CAPTURES NWMT VICTORY AT HOME TRACK
STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Coby Currently Leads NWMT Point Standing By Three Points
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT) returned to
Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday, June 3rd for the
TSI Harley-Davidson 125. The race was a
green-white-checkered finish with Doug Coby of
Milford, CT. taking home the victory with his
nineteenth career NWMT win and his second victory
for the 2016 race season.
Coby was all smiles in Victory Lane with winning
trophy in hand at Stafford. ”I had a great car all
day from my team. The team never quits. Even though
we are fast, the team always tries to get faster
which makes them champions, which makes us win
races. We kept dialing in on this car all day in
practice. Even right before the feature the team
were crawling under the car making last minute
adjustments. Awesome win for the team, it was a
started on the pole after claiming his thirteenth
career NWMT Coors Light pole Award. He now has six
poles in the books from Stafford. When the green
flag flew to start the race, Coby grabbed the lead
and pulled Lia and Rowan Pennink of Huntingdon
Valley, Pa. to create a break away pack. The race
ran 130 circuits with Coby leading all but one in
the Mike Smeriglio III owned, Dunleavy’s Repair/A&J
Romano Construction sponsored Chevrolet. Donny Lia
of Jericho, NY, was credited with leading on lap 71
after lapped traffic blocked the leaders on the
front stretch. Coby rebounded quickly to take back
the top position to dominate the rest of the race.
“You never know what is going to happen, Stated Coby
from victory lane. “I am glad that we had those
restarts which was really interesting for the fans
as well as myself. “
This action was quickly followed by caution on lap
73 which broke the lead group’s forward momentum.
Rick Summers and Woody Pitkat were racing for
position when they spun just after turn four.
Summers pulled away but Pitkat ended his night
leaving the track on the hook. The field took
advantage of the break in action to pit for
tires/adjustments and the top three quickly pulled
out to reclaim their positions.
The race continued for approximately another 30 laps
until rookie Matt Swanson spun on his own in turn
two bringing out the second caution of the night. A
few cars pitted and the race was under way on lap
116. As the field came off of turn two, cars were
three wide challenging for position three. The
drivers ran out of room and Islip, NY’s Timmy
Solomito hit the outside wall while Pennink squeezed
through the middle and Jimmy Blewett of Howell, NJ.
took the bottom. The field was under red while track
crew cleared the #16 car off the track.
looked like Rowan Pennink’s car shut off and then
when I was alongside of him I realized that his car
did not shut off. “ Stated Blewett about the
incident. “He drove high and pushed everybody up
into the marbles. Doing this, he left a big hole on
the bottom of the track. So I drove straight
through.” This move allowed Blewett to avoid the
crash and gave him fourth for the next restart.
Restarting race action on lap 121 the field was
staged for a four lap dash for the cash. But as we
know cautions breed cautions and the yellow flag
flew one lap later for a stopped car in turn three.
Chase Dowling from Roxbury, CT. pulled away when the
yellow flag flew. Dowling was set back a lap for
intentionally bringing out the caution and the race
was under green on lap 128 for the
“You never know what is going to happen on a late
race restart.” Coby expressed about the race end.
“You get a little slide off the restart and then you
are tight because you drive it off and into the
corner and you do not know if somebody behind you
has a good run.
Coby took the win followed across the line by
Blewett who scored his second straight podium with a
“To bring home second with the car in one piece,
feels good,” confessed Blewett. With a solid second
place finish, the Starrett Dodge, Bob Garbarino
owned #4 sure look like they have found what they
need to get the job done. “This finish is good
momentum for the team. We went to Waterford and we
finally we able to start a notebook after the crash
here at the last race. So we worked off of our
baseline here tonight from our notes from Waterford
(Speedbowl). When we came here we saw that the car
ran well. I feel overall we had a third place car. I
ran with Donny as hard as we could the last couple
After a strong night, Lia finished third. He had
made several attempts to pass for the lead during
the 130 circuits but was only able to grab one lap.
“We have been struggling and while doing that we are
getting together the piece that we need. We are
building on it racing. And tonight was a good step
in the right direction to build our team.”
“I would have liked to won the race but finishing in
second or third it does not matter. We did not win
the race. I thought at times we were better than
Doug but he had control of the race all night and he
did a good job. There were a couple of cautions
there at the end that we did not need. It was a good
night and we will take it and move on. Tonight was
what we needed and this really works out for us.
Eric Goodale and Justin Bonsignore rounded out the
top five. Pennink finished sixth followed by Ron
Silk, Bobby Santos, Brendon Bock and Max Zachem to
complete the top 10.
The NWMT teams will return to racing on Wednesday,
June 15th, at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
Polly Reid / TheChromeHorn.com
June 5, 2016