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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour



by Polly Reid

It was all about the cash at the end of the line. No points, 50 green flag laps of racing with the pot at the end of the run a cool $15,000 to the winner. A combined race of the top finishers in both the Northern Thompson 125 and the Southern Thompson 125, the UNOH Showdown lined up with the best of both, a 36-car field ready to duel it out for the impressive payday.

It started with an old fashioned coin toss, the Southern Modified Tour winning the flip, electing to start on the outside row. With the Northern field lined up on the inside led by Doug Coby and the Southern field on the outside with Southern Thompson 125 winner George Brunnhoelzl, III setting the pace. But at the checkers it was Coby backing up his dominating Northern Thompson 125 victory with an equally impressive performance in the highly anticipated UNOH Showdown taking the UNOH Showdown title and including the sponsored laps led, raising Coby’s total winnings to an unofficial $20,000 plus payday for the once struggling to get a full time Tour ride driver.
Ted Christopher followed across for second, James Civali third, Brunnhoelzl III fourth and Eric Goodale fifth.

“Anyone who doubted that 125 was boring and I had it easy, I think we proved we had the car to beat tonight with all those cautions. I hope we put on a good show for all the fans. I want to thank UNOH and Whelen for putting on this show and of course Thompson Speedway, this is a great way to start September. The car was unbelievable, I’ve never had a car like this at any race track.”

Coby stepped out to lead from the green but was soon challenged by Ted Christopher who moved into second before the fifth circuit had clicked off. Carrying the momentum, Christopher wasted no time going low in turns three and four getting under Coby for the lead on the 7th lap taking Preece and Civali with him. Coby was shuffled back to fourth when the second caution waved on lap nine. The restarts at this point played into Coby’s favor and one circuit into the restart was side by side with Christopher and eventually completed the pass taking the lead over for good on lap 13. Coby survived six more restarts, warded off the challenges of Ryan Preece, Civali then Christopher to take the checker flag for his second win of the day.

“I’ve never had a car like that before, ever, it was awesome. Sure there were some bobbles here and there but I could go anywhere I wanted to- our team deserves it. This is just unbelievable.”

“The guys gave me a good car there,” said Christopher. “Just not quite good enough. Congratulations to Doug, they had a great car here all day. Once you get it right here it seems like your day keeps going, he probably wishes he had a few more races today.”

Civali backed up his podium finish earlier in the day with a solid third, the Meriden, CT driver pleased with his day at Thompson. “We had a couple of good races today- the car was good we just snugged up just a little bit for this race and try to drive it harder. The first race we were saving a lot so we wanted to go hard and have something at the end but it got too tight, it never freed up for us at the end there we couldn’t hold off Teddy it was so tight, it was that close.”

Sixth went to Bobby Santos who took the green 27th, seventh to front running contender Preece who was shuffled back and ran out of time. “That was a heartbreaker,” said Preece. ‘You know, if we went green all the way I think I would have had something for him. Our car was definitely starting to come in more and more, we were really fast but then the cautions came out and it seemed like we’d be on the bottom for the restarts, we’d get into fourth, we’d pick up a position to get back to Doug, the caution would come back out and we’d be right back at the bottom.” Eighth was Mike Stefanik who picked his way forward from a 32nd starting spot, ninth to Justin Bonsignore and Ed Flemke a solid tenth after taking the green 21st.

  Source: Polly Reid / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: September 12, 2011

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