Bump and Won
Doug Coby Wins Wild F.W. Webb 100
During a media lunch to kick off race week on Thursday, Ryan Preece noted that the last thing he wanted to do was have the lead heading into the last lap. Well, heading into the final lap of Saturday's F.W. Webb 100 Whelen Modified Tour race, Preece held the lead and watched it vanish thanks to a bump in Turn 2 from Doug Coby, who went on to celebrate victory in Sunoco Victory Lane.
"We really love racing here," said Coby, who picked up his first win at the Magic Mile since winning back-to-back races in September of 2012 and July of 2013. "It's our favorite place to race."
Patrick Emerling finished second (the best finish of his career at NHMS), while Bobby Santos, Justin Bonsignore and Ron Silk round out the top-five.
By the second lap, the yellow flag was waving and two things were clear: the race would be a long and unpredictable one. Entering the 50th lap, after three more cautions on the track, pole-sitter Doug Coby still led everyone in the battle for first.
"Everyone is chasing Coby" was the phrase repeated following the restart after the halfway point. In second place, Ryan Preece kept the pressure on Coby, fighting hard for his first win at NHMS. With 28 laps to go, the leaders, in single file order, started to pull ahead of the pack. With Preece still locked onto Coby's bumper, the first caution of the second half of the race would set the mood for the remainder of the battle.
The many cautions of the second half of the race gave Preece and Bobby Santos the chance to catch up to Coby, who was still dominating the race. With only a handful of laps to go, James Civali's No. 13 car spun out, creating a maze of cars on the frontstretch. Finally, at a restart with five laps to go, Preece found his way inside Coby, taking the lead, if only for a short time.
The race ended in dramatic fashion when Doug Coby bumped Preece out of first place, causing a pileup, with Todd Szegedy riding the wall on two wheels.
"Modifieds is what happened," Coby said when asked what happened with Preece. "Ryan really slowed up; I didn't try to wreck him.
"I would have been happy to push (Preece) out of Turn 2 and I would have passed him into Turn 3, I'm confident of that."
Woody Pitkat, the defending September champion, who was previously one point behind leader Ryan Preece, now takes over first in the point standings. It was Coby's 15th career Whelen Modified Tour win. Szegedy, who won July's modified race, finished 20th.