Stafford Springs, CT — Perhaps no driver enters the Lincoln Tech 80 with more momentum on their side than Doug Coby. The Milford, CT native has won both Whelen Modified Tour events held at Stafford thusfar during the 2012 season, and he finished third in both Valenti Modified Racing Series events last season in the Rick Czarnecki owned #20 machine. Coby is hoping to continue his good fortunes at Stafford with another victory in the Lincoln Tech 80, and he says that his team just might have the proper recipe for him to do that.
“You never know what’s going to happen, there’s a lot of cars signed up to run the race,” said Coby. “We’re planning on coming with the best setup we can and we have a new Bob Bruneau motor that we’re hoping will help us get a little better than we were last year. We finished third in both times last year and we thought we were lacking a little motor wise, so we think this year we’ll have something better.”
The VMRS entry list has 41 expected entries for the Lincoln Tech 80, and it is filled with drivers who have either weekly experience or Whelen Modified Tour experience at Stafford, which promises to make for a very competitive race.
“The two races last year were really competitive, I had to work really hard to stay in the top-5 in both races,” said Coby. “I think Keith [Rocco], Chris [Pasteryak], Matt Hirschman, and Rowan [Pennink] are going to be tough, and then there’s a handful of guys depending on where they start and how they get through traffic, they’ll be good.”
In addition to the field of tough competitors, the Lincoln Tech 80 also presents a different challenge to drivers as they have one set of tires for qualifying and the race, where in Whelen Modified Tour races, drivers can come to pit road to change tires during the race.
“I think the MRS tires you have to baby them and then even when you baby them, sometimes they still don’t keep up with the car,” said Coby. “But last year I remember the second race the tires stayed on the car from lap-1 to lap-80, so that might just be a byproduct of the track. Some tracks don’t have a lot of grip, so maybe I’m not good at saving the tires on some of the short tracks, but the tires were good at Stafford. I don’t think it necessarily changes how you drive the car, there’s different rules for qualifying with heats versus time trials, and starting up front is what will change your mindset with the tires.”
The VMRS qualifying system also offers up a challenge to the drivers. The drivers who advance the most positions in their heat race get to start up front for the 80-lap Lincoln Tech feature event. But with drivers all putting on new tires for their heat, Coby says it can be a tall task to make passes and get a preferential starting position for the feature.
“Sometimes you don’t have a choice,” said Coby. “Sometimes you end up racing more in the heat more than you wanted to and you don’t get much for it because you don’t gain many spots. If you can pass cars, it’s worth it, but it’s tough to pass in the heat because everyone puts stickers on the car and most cars run good on stickers. Also, it depends on who is in your heat.. Sometimes you have some slower cars in your heat, and sometimes you have lots of fast cars in your heat, it all comes down to the luck of the draw. A lot of guys have dialed their cars in better so there’s not a lot of separation from the fast cars to the slower cars.”
Tickets for the 2nd Annual Lincoln Tech 80 are available and on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $27.50 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 $30.00 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 2nd Annual Lincoln Tech 80, 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