Coby is super sub in the Riverhead score
Doug Coby in victory lane at Riverhead Raceway. (photo by Kyle Souza)
RIVERHEAD, NY — A week ago, Doug Coby had no idea he would be racing Saturday’s NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Miller Lite 200 at Riverhead Raceway.
Tommy Baldwin Jr.’s decision to put the six-time Tour champion in famed No. 7NY as a replacement for Jimmy Blewett paid off for both parties as Coby took control of the race early to claim his 32nd victory in career.
To be able to win in a car as famous as the No. 7NY was a huge honor for Coby, but he dedicated Saturday’s win at Riverhead to Blewett’s family as they care for his ailing daughter, Kayla.
“Most important of all, Kayla Blewett is home with her family,” Coby said. “Guess I was a bit of the pseudo-Riverhead type tonight driving No. 7NY. Tommy gave me a great car and I want to thank him and all his guys for the hard work. It was an unfortunate circumstance, but you have to make the best of it.
Saturday’s victory marked Coby’s first time in a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event this season.
A longtime fixture in the division, Coby has opted to scale back his own operation for 2022 to focus on bonds away from the track. His plan was to compete in four races with the Tour as part of a limited schedule.
Coby immediately jumped at the chance to drive for Baldwin when he got the phone call on Tuesday and was quick to remind the rest of the Tour peloton why he was so effective on the show for a decade.
After passing poleman Timmy Solomito, Coby was nearly unchallenged for the rest of the evening at Riverhead as he executed several restarts flawlessly and methodically made his way through the traffic still strewn around the quarter-a-quarter arena. mile.
The closest challenge Coby received came on a green and white checkered attempt, where he was tasked with holding off Patrick Emerling, who had climbed from the 15th starting position.
Emerling thought he was quicker than Coby’s for the second half of the race, but admitted his car’s tires were too worn out to mount a challenge on the restart, forcing him to settle for second.
“My tires were just marbled and I couldn’t quite start,” Emerling said. “[Coby] started early and he got me a bit. When I got on it the car was at a standstill, but I’m proud of what the team did today. We were able to drive ourselves to the front and we had a great car tonight.
Ron Silk maintained his lead all night to secure third place. Riverhead regular Dylan Slepian finished fourth while Solomito rounded out the top five.