Stafford Springs, CT — For Doug Coby and the #52 Reynolds Auto Wrecking / Furnace and Duct team, the 41st Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler was a dream race. Coby took over the race lead from Ryan Preece on lap-112 of 200 and he led the rest of the way, beating Preece to the checkered flag by 1.881 seconds. But as calm and smooth as Coby’s ride looked from the outside, Coby and his team were worried for much of the second half of the race that the car might not make it to the finish. Coby’s car picked up a Subway wrapper in his grill area and it shot his water temperature to the virtual point of breaking, but the engine held together and Coby was able to take home his second career Sizzler trophy. Coby’s Sizzler trophy will be joined by another trophy, the Subway wrapper that hitched a ride with Coby for most of the second half of the CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler.
“We had a Subway wrapper on the grill and it shot the water temp up from 200 or 210 to 240, and 240 is when you pull in,” said Coby. “We were actually debating on one of those cautions with 48 to go to come into the pits and pull the wrapper off the grill. It stayed at 240 and then went to 230 and 236 and my crew chief [John McKenna] told me there was a light in there that is gonna tell me and if the light comes on I’ve got to pull in. It never came on and I don’t think I would have told him if it did come on. It was just one of those things that someone got a sandwich from Subway and it almost ruined our race. You’ve seen it happen with Dale Sr. I think at Daytona where he got a wrapper on his grill and it happened to a modified at Stafford Speedway and it almost ruined our day, it was that close. It was after the pitstop so it must have been around lap-110 or lap-120 and my car owner [Wayne Darling] sits in the stands and he came on the radio and told me there was a big piece of debris on the grill and to check my water temp. It was fine for a while then I saw it go from 200 to 220 and that’s ok, and then it went to 230 and I said that wrapper is going to ruin our freaking race. It got to 240 and that’s when I started to panic and I turned it over to my crew chief and I said you tell me when to pull in. I’ve run motors before at 250 and 255 and I’ve blown them up after that. This was a fresh Bob Bruneau motor that we just got back, this is my favorite motor that we won Thompson with and we didn’t have it for the Icebreaker because he had a problem with it on the dyno. I like this motor, its very comfortable to me at both Stafford and Thompson, and it’s a very big thing to have done this for the team. The wrapper is in my helmet and its going on the wall. It ran about 240 for most of the race, it went down to 230 a couple of times. I pulled up to the pace car under caution because I’ve seen Cup guys when they have debris change the airflow and sometimes it will drop, but the cup guys don’t have a big box like we have and I think it was just stuck in there.”
Coby qualified 7th and he spent the first half of the race working his way towards the front and he was up to second when most of the lead cars came to pit road under caution on lap-97. He came out third of the cars that pitted and he was sixth in line for the lap-109 restart. It took Coby only three laps to run down and pass Ryan Preece for the race lead and once Coby got out front, he remained there for the remainder of the race, although he and the team were worried about the wrapper on his grill.
“This means a lot, its huge,” said Coby. “It was huge the first time and its even bigger this time. This is now 2 wins in the last handful of modified races and we have something really good with this team when the car is on. The car was very much on after the pitstop. It was on before the pitstop, but Ryan was way better on the long run before the pitstop, but afterwards the car never changed. The car felt the same at lap 200 as it did right after the pitstop at lap 100, they just made the right changes. It was easier to drive, I don’t want to say it was easy to win because this is a very difficult race to win. They work so hard and their attitudes are phenomenal and they’re the type of people that you just want to be around good days or bad days so it makes the good days even better. We had a plan on when we wanted to pit and we actually missed the pit window we wanted to go to because of the cautions so we knew everyone would come in right around 100 with us. My guys get knocked sometimes for not having good pit stops and we came in second and we went out third, so they deserve a pat on the back for having a solid stop and getting me out without a lot of traffic to contend with. We tightened it up just a tad, I pushed hard on the first set of tires to see how the car would race on the second set of tires. The car was a little free and then it came to me, so I told them just a little tiny adjustment, the car wasn’t bad. Track position is everything here so that’s why I pushed Ryan on the restart, I didn’t want him to get into a comfort zone with his car. I told my spotter Brian to let me know when it looked like Ryan was starting to push it so I could pick it up and make him go even harder. It was about 30 to go when he told me I literally just got into a zone like at Seekonk last year and hit the same line every lap, the car didn’t change once from lap 103 to lap 200. It was absolutely amazing.”
Coby will hope to make it two in a row at Stafford when the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns on May 25th for the 22nd Annual TSI Harley-Davidson 125. Tickets for the 22nd Annual TSI Harley-Davidson 125 are available and on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $33.00 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating will be priced at $35.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. As always, Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available.
For more information on the 22nd Annual TSI Harley-Davidson 125, or to order tickets, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.
Sources: Scott Running/Stafford Motor Speedway PR