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Opinion: Fans need to appreciate what Doug Coby has done

All streaks must come to an end. The next will very likely be Doug Coby’s four-year run of championships on the Whelen Modified Tour.

It’s been a stretch of dominance very rarely seen in racing, but it hasn’t been discussed enough.

Coby has not been flashy, nor has he been spectacular over the last six or seven seasons. He’s just been plain good. Since 2011, Coby has garnered at least 10 top-10 finishes every season. If he finishes 10th or better once more in the final two races, that will make it eight straight years Coby has reached double-digits in that regard.

Coby’s consistency in the points cannot be overlooked, either. He has finished in the top-five in the standings each of the last seven seasons. It’s very likely he extends the streak to eight. And of course, five of those seasons have ended in championships.

Only three drivers have won at least five Whelen Modified Tour championships since 1985: Mike Stefanik, Tony Hirschman, and Coby.

He doesn’t have the gaudy win total Stefanik possesses, nor does he have the intense outward personality the late Teddy Christopher was so well-known for.

Coby’s at his best when he and his No. 2 team put their heads down and churn out solid result after solid result.

Perhaps last season was the best example of Coby’s greatness. Despite suffering plenty of bad luck during the first half of the season, with four finishes outside the top-10 in the first seven races, the team stood firm and went on an absolute tear, finishing fourth or better in each of the next six races, and missed the top-10 only once the rest of the season. In the end, it was Coby hoisting the championship trophy for a fourth consecutive year, buoyed by the consistency the No. 2 team showed in the second half of 2017.

While a championship may be out of reach for 2018, two big races remain on the table: the Fall Final this weekend at Stafford and the World Series 150 at Thompson on October 14th.

“Winning out’s the goal,” said Coby on the team’s mindset going into the season’s final two events. “Obviously, Justin’s pretty much a lock for the championship… Winning out’s the goal, though. We have the car to do it.”

Doug Coby shows zero signs of slowing down as the series heads to Stafford, the site of his sole victory in 2018.  Expect him to be a threat for more races and titles going forward.

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Paul Lambert is an aspiring high school racing journalist. Editor of his school newspaper, Paul's excited to cover the Whelen Modified Tour in 2018. Paul has also been published in Speedway Illustrated and on Autoweek.com.

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