On Wednesday night in the Bud King of Beers 150, Doug Coby drove nearly the identical race Ryan Preece drove when Preece won last year’s running of the race.
Like Preece, Coby had a quick car and chose to stay out as the only car on very worn tires, praying for a caution to come out as he fell through the field, so he could make a pit stop and have fresher tires than the rest of the field.
And just as Preece did, Coby’s car spun off turn two when it seemed as if there would be no such caution. In the exact same place. In the exact same fashion.
Coby also blamed a lack of grip for the spin, much like Preece.
“I was certainly getting roughed up quite a bit, as these guys with tires were coming through,” said the five-time Whelen Modified Tour champion. “I don’t know, the 24 was, like, in my lane. It’s like, when the tires get loose, you gotta be in your one spot. I got the car pitched the wrong way, and it started to come around, and then I think I rubbed his nerf bar or something.”
Coby was able to get fresh rubber thanks to the yellow flag.
Unlike Preece, however, even with fresh tires, Coby was unable to charge all the way to the front, making it only to third by the time the checkered flag flew.
Had the caution come out earlier, Coby may have had time to pass both Matt Swanson and race winner Justin Bonsignore.
“Fifteen laps before or twenty laps before would’ve been the right time,” said Coby of when the yellow flag came. “We called our shot from the beginning, and were hoping for a late caution, and when you’re the only one with worn tires, it’s probably going to be you, because you’re sliding around like crazy… Wish it came a little sooner.”
According to Coby, his charge back to the front was impeded somewhat by drivers whose cars not only had less grip, but were extremely tight.
“I think Robby [Summers] kind of screwed me up because I would’ve just kept diving to the bottom,” Coby said of the final sprint. “But Robby was too tight and couldn’t get the job done. Then, when he tried to, the caution was already out and he piledrove Preece and took himself out.”
It’s been a frustrating season for Coby, despite the back-to-back top-threes. A fifth straight championship does not appear to be in the cards, and the team has lacked the speed it’s had in prior seasons. While Coby is currently fifth in the standings, he sits 98 points behind Bonsignore with only six races remaining this season.
“Little bit frustrating to have a second or third-place car it seems, every week,” said Coby. “We’re upset as a team that we can’t get the thing to be fast with tires.”
Doug Coby will try for his second win in three races at the Bush’s Beans 150 at Bristol next Thursday.