Back in April, Doug Coby walked away from a wrecked race car without even completing one lap in the Icebreaker 150 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. Six months later, Coby capped the season at Thompson by completing an unthinkable comeback to win his fifth NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship.
Sunday’s fifth-place finish in the Sunoco World Series 150 was enough to completely erase his disastrous start to the season and wrap up his fourth straight title.
The Milford, Conn. driver becomes the first driver since the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour began in 1984 to accomplish the feat and only the third in the history of NASCAR modifieds, joining NASCAR Hall of Famers Richie Evans and Jerry Cook.
“We just kind of tugged away this year,” Coby said. “We won one race in 2014 when we won the championship and we only won once this year. We were just so consistent.”
Timmy Solomito, who entered the race third in the championship standings and one of six drivers still in contention for the crown, used a pass with just two laps remaining to capture the victory the race that was pushed to 155 laps because of a late caution.
The victory was the fifth of the season for the Islip, New York, driver but it wasn’t enough to get him the title.
Coby finished with 604 points, six ahead of Solomito. Justin Bonsignore finished third, 10 points back of Solomito, while Rowan Pennink and Eric Goodale rounded out the top five in the championship standings.
Coby was determined to control his own destiny. The points leader entering the finale, he started on the front row with polesitter Chase Dowling and immediately jumped to the front to lead the first 82 laps to clinch the bonus points for most laps led.
After his first pit stop, he restarted outside the top 10 and wasn’t able to get all the way back to the front. But it didn’t matter. A late charge was enough to hand him the championship behind the wheel of his No. 2 Mayhew Tools Chevrolet.
“We were good all year and we were kind of under the radar. This was a different championship because we to crawl all summer because we had to get back in it,” Coby said. “We had to chip away this year. The common denominator in all of these titles was a team that never quit.”
Dowling finished second — crossing the finish line .043 seconds behind Solomito — while Ron Silk was third and Pennink fourth.
Andrew Krause finished sixth, followed by Woody Pitkat, Dave Sapienza, Jamie Tomaino and Bonsignore.
Ryan Preece finished 26th in the race and fell to sixth in points. However, he was able to wrap up the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour owner’s championship for Ed Partridge. Preece missed two races — one for his wedding and one to run the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Kentucky Speedway — and combined with George Brunnhoelzl III and Jon McKennedy to win the title for Partridge’s No. 6 TS Hauler Chevrolet team.
Coby and Partridge will be honored as champion of the unified Whelen Modified Tour as part of the champions celebration in Charlotte, North Carolina in December.
The complete results can be found below.
- Timmy Solomito
- Chase Dowling
- Ron Silk
- Rowan Pennink
- Doug Coby
- Andrew Krause
- Woody Pitkat
- Dave Sapienza
- Jamie Tomaino
- Justin Bonsignore
- Gary Putnam
- Rob Summers
- Burt Myers
- Matt Swanson
- Calvin Carroll *
- Eric Goodale
- Spencer Davis
- Wade Cole
- Jimmy Blewett
- Craig Lutz
- Danny Cugini *
- Cory Oslund *
- Manny Dias *
- Kyle Soper *
- Ronnie Williams *
- Ryan Preece
- Walter Sutcliffe Jr. *
- Austin Pickens *
- Bobby Santos
- Melissa Fifield
- Gary McDonald
- Anthony Nocella
- Andy Seuss
- Ken Heagy
- John Baker
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