Johnson Motorsports has selected 2006 Stafford Motor Speedway Spring Sizzler winner Doug Coby as the driver of their #15 SK Modified at Stafford in 2008. Coby and Johnson’s Xtra Mart Convenience Stores team have set lofty goals for the season and have their sights set on contending for the 2008 SMS track championship.
“Glenn Johnson has proven that his #15 is a really good car,” said Coby. “They had some bad luck that prevented them from getting better finishes with Ronnie Silk last season, but they had a really fast car and made a lot of progress every week. Ronnie already has other commitments in place for next year that will prevent him from running Stafford on a weekly basis, so I’m really happy to be the next one tabbed by Glenn to drive the car. I’m really confident that we can go out there and win some races for our sponsors and crew. If we can focus on staying out of trouble and trying to make the car as fast as we can week in and week out, you’d better bet well be a contender for the championship.”
The 2008 season will be a reunion between Coby and several of the team sponsors, as Coby has previously driven an Xtra Mart, Mansfield Paper, and Village Springs sponsored car at both Stafford and the Waterford Speedbowl. All three companies are important contributors to the success of the Johnson Motorsports team.
“I’ve been working with Sean Cassells from Village Springs since I first got into an SK Modified in 2001. He helped me when I drove my own car, the #2 at Stafford and Waterford, the #8 for half a season again at Stafford, and he’s also helped me out when he could while I was competing on the Modified Tour, said Doug, Our paths went in separate directions over the last few years, but we’ve always kept in touch and always said wed work together again someday. It just happened a little sooner than we expected, but needless to say, were both really excited to get out there again.”
During the 2002 season, Coby and the Xtra Mart/Village Springs machine competed full-time at Stafford and captured three wins and a fifth place finish in the point standings. In 2004, they captured one win in a limited schedule at Waterford, and in 2005, they had a best finish of 2nd in another shortened season at Stafford. Both seasons were cut short by Doug’s other commitments on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, but with no Modified Tour ride on the horizon as of yet, Doug’s focus will be Friday night racing at Stafford. With a different car owner and chassis combination this time around, Coby is ready to tackle the challenges that lie ahead.
“Anytime you get a new car owner and a new driver together, there’s always going to be that figuring-out stage where everyone has to learn each other,” said Doug, “With Glenn’s abilities as a car owner and mechanic, and a positive attitude from all of the crew members, I have no doubt that this could be a tremendously successful season They’ve got the right pieces in place for any driver to step in and do a good job, so I’ve just got to do my part every week to stay out of trouble and get the team the finishes they deserve. I’ve also never really had the opportunity to drive a Chassis Dynamics car on a full time basis, so learning the new chassis setups and changes to make will be new to me. It’s going to be fun though, because I’ve always raced against the CD cars and now I get to drive one.”
Coby wont be the only driver out of the Johnsons garage this season, as Zach Sylvester will return for a third season in the seat of the Xtra Mart #51. Last season, Sylvester and crew captured one victory at Stafford, and hope to add more wins to their resume in 2008. Both Xtra Mart cars will feature horsepower from Pettit Racing Engines, and additional sponsorship from Mansfield Paper, Village Springs, and ESPN Radio.
Two cars means more exposure for all of our sponsors, and I think Zach and I have the ability to go out there and put on a great show every week, said Doug, Our primary goal as a team is to go out there and have fun, run up front, and contend for wins every week. I’m really thankful to have the opportunity to come back to Stafford with Glenn and the Xtra Mart team, so I’ll be counting down the days until the Spring Sizzler.
Race fans can catch the Xtra Mart #15 and #51 in action at Stafford Speedway beginning with the 37th annual Tech-Net Spring Sizzler presented by Carquest on April 26-27. Following the Spring Sizzler, both cars will compete on Friday nights at the historic Connecticut half-mile oval.
About Xtra Mart
Xtra Mart Convenience Stores is a subsidiary of Warren Equities and can be found in over 175 locations in ten states from Maine to Virginia. Xtra Mart continues to be a driving force in the convenience store industry, adding services like car washes and hot food items to its menu of offerings for visitors. Despite their rapid growth, Xtra Mart stays true to its promise of convenience and service for all of its customers, today and into the future. Visit their website at www.xtramart.com.
About Warren Equities
Forbes magazine annually lists Warren Equities, Inc. (www.warreneq.com) as one of the nation’s top 500 privately owned companies. Warren Equities is the holding company for five separate entities marketing petroleum, grocery items, and tobacco. In addition, they operate retail gasoline and convenience stores. The organization posts in excess of one billion dollars per year in sales and employs more than 2,100 people in eleven states.
About Johnson Motorsports
Johnson Motorsports is based in Tolland, Connecticut and fields two SK Modifieds in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. Car owner Glenn Johnson and the #15 and #51 teams compete weekly at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway and will make additional visits to Thompson International Speedway and the Waterford Speedbowl in 2008. The 2008 campaign marks the third consecutive season that Johnson Motorsports has fielded two SK Modifieds with sponsorship from Xtra Mart, Mansfield Paper, and Village Springs.
Sources: Johnson Motorsports PR