In what resembled a glorified test for next month’s NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season-opener, reigning series champion Doug Coby traveled south to Myrtle Beach Speedway and executed a perfect strategy to win the Shootout by the Shore.
The 50-lap feature went caution-free with the entire field implementing a different tire-use strategy on the aged South Carolina racing surface. Coby began from the pole but quickly gave way to Jason Myers on Lap 9.
He led until Lap 46 when a suddenly hard-charging Coby picked up the pace and surged from third to first in just four laps.
“Everyone knows this was going to be a race of strategy,” Coby said in Victory Lane. “I felt like we were waiting the whole race for the race to actually begin.
“I want to apologize to the fans. I know that wasn’t the easiest race to watch. No one went by 10 laps to go so I decided to go myself. I saw Burt (Myers) off the pace and was worried that it would be the caution Jason needed but that didn’t happen.”
Myers placed a big block going into Turn 1 in front of Coby and didn’t back down from his reasons why.
“I wanted to see how badly he wanted to knock his right front off,” Myers said. “You’ve got to have more than just your tire. He had a good car and if it were the last lap he probably would have given me a shove there and knocked me sideways.
“I know he’s a good enough race car driver so I wasn’t going to just give it to him there. I hate that we were a little too tight because I think we would have been fine if we weren’t so tight at the end.”
The most conservative approach was executed by Matt Hirschman whom was nearly three-quarters of a lap down with 15 laps to go before charging through the field to capture a podium by the finish.
“We just didn’t have what we needed to have to go all the way from that far back,” Hirschman said. “We were able to close up quite a bit but just weren’t close. This place is very tough… We just didn’t have what we thought we might have had when we started to come back through the field.”
Once Coby got around Myers, he was hoping the race would stay green, otherwise …
“That would have meant hell breaking loose,” Coby said. It just didn’t happen that way thankfully.”
Tour Types will return to Myrtle Beach Speedway on March 18 for the Wheelen Modified Tour Performance Plus 150. This will be the first race for the newly merged NASCAR Modified Tour.
The unofficial results for the Shootout by the Shore can be viewed below.
|8||17||Richie Pallai Jr.|
|12||09||Brad Van Houten|
|13||79||Doug Meservey Jr.|