Silk takes down Stafford 150 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race

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Matthew Wiernasz Photo

STAFFORD SPRINGS, Conn (WWLP) – Doug Coby dominated on Friday night at Stafford Motor Speedway leading 147 laps in the Stafford 150 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event. The first caution of the event came out with three laps to go. Everyone came down and took fuel and tires and used pit strategy. 

Matt Swanson won the race off of pit road.  Doug Coby would come out sixth.  On the restart., Silk made a three-wide pass on Swanson and Justin Bonsignore to win the event and make it two in a row. Silk talked about his win to 22News.

“We won South Boston earlier this year. It’s been a great year so far. My guys are working really hard and their effort is showing. The cars have been prepared great. We’ve had speed every week. Just got to keep doing the same thing. Keep striving to improve. Things will work themselves out will just do what we can do,” said Silk. 

Jon McKennedy finished second in the race on Friday night. He talked about it to 22News 

“Had a solid day. We were top 3, 4 the whole race. We were in a good position there to win at the end green white checkered second row on the outside. The 3 (Swanson) boggled everyone up in the third groove and the 85 (Silk) was just in a perfect place right time. He was able to jump right into the lead by the time I cleared two cars. Next lap the race is over. It really didn’t give us much of a chance but overall it was a good day,” said McKennedy.

Doug Coby finished the race in third.  Coby said after the race that his team always has a good car at Stafford but gave his thoughts about the race. 

“I just hate humans tinkering with stuff. I’ve been racing since 1986 every year. Everything from Quarter Midgets to Late Models and SK’s and Modifieds and it’s like we come up with these ideas of how to make things better. I know no one wants to see one guy lead all 150 laps. They got a finish that they wanted to see but it’s like doctor in a weird way. We know the rules. I get these rules and we all know what we have to do. It’s not like the Cup guys come and take one tire per stop neither do the Xfinity guys. It’s like this level and I feel like we’re better than that. I feel like if we come in and just taking three tires like what the Modified Tour did for almost 30 years.  We would’ve come on pit road five seconds ahead of everybody with lap cars in between us and we would’ve come off first and restarted first and drove away. I get it we have a decision to make and so did everybody else. Do you take fuel? Someone ran out. You know cars were running out. I was conserving the most I could but we can’t just take that chance and then when it came to the tires. We knew we were gonna take two and then we just saw six cars on the lead lap and we figured take the third tire but the guys that also took three tires didn’t take fuel. They gambled and won and I don’t want to put it on my team,” said Coby. 

“I still don’t understand though when we have a single-car spin with three laps to go why is it six laps of caution to go back green. Why did it even go that long? It could’ve been you guys get one shot on pit road and it’s fuel and go because we’re crossing up and going. That’s intent to make this a long restart and what one of these guys are going to do to dictate the end of the race. It’s just one of those things,” said Coby. 

Coby gave his thought to 22News when asked about a change, “Of course it’s not time for a change. This is what people want to see but you just have to remember that’s there a whole crew of guys that worked really hard and had a dominate car and I get it. It didn’t work our way so I am going to sound like a crybaby like everybody thinks I am. Put yourself in my shoes, in my team’s shoes, my sponsor’s shoes. The whole point of racing is to be better than everyone else and be dominant. It doesn’t sit well with me. It sucks.”

At Stafford, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour teams come onto pit road and take one tire at a time and come out and come back in and take another tire or fuel. Coby has not been a fan of it. 

“It’s dangerous even though there’s only three guys over the wall. I don’t make the rules. Somebody’s always gonna win and we could’ve won and we didn’t and I guess we had the same opportunity as the other five cars on the lead lap to come out in a position other than sixth and maybe we gambled the wrong way but we just didn’t want to run out of fuel.” Said Coby 
Matt Swanson finished in fourth on Friday. He took one tire on his pit stop in the closing stages of the Stafford 150. Swanson told 22News that he was lacking in stagger and that his right front tire had 146 laps on it. He expected it to turn a little bit better then it did. He spun the tires on the restart. 

Swanson gave his thoughts about pit road to 22News, “I don’t think it’s a safety issue. I mean the guys that are going over the pit wall know what they are getting themselves into and all of us drivers look out for each other’s crews. Obviously, we’re trying to gain spots on pit road and were trying to push all the limits so aren’t they. We’ve been doing this for how many years and if anything things have gotten safer, more rules have been put into place all the guys wear firesuits. wear helmets. We are playing with 2,600-pound racecars against crews. We’ve been doing this for how long not even myself included. I am just saying the sport of auto racing has had pit stops for how many years.”

The Stafford Motor Speedway NASCAR Whelen All American Series divisions were in action. Keith Rocco won in the SK Modifieds. East Longmeadow’s Tom Fearn won his seventh Late Model race of the season. Teddy Hodgdon won in the SK Lights. Matt Clement won in the Limited Late Models and Zach Robinson won in the Street Stocks. 

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will be back in action on Wednesday, August 14 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park for the Bud King of Beers 150. Doug Coby holds a 24 point lead over Ron Silk and 42 points over Justin Bonsignore. 

Silk told 22News that he doesn’t like to point race, “I try not to do it. We just go one week at a time and do the best we can. There is still a lot of racing left to do. Anything can happen. We could have some bad weeks. The other guys could have some bad weeks. It’s just to early to worry about that. If we’re in the hunt towards the end we will think about it a little bit but right now we’re just racing.”

Stafford Motor Speedway will be back in action this Friday night. 

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