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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour




Team Continues Rebound
From Riverhead Let Down

Denise DuPont

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour teams returned to Stafford Motor Speedway for the 23rd CARQUEST 150 on Friday August 2nd. There was a lot of excitement in the air as the opportunity existed for the 2013 Spring Sizzler winner, Bobby Santos, to make it two for two in CARQUEST sponsored races. A win would also position Santos for the $25,000 CARQUEST Challenge of winning the three sponsored tour races at Stafford.

Santos night started out in the right direction as he took fast time in qualifying capturing his third Stafford 2013 Coors Light Pole Award. But his lucky streak ended when Coby passed for the lead on lap 27 and never looked back. Coby and the #52 team are still on a high from their July New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) win. And when Coby’s team has a good car under him to start his race day, the positive aura just seems to surround him as he moved to the top. “What a great car! There is a certain feel that I want to have in the car in practice. It does not say that it will always go your way in the race but it gives me confidence to know that I have a car that is going to be competitive. I had that feel from the first lap in practice even with all the dirt on the track from the monster trucks the car was pretty hooked. My guys just showed tonight why the 52 was a championship car last year. This was probably the best tour car you could ever ask for at this race track. The car was still good at the end and I was just riding around.”

Before every race teams prepares for anything that may happen and have a strategy for each scenario. Hopefully some they do not need to use but just in case they have a plan out there. The Wayne Darling owed Furnace & Duct/Seekonk Grand Prix Chevrolet was as good under Coby as he felt during practice so the team shelved their strategies for the next time. Coby instead of pitting drove forward dominating the race with the taste of the win not far away. “We talk about our strategy before and what we wanted to do if the cautions came at certain times. With all those early cautions in the race it did not even really heat cycle the tires. We only ran maybe three or four hard laps in the first forty laps. Then you start thinking if a caution comes out 75 or 100 who is pitting. Then we got to lap 120 and we know no one is pitting and if they did no one would have gotten around me. This is a tough track to get a caution on. Tonight everybody was giving room for passing and everybody was at least two car lengthens between everybody and they were just riding around the track.”

After a string of cautions and two red flags it appeared that it was going to be one of those nights. Then as fast as the mishaps started, they stopped and there was a long run of green lap racing. Modifieds then ran close to a single line for the next 93 laps to the checkers. “Usually I do not have nights like this because the caution comes out with three to go and we get beat.” Coby said about the race end. “Once we get single file it is hard for everybody to move around here at Stafford. Everybody gets a little loose. I was hoping the way that is car was that this kind of race would come to us. We just got luck and it went or way tonight and we had some fun.”

After winning Loudon, it appears that the #52 team has stepped up their program to make it two in a row for the NWMT Championship. “We are here to win races and that is what we did. Sorry it was a little boring but I will take it. I really want to thank everybody out there. They gave a lot of respect and room. I want to thank my guys. Tonight is the real deal with this #52. I am just along for the ride. I just turn the thing and point it wherever it wants to go. I am just so thankful that I get to drive it. ”So hang on folks and be ready for that ride to the 2013 NWMT Championship.

Donny Lia and the Circle Track Magazine Bob Garbarino team is not only hungry for a win, but they are also ready for another championship year. The team started fifth and charge to the front but was never able to catch Coby. With a second place win the team is looking for their first 2013 win. “We have been running great. We just need a couple of breaks here and there.” Lia said when the race completed. “Tonight we had a little more luck than we had the rest of the year. Overall it was a good night for us. We have been having some crappy luck so we will take it and move on. I want to thank Bob (Garbarino) for keeping at it like he is a young man. I have to thank him for continuing to do it and wanted me to drive the car and have fun with it. Hopefully that continues and we keep on running good. I have to thank my guys who have done an awesome job.”

Sitting in second place with lapped cars between him and Coby, Lia drove hard but was never able to catch the leader. “It is frustrating and we needed a good run. And I think second is a good run. We will take it and move on. We had a really good car tonight. I do not know with a caution what we would have done with it. Maybe something but I do not know.”

Rounding up the top three finishers was Ted Christopher. We were about ready to count him out of the lead contention when Christopher once again made his presence known as he cracked his way back into the top three. “The race played out fairly decent for us. We were up to second and then we feel back to third so from eleventh that is a pretty good finish for us. I have to thank the guys for the really good effort. We will move to Thompson.“

The NWMT will be back in action at the Thompson International Speedway Thursday August 15th as the race for the 2013 Champion continues. If you cannot join us at the track, please join us follow the action on http://www.thechromehorn.com.

Notes from Stafford Motor Speedway:

As the 2013 race season continues, What track do you have concerns about ?

Doug Coby
“Riverhead. We have had two awesome cars at Riverhead and it would be really cool if we could race there. I have ran 60 out of the last 400 laps there. The again I am concerned about all of them. We go to Thompson next week and we need a strong run there.. Then we go to Bristol and Bristol is a tough track on our cars in general. I do not think that we put on a great show there. I do not think that our cars the truck rubber and the track surface. It is just really a hard track to get around. It is one track at a time.”

How difficult was it going through lapped traffic?

Donny Lia
It is really hard here at Stafford. Because you move up a little bit and then you get loose. This is just a hard place to pass no matter what. It is a hard place even to lap cars. The only good thing about it is everyone has to deal with it. We would real him in a little bit and then we would hit the traffic and then he go forward more …Straight up I think that his car was better and he may have been saving some because he had a good lead the whole time. Either way with a second it is a good points night and we needed it.
“I can remember racing green here at Stafford but it has been a long while. This is one of those places that it can happen at because it is hard to pass everybody gets single file. It is not the most fun race to watch I am sure.”

Ted Christopher
“In the beginning it was wrecking, wrecking, wrecking and it was like this was going to be an all-night wreck with red flags then all of a sudden we go forever.”

Source: Denise DuPont / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: August 4, 2013

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