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NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour

Commentary: The NASCAR Modified Tour suddenly has a championship fight

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Doug Coby was seething after finishing third in Friday’s Stafford 150 and rightfully so.

The five-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion led the first 147 laps from the pole but a late yellow brought everyone to pit road to implement various strategy calls and Coby was unable to get back to the front.

Coby has led the most laps in each of the last three races and yet hasn’t emerged victorious in any of them.

At Riverhead in early July, contact while battling for the lead with Timmy Solomito sent Coby spinning en route to a sixth-place finish. Then, the Tour race at Loudon was called early due to a series of lengthy yellow flags, forcing Coby to settle for second behind Silk.

Couple that with Friday night, and Coby has seen his points lead shrink from 31 down to 24 in that span.

Meanwhile, Ron Silk celebrated in victory lane for the second time in two races despite only leading 24 laps in the last two races.

“It’s been pretty good,” Silk said. “Things have been going great. I hope we can keep it going. It seems like when you get on a roll like this, not that things are any easier, but they feel a little easier. Things just seem to go right.”

Coby is without a doubt one of the greatest to ever get behind the wheel of a Tour-Type Modified. Even with the last three races having not fallen his way, Coby remains in the driver’s seat when it comes to getting his sixth championship.

Silk, however, is more than capable of getting the job done. He has a championship, and never finished lower than eighth in the standings when running the Whelen Modified Tour full-time. His 82 top-10s over his last eight full-time seasons make him one of the Tour’s most consistent drivers.

Despite being second in the points, Silk isn’t thinking about a championship just yet.

“We’re not there yet,” he said. “We’ve got to keep doing our job and running well. If we do that, hopefully we’re in contention.”

And don’t count out Justin Bonsignore either, who has won the last six races at Thompson dating back to last year’s Icebreaker 150. He’s still within striking distance of the front two, 42 points off of Coby as the series heads to Thompson next Wednesday.

And of course, with marquee races like the Musket 250, Stafford Fall Final and Thompson World Series still remaining Coby is still marginally at-risk of coughin up the entirety of his championship lead in one fell swoop.

With seven races to go in the 2019 season, there remains plenty of intrigue about the Tour championship hunt.

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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 2019. Paul has also been published in Speedway Illustrated and on

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