a caution on lap 118, taking the lead of the race and putting himself in position to control the finish.
A caution on lap 140 gave the field one more chance to pass Coby, but no one could make it happen. Woody Pitkat charged through the field after pitting for fresh Hoosier rubber during a caution late and crossed the line second.
The effort was the first podium for Pitkat in Whelen Modified Tour competition since August of 2015 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
“I’m just happy for Danny (Watts) and happy for all the guys that never give up,” Pitkat said. “We have been battling and trying to get better. Obviously, I would like to win. But this is like a win for our team.”
Eric Goodale made a charge through the field late and finished third, followed by Rowan Pennink, who led a race-high 50 laps. Timmy Solomito rounded out the top five.
Craig Lutz was sixth, followed by Justin Bonsignore, Jimmy Blewett, Kyle Bonsignore and Chris Pasteryak.
Justin Bonsignore leads Dowling by 51 points in the championship standings after Dowling was involved in a wreck and finished 25th. Timmy Solomito is third, 64 points from the lead.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track on Wednesday, August 8 with the Bud 150 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
|Fin||St||#||Driver||Sponsor / Owner||Car||Laps||Status||Led||Pts|
|1||3||2||Doug Coby||Mayhew / Dunleavy’s / AJ Roman’s Const. (Mike Smeriglio III)||Chevrolet||150||running||30||47|
|2||18||82||Woody Pitkat||Horton Avenue Materials (Danny Watts Jr.)||Chevrolet||150||running||0||42|
|3||7||58||Eric Goodale||GAF Roofing (Edgar Goodale)||Chevrolet||150||running||0||41|
|4||2||3||Rowan Pennink||Mosquito Free / USNE (Jan Boehler)||Chevrolet||150||running||50||42|
|5||9||16||Timmy Solomito||Starrett Racing (Eric Sanderson)||Ford||150||running||3||40|
|6||13||46||Craig Lutz||Riverhead Building Supply (Russell Goodale)||Chevrolet||150||running||0||38|
|7||4||51||Justin Bonsignore||Phoenix Communications Inc. (Kenneth Massa)||Chevrolet||150||running||18||38|
|8||19||76||Jimmy Blewett||Starrett Racing / John Blewett Inc. (John Blewett Sr.)||Chevrolet||150||running||1||37|
|9||14||22||Kyle Bonsignore||Chalew Performance (Kyle Bonsignore)||Chevrolet||150||running||0||35|
|10||12||75||Chris Pasteryak||Dawley’s Collision & Custom (Charles Pasteryak)||Chevrolet||150||running||0||34|
|11||8||85||Ron Silk||Stuarts Automotiive / J&R Pre-Cast (Kevin Stuart)||Chevrolet||150||running||0||33|
|12||22||25||Calvin Carroll||Power with Prestige / Cruising w / Betty (Joe Carroll)||Chevrolet||150||running||0||32|
|13||6||64||Rob Summers||Hoosier Tire East / Fast Track Electrical (Mike Murphy)||Chevrolet||150||running||0||31|
|14||16||14||Blake Barney *||Atlantic Sprinkler (Richard Barney)||Chevrolet||150||running||0||30|
|15||23||98||Ray Parent *||Make A Wish (Don Parsons)||Chevrolet||150||running||0||29|
|16||21||77||Gary Putnam||Curb Records (Mike Curb)||Chevrolet||150||running||0||28|
|17||26||26||Gary McDonald||Lakeland Landscape / TRC Electric (Sean McDonald)||Chevrolet||150||running||0||27|
|18||29||18||Ken Heagy||Buoy One Seafood (Robert Pollifrone)||Ford||150||running||0||26|
|19||20||54||Tommy Catalano *||Catalano Motorsports (Amy Catalano)||Chevrolet||150||running||0||25|
|20||25||23||Joe DeGracia *||PJ DeGracia Contracting (Paul Degracia)||Chevrolet||148||running||0||24|
|21||24||33||Wade Cole||Perf Engines / Kendall Oil / Ryan’s (Wade Cole)||Chevrolet||147||running||0||23|
|22||10||44||Bobby Santos III||Sully Tinio / Olivas Market (Sully Tinio)||Chevrolet||139||crash||0||22|
|23||5||7||Jon McKennedy||Accell Construction, Inc. (Tommy Baldwin)||Chevrolet||132||suspension||48||22|
|24||11||21||Ronnie Williams||Gershow Recycling / Empower Financial (Joseph Bertuccio)||Chevrolet||121||suspension||0||20|
|25||1||15||Chase Dowling||15-40 Connection / S&S Paving (Rob Fuller)||Chevrolet||83||crash||0||19|
|26||15||1||Burt Myers||Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer / Citrusafe / WPW (Eddie Harvey)||Chevrolet||67||power steering||0||18|
|27||28||78||Walter Sutcliffe, Jr.||Last Minute Racing (Steven Sutcliffe)||Chevrolet||42||power steering||0||17|
|28||27||01||Melissa Fifield||Truck Stop Northeast (Kenneth Fifield)||Chevrolet||23||overheating||0||16|
|29||17||36||Dave Sapienza||Sapienza Enterprise (Judy Thilberg)||Chevrolet||0||suspension||0||15|
|Rookie drivers are denoted with an asterisk.|
|Time of race: 1:16:32
Average speed: 58.798 mph
Pole speed: 98.538 mph
|Cautions: 11 for 47 laps
Margin of victory: 0.650 sec
Lead changes: 13
|Lap leader breakdown:|
|Points standings after this race:|