By Kyle Souza, for Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park
THOMPSON, Conn. – Off the heels of his first win of the 2018 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season, Doug Coby is heading for Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park with plenty of momentum on his side.
The Milford, Connecticut, driver has won the last four Whelen Modified Tour championships, and is seeking his fifth straight and sixth overall title this season.
However, things haven’t gone his way in the championship standings to this point.
Coby only finished inside the top five twice in the first eight races, and dug himself a deep whole in the championship standings as the season headed for the second half. However, this past Friday night, Coby returned to glory.
The No. 2 Mayhew Tools Chevrolet took the lead in the late stages of the Starrett Tools 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway, and Coby went on to wheel the car to his first victory of the season. He now finds himself sixth in the championship standings, 93 points from the lead with seven races left on the schedule.
Next up: the 29th annual Bud “King of Beers” 150 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Wednesday, August 8.
“I like the fact that we race Thompson next because we seem like we got our Thompson program back pretty good,” Coby said. “This was a big boost for our team. We are heading for Thompson with a lot of confidence.”
His Thompson record during the 2015 season was perfect. The Connecticut veteran scored all four wins at the 0.625-mile oval that season, and won the pole for two of those wins. In the other two races, he rolled off for the green on the outside of the front row.
In his 56 career starts at Thompson, Coby has five wins, with the most recent of them coming as part of his championship clinching performance in 2015. However, all five of his titles on the Whelen Modified Tour have been celebrated at Thompson.
After stumbling for a few events, Coby’s team seems to have found the setup again for the high-banks. In April during the Icebreaker 150, Coby started second and finished sixth after leading 36 laps. In June, during the Thompson 125, Coby rolled from the pole position, led 82 laps, and came home in the third position.
In his 56 career Whelen Modified Tour starts at Thompson, Coby with 20 top five finishes. He has been at the front of the field for 1,054 laps, has 34 top-10s, and as an average finish of 10.4.
Even though Coby is a favorite, he will have plenty of challengers fighting to knock him off the top on Wednesday night. Justin Bonsignore has won the last two Whelen Modified Tour races at Thompson, and leads the championship standings by 51 points over Chase Dowling. Names like Eric Goodale, Rowan Pennink and Rob Summers are also others to watch.
Ryan Preece, a part-time competitor in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for Joe Gibbs Racing, will run double-duty Wednesday with the Sunoco Modified and his No. 6 TS Haulers NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour car. Fans can meet him during the autograph session on the midway during the night of action.
The 29th annual Bud “King of Beers” 150 will take the green flag with NASCAR Whelen All-American Series practice at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour takes to the track for the one and only practice round from 4 to 5 p.m.
Qualifying heat racing gets underway at 5 p.m., and the NEMA Midgets, Limited Sportsman, Mini Stocks, Late Models and SK Modifieds are all set to compete in qualifying and feature racing action. The Bud 150 is scheduled to take the green flag at 7:45 p.m., with the Mini Stocks and Late Models following the main event to round out the night of action.
Fans can enter the paddock area and get up close to some of their favorite cars and stars for just $50 on Wednesday. The grandstand admission fee is $44, while kids 12 and under will enter for free. The rain date if needed is Thursday, August 9.
Any updates about the race can be found by visiting www.thompsonspeedway.com or following the track on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.