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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour



Strong Finish Nets Third Whelen Modified Victory

Doug Coby sailed to his third career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory Sunday in the CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway.

The Milford, Conn., driver led the final 89 laps of the 200-lap event en route to the victory over a pair of drivers who are well accustom to success on the historic half-mile.

“This is the best car I’ve driven in my life at this speedway,” Coby said from Victory Lane. “Today we had an amazing car, and to be able to put my name on the Sizzler win list twice now is pretty cool. It’s nice not to be a one-hit wonder on the Tour anymore.”

Coby’s first career win came at Stafford in the 2006 Spring Sizzler, and on Sunday he became the sixth driver in Whelen Modified Tour history to earn multiple trophies in the event dubbed “The Greatest Race in the History of Spring.” His other win was last September at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway.

Pole sitter Ryan Preece and Keith Rocco finished second and third, respectively. Preece was the 2011 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified Division champion at Stafford and Rocco was the 2008 and `10 track champ.

Sunday marked the best finish in seven career starts for Rocco, a Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate.

Points leader Ron Silk and Jimmy Blewett rounded out the top five. Justin Bonsignore was sixth, followed by Ron Yuhas Jr., Woody Pitkat, Mike Stefanik and Bryon Chew, whose 10th-place finish was a Whelen Modified Tour career-best.

Two potential race winners dropped out of contention midway through the event. Five-time Spring Sizzler victor Ted Christopher had a spark plug wire issue that took six laps to fix and he wound up 22nd. The second-fastest qualifier in his Whelen Modified Tour debut, Corey LaJoie ran second the first half of the race, but contact on pit road caused a broken track bar that ended his day in 27th.

Preece led the most laps for the second event in a row, this time 100 circuits, after setting the track qualifying record on Saturday.

“It’s a good top-three, I’m having fun,” Preece said following the race. “I’m getting sick of leading these first half laps and not winning the race, but congratulations to Doug [Coby].”

With the victory, Coby secured a locked-in starting position for the inaugural UNOH Battle at the Beach during 2013 Speedweeks on a temporary short track at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

The race saw six caution periods and concluded in just 65 minutes with an average speed of 92.260 mph, the fastest Whelen Modified Tour race in history at the half-mile oval, according to available records.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour next races in the Monadnock 200 at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H., on May 12.


CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler Unofficial Results
Sunday At Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford Springs, CT
Lap length:
0.5 miles

  (Start position in parentheses)
  1.   (7) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 200 laps, 92.260 mph.
  2.   (1) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Ford, 200.
  3.   (9) Keith Rocco, Wallingford, Conn., Chevrolet, 200.
  4.   (8) Ron Silk, Norwalk, Conn, Chevrolet, 200.
  5. (10) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 200.
  6.   (5) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, N.Y., Ford, 200.
  7. (11) Ron Yuhas, Jr., Groton, Conn., Chevrolet, 200.
  8. (20) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Chevrolet, 200.
  9.   (4) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Chevrolet, 200.
10. (25) Bryon Chew, Mattituck, NY, Chevrolet, 200.
11. (14) Daniel Hemric, Kannapolis, N.C., Pontiac, 200.
12. (12) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn, Ford, 200.
13. (13) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 200.
14.   (6) Donny Lia, Jericho, NY, Dodge, 200.
15.   (3) Eric Berndt, Cromwell, Conn., Chevrolet, 200.
16. (21) Richie Pallai, Jr, Yorktown Heights, N.Y., Chevrolet, 199.
17. (17) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn, Chevrolet, 199.
18. (18) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 199.
19. (22) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 198.
20. (19) Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, NY, Chevrolet, 197.
21. (27) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 193.
22. (15) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 187, vibration.
23. (26) John Jensen, Wolcott, Conn., Chevrolet, 183.
24. (16) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Ford, 164, steering.
25. (28) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Chevrolet, 154.
26. (24) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 114.
27.   (2) Corey LaJoie, Concord, N.C., Chevrolet, 103, suspension.
28. (23) Kevin Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 50, brakes.

Race Statistics
Time of Race:
1 hour 5 minutes 2 seconds
Margin of Victory: 1.881 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: R. Preece (100.424 mph, 17.924 seconds)
Caution Flags: 6 for 33 laps.
Lead Changes: 3 among 3 drivers.
Lap Leaders: R. Preece 1-98; E. Berndt 99-109; R. Preece 110-111; D. Coby 112-200.

Standings: 1. R. Silk, 87; 2. D. Coby, 83; 3. J. Blewett, 79; 4. M. Stefanik, 76; 5. R. Preece, 74; 6. D. Lia, 70; 7. J. Bonsignore, 69; 8. R. Pennink, 66; 9. W. Pitkat, 65; 10. T. Christopher, 64.


  Source: Jason Cunningham / NASCAR
Posted: April 29, 2012

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