Photo Michael Jaworecki Myracenews
Seekonk, Mass (June 25, 2017): Doug Coby of Milford, CT, the defending race winner, will head to the Tri-Track Open Modified Series (TTOMS) season opener at Seekonk Speedway on Wednesday with a vengeance. Coby is not only looking to defend his title and pocket the $10K winner’s share but also for his first win of the 2017 season.
And, Coby’s chances on Wednesday are pretty favorable. He has three wins in just six starts at Open Wheel Wednesday. This, of course, should not come as any surprise as Coby is a four-time and defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (WMT) champion.
Coby is one of only two drivers to win multiple Open Wheel Wednesday Modified events at Seekonk; joining Matt Hirschman of Northampton, PA (who has two).
“Seekonk was always one of my least favorite race tracks,” said Coby. “But when I raced for Wayne [Darling], crew chief Jon McKenna helped me learn the race track. He actually made me understand the track. He literally told me what do to. I owe my success at Seekonk to him.”
Piloting the Wayne Darling owned #52, Coby found victory in 2011 and 2013. A car he also drove to a WMT championship. His most recent win in 2016 came aboard his current ride, the Mike Smeriglio III #2. The same team has helped Coby secure his last three WMT championships.
“Last year was probably my most memorable win here,” said Coby, when asked. “It was unexpected really.”
“We brought our new LFR car-a car that had never run at Seekonk,” reflected Coby. “The car wasn’t that good when we unloaded. But, we dialed it in during practice, found something in the heat race and turned it into a winning car.”
This should come as no surprise either with the talents of both Coby and his champion crew chief Phil Moran.
Seekonk Speedway has always been known as a ‘racer’s track”.
“What a lot people don’t realize -and you certainly can’t tell from the stands-is that we are really more like half-throttle at Seekonk,” said Coby. “You’re not using all the cars have to offer as far as horsepower.”
Which could also be another reason that Coby, a driver who often shows patience and finesse, has achieved success at Seekonk.
“As a driver that is a hard thing to wrap your brain around,” added Coby. “We want to use the horsepower.”
In Coby’s estimation the event could be a bit different this year, acknowledging that it could be interesting as “the big bump into turn three was removed”.
Like his Modified counterpart Anthony Nocella, Coby will be also be doing double-duty on Open Wheel Wednesday competing in the prestigious Boston Louie Memorial for the Northeastern Midget Association for car owner Tim Bertrand. And, like Nocella, Coby has a couple of Boston Louie wins as well.
“There has been a bit of a swap, Randy [Cabral] has been driving the #74 this season, so I will be in the #47,” said Coby. “It is the car that Justin won with at Riverhead.”
Practice for the Modifieds and Midgets will begin at 2:30pm this Wednesday, June 28. Pit gates open at 10am with grandstands opening at 4pm. Racing is scheduled to go green at 6:30pm. Entry to Seekonk Speedway’s pit area is $35. Grandstand admission is only $25. Tickets are available online by visiting SeekonkSpeedway.com or by calling the Speedway office at 508.336.9959 Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm. A rain date has been set for Thursday, June 29.
The event promises plenty of excitement with $10,000 on the line and a roster that features some of the best Modified racers in the country, like Coby, in 100-laps of green flag racing.
“There is always a good field of cars that is what makes it fun,” added Coby.
SEEKONK, Mass. – Seekonk Speedway regular David Darling captured his first career Granite State Pro Stock Series win on Saturday night. At his home track of Seekonk, Darling dominated the inaugural 100 lap main event on the third-mile oval and wheeled the Bristol Toyota No. 52 into Victory Lane. The victory was his third of the season at Seekonk overall — he had won two of the weekly shows before invading on the GSPSS Saturday night.
“It’s huge,” Darling said. “I have to thank Mike Parks and the whole Granite State crew, they have a neat series here. It’s pretty cool to be able to travel around and still save some money. Thanks to Seekonk Speedway and all the fans for coming out.”
He started fifth in the 21-car field, but quickly worked his way around some of the top contenders. On lap seven, Darling slid to the bottom of polesitter Bobby Pelland and took over the lead for the first and only time. Darling would never relinquish the point in route to the victory, but had some hard chargers attempting to give him a run.
Defending Seekonk Pro Stock champion Tom Scully Jr. was the fastest challenger Darling faced all night, keeping him on his toes on most of the restarts. Although Scully Jr. could keep with Darling for a few laps on a restart, he ultimately had to settle for second at the 100-lap mark
“We weren’t that great tonight on the long runs, just a bit tight” Scully Jr. said following the race. “Hats off to David and those guys, they were stout all day. I’m happy with a second place finish.”
Darling knew over the final few restarts that his path to victory wasn’t exactly going to be easy. He knows how hard that No. 2 of Scully Jr. is to beat.
“We’ve raced year after year here since I came back to race Pro Stocks,” Darling said. “He was the champion here last year and that says a lot. We have a good group of competitive guys here.”
Former Oxford 250 champion Travis Benjamin sat behind the wheel of the No. 14 and came home with a third place finish after starting back outside the top-10.
“We have to be a little bit better,” Benjamin said. “We had a flat tire on the way here tonight, so we showed up at least an hour late and everyone kind of scrambled to get things going. I can’t thank these guys enough.”
Angelo Belsito and Rookie of the Year contender Devin O’Connell rounded out the top five. Regulars Cory Casagrande and Mike O’Sullivan were scored sixth and seventh at the end, with Wyatt Alexander, Larry Gelinas and Rick Martin rounding out the top-10.
Bobby Pelland, Cory Casagrande and Angelo Belsito were victorious in the three, 12-lap heat races on Saturday night.
The Granite State Pro Stock Series will return to the track next Saturday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The 50-lap feature event will be part of the First Annual New England Short Track Showdown.