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Twice this season, Doug Coby has dominated Stafford. Somehow, Coby finds himself winless at the half-mile oval in 2017, both times having lost the lead late in the going to Ryan Preece.

This time, however, Coby comes to Stafford as the Whelen Modified Tour point leader, something he was unable to say in April and in August.

As the series comes to Stafford for the third time in 2017, Coby yet again sees Preece as his biggest challenger this weekend.

“The car was really good in practice,” said Coby. “We have a good enough car to lead a lot of laps, but Ryan [Preece] is gonna want to lead every lap.”

“I know he’s definitely gonna want to set a blistering pace. He always does whenever he starts up front, so I’ll probably have to tuck in with him. If my car’s better than his, I’ll go by him. If he’s got a good car, I’ll just hang with him and kind of evaluate where he’s at and where I’m at, and I think that’s probably where the two of us are gonna do at the beginning… It’s gonna be about sizing each other up for later in the race.”

Another obstacle for Coby and the No. 2 team will be the tire rule in place Sunday.

“The whole ‘take-one-tire-at-a-time’ on a pit stop, that changes everything about the strategy here,” said the four-time Whelen Modified Tour champion. “It changes everything about who’s gonna lead the most laps. If we go caution-free for 60 or 70 laps, than that guy [leading] is gonna lead the most laps. After that, it’s just gonna be a lot of people on different strategies.”

“I think we have a good enough car, but the strategy depends on the cautions… We have a short field. Maybe we won’t have any cautions. That’s a tough thing to figure out.”

Doug Coby is peaking when it matters most. A win in the Fall Final at Stafford would be instrumental in the pursuit of his fourth consecutive championship.

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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 2021. Paul has also been published in the Boston Herald, Speedway Illustrated and on Autoweek.com.

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