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Whelen Modified Tour Saturday notebook: Krause, car count throw wrench into championship fight

Paul Lambert/STS

Andrew Krause surprises rest of field with World Series 150 pole

Leave it to Andrew Krause to shake things up for Sunday’s World Series 150 at Thompson.

The 29-year-old shocked the Modified field by winning the pole for the Whelen Modified Tour finale.

“We started deep from our times in practice, and really were just trying to get up that board,” Krause said. “When we put down the time,  we were expecting it to hold somewhere up front… Now that we now we have a car that’s got some speed to it, we just gotta keep it there.”

While Krause has a quick car, he has no plans of mucking up the battle for the championship.

“I’ll respect whatever [Coby and Bonsignore] want to do for racing,” he said. “If we have a car to win, we’ll be right up front, but most of these guys run clean and everything, so we should be in for some good racing tomorrow.”

High car count another variable in championship fight

Coming into the weekend, two favorites to win the pole were the top two drivers in the points, Doug Coby and Justin Bonsignore. Not only are they battling for the Tour championship, but Coby and Bonsignore have also combined to win each of the last eight races held at Thompson. Before Coby’s victory in August’s 150-lapper at the Connecticut oval, Bonsignore had won the prior seven events.

Coby was frustrated by the decision by NASCAR to allow all 40 drivers who showed up to the track Saturday to qualify for the race. The original plan was to start only 36 cars no matter who showed up. A higher car count allows for drivers to gain or lose more points because there are more positions in play.

“We’ve been in this position before, despite the fact that they increased the car count on the entry blank for this race,” Coby said. “Now they’re starting beyond the entry blank again, which is not surprising.”

Furthermore, the relative inexperience of some of the drivers in the field, coupled with the messy racing that World Series Weekend can foster, may lead to some extra carnage, an obstacle Coby would rather just not deal with.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of cautions,” Coby said. “We’re just going to have to survive this weekend… Trouble can find you anywhere. I’ve been there before, up front, and gotten into trouble. The trouble usually comes when the good cars come in for pits, for tires, and maybe somebody stays out and stacks up the field.”

As long as Doug Coby finishes inside the top-15 Sunday, he’ll have his sixth Whelen Modified Tour title. There’s plenty yet to be decided, however.

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Paul Lambert is an aspiring collegiate journalist. A writer and broadcaster, Paul's excited to cover New England short track racing in 2022. Paul has also been published in the Boston Herald, Speedway Illustrated and on

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