STAFFORD, Conn. – Doug Coby knows how to put on a show.
Coby made an impressive charge up through the field following an early flat tire, rallying late to pass Bobby Santos III to win the TSI Harley-Davidson 125 on Friday night at Stafford Motor Speedway. It was Coby's second NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win of the season – and it came in the car he affectionately refers to as his “show car.”
“I was nervous,” Coby said of the closing laps. “I didn't think we'd get (Santos). I thought the fastest car was going to finish third or fourth. But, I had to drive the hell out of it and I'm really happy to be here.”
Santos held on for second in just his second start of the season, while Ron Silk finished third. Todd Szegedy and Rowan Pennink rounded out the Top-5.
In just four races, Coby has already doubled his career win total on the Tour. His previous victory came in the Tech-Net Spring Sizzler at Stafford earlier this month in a completely different chassis with a completely different engine.
“This is nothing the same that we won the Sizzler with,” said Coby, who said the team only ran this particular car to help shake it down for the race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July. “I tell you this thing – I call it the 'show car' because I tell them I never want to race it, I want it to be the show car and just want to keep it nice and shiny and run the other one every time... We all make fun of it and say the show car can stay at home, but the show car put on a show tonight.
“What can I say? This thing was freaking awesome.”
Coby's night was almost over before it ever really began. He hit pit road under caution on Lap 27 with a flat right-front tire. His crew on the No. 52 Reynolds Auto Wrecking Chevrolet swapped the tire out and sent him back on his way from the rear of the field.
While other leaders opted to pit much later on – as had been Coby's original plan – or didn't pit at all, like Santos, Coby simply stalked car after car from the outside lane. He'd settled into third behind Silk around Lap 100, then took second for himself on Lap 114.
Three laps later, he drove past Santos off of Turn 2 on the half-mile oval and was off to the win unchallenged.
“Doug was good. He was good at the end. He beat us,” said a disappointed Santos. “I don't feel like we did anything wrong (as a team), other than I guess I just didn't get it done the last five laps.”
Coby overtook Silk for the Whelen Modified Tour points lead after finishing second at Monadnock Speedway two weeks ago and winning on Friday night. Not that he wanted to hear any of that talk.
“Forget that,” he said. “It's a quarter way through the season. Lots can happen. I'm happy – it's my first time with two wins in a Tour season, and three in a row in the Top-2. What a cool time.”