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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour


Coby Also Hits the Jackpot At Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park  by Polly Reid

Never has the buzz been bigger - never has the incentive to set fast time at a NWMT event been bigger. The Coors Light Pole winner at Thompson for the NWMT would walk away with an unprecedented $12,500 cash- compliments of a passionate friend of the modifieds - Doug Dunleavy. When the field was set, all 33 cars had taken time, it was Doug Coby in the Mike Smeriglio III owned modified with a 18.566 second lap taking the hefty payday. Coby of Milford, CT going out tenth, had to wait out twenty-three more cars before securing the top spot - his tenth career pole, his second at Thompson- Coby will pick the outside row for tomorrow’s season finale with Timmy Solomito second, Woody Pitkat third, Ted Christopher and Ryan Preece the top five.

“It’s awesome. We’ve been fast all year - but this is special.” Coby first found out about Dunleavy plans to support the NWMT when he won the ‘Coors Light Pole Award’ at Stafford and received a bonus. Leading up to the World Series, news hit social media that the bonus Dunleavy had accumulated had mushroomed to an astounding $12,500. The generous pot of cash would be awarded to the NWMT pole winner at Thompson. “To see this build up and the buzz on Facebook and other social media and throughout the community is really awesome,” said Coby. “We need more people like him in the sport. He’s going out there and knocking on doors, introducing our series to small businesses - it’s just really something that we all appreciate. Driver’s like Justin Bonsignore put Dunleavy’s on the back of his car this week just to thank him for what he did for today. It’s very rare that there is somebody involved in our series that’s not officially involved in our series – he just loves the modifieds.”

“There are over sixty-six people that have contributed to this,” said Doug Dunleavy about the cash accumulated for pole award today. “From Long Island to Rhode Island to Pennsylvania- even some from Andy Seuss’ group in New Hampshire- all in $100 and $50 increments. It’s been one heck of a year.” The surprise in the end was Coby winning the pole, a modified that Dunleavy actually sponsors on the tour.

Dunleavy’s passion for racing, in particular modifieds, began at Danbury Racearena when his dad was a sponsor and car owner but it was his mom who got really involved with sponsorship on cars early on that Dunleavy recalls. “She never owned a car but sponsored. I was one of those diehard modified fans at Danbury - I traveled with a group of guys that followed drivers like Jamie, Richie Evans, the LaJoie’s, Jimmy Smith - Bugsy Stevens, he was an icon of mine. Then I came back from college and started with a late model at Riverside Park.” Never a driver, Dunleavy has worked on cars, set them up, sponsored them- pretty much everything but drive them. Quietly growing his sponsorship in the NWMT- Dunleavy notes that the modifieds being televised has helped him grow his accounts for his business. “I didn’t realize so many people in the trucking world in dispatch followed the modifieds. It’s been a homerun in my business. That’s why I said, whatever I do profit wise in my business I’ll give back and sponsor another car and another car. I’m just a small business guy with big dreams.”

The $12,500 was awarded to be split between the driver and crew chief - Doug Coby and crew chief Phil Moran. After the cameras were put down, after the press had left, the MSR III team was gathered at their hauler where Coby and Moran presented the cash to their crew, equally dividing the award among the 12 members. “Doug and I decided to divide the money up among the crew. We have 12 guys on the crew, so 12 guys will each get a thousand dollars. They’re the ones that do all the work - those guys - they spend money on gas, food - money out of their pocket. It’s pretty cool that we can do this.”

“You can’t thank Doug Dunleavy enough,” said Moran. “He’s a great guy and he looks out for the little guys. It’s all small companies that donated all this money. It’s the little guys helping the little guys.”

In addition, $500 will be donated to the American Breast Cancer Foundation. 
Source: Polly Reid / TheChromeHorn.com
: October 18, 2015

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