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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour




Doug Coby, who won the CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler last month at Stafford, will look to make it two-for-two when the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to Stafford next Friday night for the 22nd Annual TSI Harley-Davidson 125. Of Coby’s 3 career Whelen Modified Tour wins, 2 have come in the Spring Sizzler. That fact, combined with Coby’s two Stafford track championships, has the Milford native excited about the prospects of making it two in a row at Stafford.

“The car was awesome at the Sizzler, so I would expect the car is going to be awesome again next Friday night,” said Coby. “The night race will be different, even though it’s only a couple of weeks after the Sizzler, the track is always different in the May race from the Sizzler. The last three Sizzlers the pole time has been in the 17’s and in May it’s usually drops off to 18.2, 3, or 4, and it’s an impound race, so we’ll have to qualify the way we’re going to race. We all make a lot of adjustments for time trials to click off a good lap, but we probably make less adjustments for time trials, so that might help us a bit. You see certain guys who qualify up front for the two-day shows that don’t qualify up front for the one-day shows.”

After splitting time between two teams last season, Coby will be behind the wheel of Wayne Darling’s #52 Furnace and Duct Chevrolet for the entire 2012 schedule. Although they raced together last year, the Coby/Darling pairing is still a relatively new combination and Coby says that the team chemistry is one of the key reasons why they are sitting second in the Whelen Modified Tour standings heading into the TSI Harley-Davidson 125.

“Last year was different racing for two teams and we had good runs with both teams,” said Coby. “With Wayne’s team now, I think we’re still getting to know each other, we’ve only raced together 14 times by my count. John McKenna, my crew chief, is really starting to learn me really well and what the car setup needs to react with me and he definitely uses each race we go to as a spingboard for our next race. At first, he was making changes for the feature like he would for some of the other drivers that were in the car, and not that we were bad, it just wasn’t as good as we wanted it to be.

I like the car to be a little freer to start off with and he doesn’t have to tighten the car up as much as he did with some other drivers. It’s nice to know that when we show up we’re usually pretty decent and the thing about John’s cars is that they last the whole race. That’s how we were when we won at Thompson last year and how we were at the Sizzler. With this car, how I manage the race and the way John sets the car up really meshes well together and it makes me look good because the car stays under me. We’re really clicking with the setup and the communication and we’re not making stupid moves, which is really working out for us right now.”

With the TSI Harley-Davidson race being 125 laps instead of 150 laps, it opens up a wide variety of options for teams to take different strategies.

“In a 150 we’re definitely going to pit, with the 125 we may not,” said Coby. “It all depends on how good the car is and what our track position is. Unless there’s only 10 cars on the lead lap with 50 laps to go, you’re not going to get back up to the leaders to go by them at Stafford. It’s going to be interesting when it comes time for pit stops. If we’re in the top-2 and everyone pits behind us, you’ll have guys with 2 tires right behind you. If a lot of guys stay out, then it will be a lot harder to get back through the field. If everyone pits, a car that pits will win the race, but if 10 or 12 guys stay out for track position when everyone else comes in, then a car that stays out will win the race I think. The key is how many guys will have the same strategy that you do when it comes to pitting and when you pit. At STafford it’s not about when you pit, it’s about how many cars come into the pits when you do. Like at the Sizzler, we pitted from second and we came out third of the cars that pitted and we restarted sixth. Ryan [Preece] and I were back in the lead after a couple of laps and it was like we never pitted.”

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.

  Source: Scott Running / Stafford Motor Speedway
Posted: May 22, 2012

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