WORLD SERIES RECAP: Coby Wins NWMT Race, Title
Posted By Tj Ingerson On October 20, 2015
PHOTO: Doug Coby celebrates his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win and championship on Sunday afternoon at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)
Pitkat wins VMRS, Thompson Sunoco Mod Crowns; Shullick earns ISMA win
--by T.J. Ingerson (@TJIngerson)
THOMPSON, Conn. – Doug Coby knew the only way he could guarantee himself the 2015 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship was to lead the most laps and win the race.
The Milford, Conn. driver led the first 93 laps of Sunday’s 150-lap season finale at Thompson Speedway and then made a pass on Justin Bonsignore with six laps remaining to secure his seventh win of the season.
The win for Coby was also his fourth of the season at Thompson, thus completing the season sweep.
Coby led until a lap 91 caution flag and then led nearly every car down pit road, only to be beaten off by Bonsignore. The two would quickly assert themselves as the top two cars, while Coby applied constant pressure to Bosignore lap after lap.
With six laps remaining, Coby moved underneath Bonsignore as the two entered turn three to take the lead and the eventual race win.
“I think if I’d given (Bonsignore) three or four car lengths to play with, I think he could have settled down,” Coby said of his late race battle. “But he was driving the living crap out of his car from the time he got the lead. I thought he was going to hit the wall about 14 times because he was so tight trying keep me behind him.
“Then his car started going away. He got really loose. I don’t want to say it was a matter of time – I would have rode there if his car stayed the same, but it kept getting worse and worse.”
Coby entered the event tied at the top of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour standings entering the season finale with Ryan Preece with Woody Pitkat four points back.
“It’s pretty neat to win the race and the championship,” Coby said. “That’s what I wanted to do and we did it.
“It’s a big deal. Modifieds are the king where we all live and this is what we do. We might not get the respect nationally that we all know the series deserves, but to be the top of the series, it means a lot to me because I just know how good everybody is.”
Bonsignore, of Holtsville, N.Y., finished second with Timmy Solomito of Islip, N.Y. third. Former Modified Tour champion Todd Szegedy finished fourth while Pitkat battled back from an early race flat tire – and subsequent one-lap penalty – to finish fifth.
Patrick Emerling stayed out during the lap 93 pit stop and finished sixth while Preece finished in the seventh spot. Ted Christopher, rookie Chase Dowling, and Donny Lia completed the top-ten finishers.
Dave Shullick Jr. took the lead midway through the 50-lap International SuperModified Association feature and earned the win.
The North Ridgeville, Ohio driver started the event in the 12th position and steadily moved his way through the field. Shullick sat in the fourth spot prior to a lap 15 restart and continued his steady march toward the front, taking the lead from Rob Summers.
Summers, of Vernon, Conn., held on for the runner-up spot while Mike Lichty finished third. Trent Stephens and Ben Seitz finished fourth and fifth with Chris Perley, Bobby Santos, Mark Sammut, Otto Sitterly, and Jeff Lock sixth through tenth, respectively.
On Saturday night, Keith Rocco dominated the 50-lap Valenti Modified Racing Series season finale.
The Wallingford, Conn. driver started on the outside pole position and quickly moved into the lead over polesitter Pitkat.
Rocco survived a late race skirmish when a car spun in front of the leaders, which caused Rocco to make contact with the outside wall with his right-front tire. Rocco continued and powered to the win.
Pitkat, of Stafford, Conn., earned the series championship with a second place finish. Dave Etheridge, Jon McKennedy, and Chris Pasteryak completed the top-five finishers with Rowan Pennink, Dylan Kopec, Mike Keeler, Anthony Nocella, and Eric Berndt sixth through tenth.
Pitkat, on Sunday, also scored the championship in the Thompson Sunoco Modified division. Pitkat led late in their 30-lap event before being passed by Preece with just three laps remaining.
Preece, of Berlin, Conn., went on to win with Pitkat second. Kerry Malone, Christopher, and Ryan Morgan completed the top-five finishers.
Randy Cabral of Plymouth, Mass. made a late race pass on teammate Todd Bertrand to claim the win in the 25-lap Northeast Midget Association feature. John Zych Jr. of Mendon, Mass. finished third to clinch the series championship with Seth Carlson and Avery Stoehr fourth and fifth.
Scott Bigelow of East Hampton, Conn. won Sunday’s NEMA Lite feature over Zych and Cabra.
Peter Zakarite of Niantic, Conn. inherited the win in the North East Mini Stock Tour feature event after apparent winner Toby Wells and runner-up Matt Sonnhalter were penalized for infractions found during post-race technical inspection.
Joe Baxter of Pascoag, R.I. inherited the runner-up spot with Michael Viens third. Cameron Sontag and Mitchell Bombard finished fourth and fifth.
Wells and Sonnhalter were penalized one lap per the NEMST rule book. According to a Facebook post on the Series’ official page, both drivers were found to have a non-conforming transmission.
Ed Puleo of Branford, Conn. won the North East Street Stock Tour event over Joe Arena and Steve Kenneway. Arena, by virtue of his runner-up finish, won the series inaugural championship.