Matt Kobyluck realized a decade-long dream of winning the NASCAR Camping World Series East championship when he clinched the title with a third-place finish at Dover International Speedway Sept. 19.
Now he can get back to business, and job No. 1 is winning the final race of the season at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway Sunday, Sept. 28.
“It’ll be great to get to Stafford,” Kobyluck said. “I get to go back to one of my home tracks and to celebrate the championship there will be really, really cool.
“We’ve got a great record at Stafford. We’ve won races there, we’ve got top-fives there. Last year we finished second, the year before that we finished second, and the year before that we won it.”
Kobyluck doesn’t take that track record for granted, however.
“We went there and tested and we were really happy with what we brought. We look for good things at Stafford,” Kobyluck said.
Joey Logano, the 2007 series champion and fellow Connecticut native, came calling on Kobyluck in the garage area the day before the Dover race.
Logano recalled Kobyluck conducting rookie meetings last year.
“He was busting on me a little bit about rookie meetings and wondered if I just didn’t tell everyone to get the heck out of my way so I could lock up this championship,” Kobyluck said. “He said it was really cool that we were having such a good season and that he was excited for us.”
After racing to a pair of third-place finishes, Kobyluck is ready to get back to Victory Lane.
“Now we can go to Stafford and do what we do best – try to win the race. We walked away from Dover with a championship, and that lasts forever.”
|The Race||CARQUEST Fall Final 150|
|The Place||Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway|
|The Date||Sunday, Sept. 28|
|The Time||12:15 p.m. ET|
|TV Schedule||HDNet Live, SPEED (enhanced replay) Oct. 13, Noon ET|
|Track Layout||.500-mile paved|
|2007 Winner||Eddie MacDonald|
|2007 Pole||Sean Caisse|
|Schedule||Saturday: Practice 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m.; Time Trials 2 p.m.|
|Track Contact||Scott Running (860) 684-2783|
NCWS East Stafford 9/28/08 Entry List
|01||Charles Lewandoski, Stafford Springs Conn.||Charles Lewandoski Racing Toyota|
|1||Trevor Bayne, Knoxville Tenn. *||Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet Chevrolet|
|2||Craig Goess, Greenville N.C. *||Greenville Toyota/ESR Toyota|
|3||Austin Dillon, Lewisville N.C. *||Garage Equipment Supply Chevrolet|
|4||Ricky Carmichael, Clearwater Fla. *||Monster Energy Drink Chevrolet|
|7||Ryan Duff, Hazard Ky. *||Laughlin Perf./Pine Branch Coal Chevrolet|
|8||Ryan Truex, Mayetta N.J.||Dale Earnhardt Foundation Chevrolet|
|11||Jesus Hernandez, Fresno Calif.||DEI Chevrolet|
|13||Laine Chase, Beverly Mass.||Leisure Time Warehouse Chevrolet|
|15||Brian Ickler, San Diego Calif.||Ickler Motorsports Chevrolet|
|16||Max Dumarey, Gent Belgium||Bodycoach.net Chevrolet|
|18||Marc Davis, Mitchelville MD.||Slim Jim Toyota|
|21||Jonathan Smith, Beacon Falls Conn.||GPS Footprints/Diamond Resorts Dodge|
|26||Scott Bouley, Wolcott Conn.||Cutting Edge Signs & Shirts Chevrolet|
|30||Jeff Anton, Russell Mass.||Engineered Floors/Fast Track Chevrolet|
|35||Steve Park, East Northport N.Y.||Waste Management Recycle Chevrolet|
|38||Alan Tardiff, Lyman Me. *||Bestway Disposal Chevrolet|
|39||Dustin Delaney, Mayfield N.Y. *||Delaney Motorsports Chevrolet|
|40||Matt Kobyluck, Uncasville Conn.||Mohegan Sun Resort Chevrolet|
|41||James Pritchard, Wharton N.J.||Mannings USA Chevrolet|
|44||Peyton Sellers, Danville VA.||Casella Waste Systems Chevrolet|
|52||Jamie Hayes, Norlina N.C.||J.L. Hendrick Auto Group Chevrolet|
|61||Woody Pitkat, Stafford Conn.||Fadden Racing Inc. Chevrolet|
|63||John Salemi, Nashua N.H.||John Salemi Racing LLC Chevrolet|
|71||Eddie MacDonald, Rowley Mass.||Grimm Construction Inc. Chevrolet|
|81||Jason Holehouse, Toronto Canada||Vietnam Veterans War Memorial Toyota|
|88||Jody Lavender, Hartsville S.C.||Jo Jo Realty/Heritage Bank Chevrolet|
|96||Mike Johnson, Salisbury Mass.||Johnson Lumber Company Ford|
|99||Bryon Chew, Mattituck N.Y.||Tracker Boats/Bass Pro Shop Chevrolet|
*Denotes Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate
News & Notes
The Race … The CARQUEST Fall Final 150 is the 13th of 13 races on the 2008 NASCAR Camping World Series East schedule. It is the 29th appearance of the series of the track.
The Procedure … The starting field is a maximum of 30 cars including provisionals. Starting positions 1-26 will be determined by time trials. The remaining spots will be determined through the provisional process. The race’s scheduled distance is 150 laps (75 miles).
