STAFFORD SPRINGS, Conn. — With eight NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victories at Stafford Speedway since 2012, Doug Coby and the No. 2 Mayhew Tools team have become synonymous with success at the Connecticut half-mile.
Coby has continued his good fortunes at Stafford with second place finishes in both the NAPA Spring Sizzler in April and the Stafford 150 in August.
But while the 2017 season didn’t get off to the best of starts for Coby and his team, they find themselves leading the points standings coming to Stafford for the first time this season.
“This year has been a weird season,” said Coby. “We haven’t won as much as we have in the past couple years … but we’ve had some really consistent finishes. We’re coming off a 14th place finish at Loudon, which was pretty disappointing. We led most of the race and then kind of got knocked around at the end. We’re coming to Stafford hoping to win and at the very least hoping to extend the point lead heading into Thompson in a couple of weeks.”
“We’re excited it’s Stafford and we’ve been so good there the last four years or so. It’s a great spot for us to come back to, having just got the point lead. I’d like to say I like our chances, but I liked our chances last week at Loudon and everywhere else we’ve gone this year. It really hasn’t been our year to go out and dominate with wins like we have in the past. … Anything can happen and I’m just hoping to get out of Stafford with the point lead and go to Thompson with another shot at winning the title.”
Coby began the season with three finishes of 13th or worse in the first four events, and he was 51 points out of the lead after the Langley race.
From there, Coby has slowly but steadily climbed his way back into championship contention, with a six-race string that saw them post a win, four second-place finishes and a fourth.
Coby noted his streak has he and the team hungry for a win at Stafford in the NAPA Fall Final.
“We didn’t change anything on the car, we just went out and got the finishes that we deserved,” said Coby. “If we had won a couple of those races we’d be in an even better spot than we are now. We have all those second place finishes and I think that’s just made us more hungry for a win at the Fall Final. We’ve finished second behind Ryan [Preece] twice at Stafford this year and we’re looking forward to getting back into victory lane if we can.”
Coby has gone from the hunter to the hunted as the NWMT comes to Stafford with Justin Bonsignore, Timmy Solomito, Rowan Pennink, and Preece all within 26 points of Coby.
Should Coby and the No. 2 team go on to win an unprecedented fourth consecutive Tour championship this season, he said it would be a little bit sweeter this season with the adversity they’ve had to overcome.
“It’s been such a crazy season and I think a lot of people wrote us off in the beginning of the year with the finishes we had,” said Coby. “We’ve scratched and clawed to get ourselves back into contention so I think a championship this year would be a little more special just with how rough the season started off for us.”
“When you start off in a hole and you have to dig out of the hole, with this points system we have it’s not the easiest thing to do so it would be pretty neat to grab another championship.”
CREDIT: Stafford Motor Speedway