New Tune: Doug Coby Sets Track Record In Whelen Mod Tour Spring Sizzler Qualifying At Stafford
by Shawn Courchesne
STAFFORD – On March 18 at Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Speedway, Doug Coby began defense of his 2016 Whelen Modified Tour championship with a wreck and 13th place finish to start the season.
On April 9 circumstances went from bad to abysmal for Coby and his Mike Smeriglio Racing team at the season’s second event of the season at Thompson Speedway. On lap one of the Icebreaker 150 at Thompson, Coby was hit by another driver – while the race was under caution – and his day ended plastered against the backstretch wall.
The 31st place finish at Thompson left Coby – the winner of the last three series titles – in 16th place in the standings.
Saturday Coby came to Stafford Speedway looking to start the rally in the positive. And the Milford driver got his NAPA Spring Sizzler weekend started on top.
Coby set a track record on the way to winning the pole for Sunday’s NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 at Stafford.
“It’s nice for our team,” Coby said. “It’s a good little reminder that we’re pretty good and we really haven’t even gotten to race this year yet. Myrtle Beach was kind of lollygagging around trying to save tires and get back on the lead lap. And Thompson we didn’t even get to race.
“When you get used to winning you expect to win all the time, everything. … Do we need a little pick-me-up? Yeah. Everybody needs that when you have a couple bad weeks, no matter how good you are, in any sport. It’s good for us. It’s only one thing though. We’ve still got to take care of business tomorrow. But the way the car was in practice it was really really consistent.”
Coby toured the half-mile oval at Stafford in 17.896 seconds (100.581 mph).
“We were the fastest in practice and we’ve won a lot of races here in the last two years, and a lot of poles,” Coby said. “I actually thought I overdrove it. And I thought the second lap was faster. It just goes to show what that first lap on new tires can do for you.”
Coby eclipsed the previous track record of 17.924 seconds (100.424 mph) set by Ryan Preece on April 29, 2012.
It was the sixth consecutive pole in Whelen Modified Tour action for Coby dating back to the 2015 season. Last year Coby led 193 of 200 laps in winning the Spring Sizzler. He also had Spring Sizzler wins in 2006 and 2012.
Todd Szegedy of Ridgefield was second fastest in qualifying at 18.040 seconds (99.778 mph). Eric Goodale of Riverhead, N.Y was third fastest in qualifying (18.040, 99.635 mph).
Ryan Preece of Berlin and Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville, N.Y. rounded out the top five in qualifying respectively.
About Michael Smeriglio:
Michael Smeriglio is a financial specialist. A licensed CPA since 1985, Mike has been providing tax preparation services to individuals and businesses for more than 30 years through his firm located in Greenwich, CT.