The Track … The facility opened in 1870 as a half-mile house track, and began hosting motor racing after World War II. The track was a founding member of NASCAR in 1959. It was paved in 1967, and re-paved most recently in 1997. The track blossomed into its modern era starting in 1969 when Jack Arute Sr. purchased the facility. The Arute family continues to operate the facility.
The Records … Qualifying: Sean Caisse, June 8, 2007, 91.963 mph, 19.573 seconds; 150-lap race: Brad Leighton, Sept. 30, 2001, 75.754 mph, 58 minutes, 14 seconds.
The History … Stafford Motor Speedway is a charter member of the NASCAR Camping World Series East. Tommy Houston won the inaugural event in 1987. Since, 28 races have been run on the half-mile paved oval, and no one has been able to dominate Victory Lane. Mike Johnson (No. 96 Johnson Lumber Ford) leads the series with three wins. Other previous winners entered include 2005 winner Matt Kobyluck (No. 40 Mohegan Sun Resort Chevrolet) and 2007 winner Eddie MacDonald (No. 71 Grimm Construction Chevrolet).
Christopher Looks To Add To Already Impressive Resume
Ted Christopher enters the weekend looking to add to his already impressive resume. Christopher, from Plainville, Conn., is the track’s winningest driver and earned his 100th feature win earlier this season.
His win count stands at 102, which includes 87 wins in the track’s top division, the SK Modifieds. He also has six Pro Stock wins, eight NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour wins and a NASCAR Camping World Series East win that came in 2000.
Christopher trails Keith Rocco by 14 points going into the final SK Modified race of the season Sunday. Christopher is looking to improve on his record seven track titles, while Rocco is chasing his first.
Christopher, who was the 2001 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion, is also running in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race Sunday. He leads the standings by 89 points over Matt Hirschman with three races remaining.
While Ryan Posocco already wrapped up his fourth Late Model title last Friday at Stafford, the track’s Limited Late Model, SK Lights and DARE Stock championships will be decided this weekend.
Stafford CARQUEST Fall Final 150 Favorites Make One Last Run At Victory
The list of favorites who could contend for the win in the NASCAR Camping World Series East finale at Stafford Motor Speedway is considerable.
Racing at the track closest to his Uncasville, Conn., home, newly-crowned series champion Matt Kobyluck (No. 40 Mohegan Sun Resort Chevrolet) wants to conclude his title season with a series-leading fifth win.
Another sure to be in the mix is Rowley, Mass., driver Eddie MacDonald (No. 71 Grimm Construction Inc. Chevrolet), who made his first series start on a limited schedule at Stafford last year, and promptly won.
Marc Davis (No. 18 Slim Jim Toyota) is poised to have his breakthrough first win. He has finished second three times and led a race-high 45 laps last week at Dover International Speedway; a second-place finish moved him to fourth in the points.
Mike Johnson (No. 96 Johnson Lumber Ford) is the series’ only three-time Stafford winner, and he’s looking for a high note on which to end his season.
Kobyluck, Mohegan Sun Team Sent Soaring To New Heights With Championship
The championship that had eluded Matt Kobyluck was finally realized at Dover International Speedway Sept. 19.
The hunt has been long and sometimes frustrating.
His first career win in the series came in his fourth season, 2001, at the now-closed Nazareth (Pa.) Speedway.
Known for being a studious driver, absorbing everything from experience, the following season he became a championship contender.
Andy Santerre won the 2002 title by the third-closest margin in series history, nine points over Kobyluck. While Kobyluck was convinced he was prepared to win his first title soon, Santerre was just beginning a roll of a record-shattering four consecutive championships.
Kobyluck recorded finishes of 10th and seventh in points over the next two years, and then drove back into the top five in series points for the next three seasons.
Along the way, he was growing increasingly competitive, driven to add a championship trophy to his collection.
He achieved a career highlight following the 2006 season when he won the prestigious postseason NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (Calif.). He was the 2005 Coors Light Pole Award champion. He won on short tracks, road courses and superspeedways. And with great home-state pride, he won at every track in Connecticut that has hosted the NASCAR Camping World Series.
Kobyluck made another title run in 2007. While rookie Joey Logano built an early-season lead, Kobyluck closed the gap to 82 points following his late-season win at Lime Rock Park and runner-up finish at Mansfield (Ohio) Motorsports Park.
With high hopes, he arrived at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and made a statement by winning the outside pole position for the race. He led two laps at the start of the event.
Things fell apart, though, with a Lap 115 multi-car accident that left Kobyluck with a 33rd-place finish. Logano left Loudon with a nearly insurmountable points lead, while Kobyluck fell to third in points.
To punctuate the deflated hopes, Kobyluck was a victim of a bizarre multi-car accident under caution in the season finale at Dover. He finished 21st in a race he had a shot at winning. He finished fourth in championship points.
It’s fitting, then, that in his return trip to Dover a year later, he left with his hands raised high.
“There have been plenty of ups and downs, along the way, that’s for sure,” said Kobyluck’s long-time crew chief Perry Waite.
“If you ask anybody who’s been racing for a while - the emotional rollercoaster - it’s certainly been that way for us. We’ve been championship contenders in the past. To finally seal the deal here at Dover is just incredible.”
Sources: Paul Schaefer/NASCAR Camping World Series PR