THOMPSON, Conn. — Celebrating on the highest stage of modified racing for the sixth time.
Doug Coby sealed his sixth NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship on Sunday, completing a season that put the Milford, Connecticut, driver back on top after one year away from tasting glory.
The title was the sixth in the last eight years for the 40-year-old, and also helped him break a tie with Tony Hirschman with five series titles. Coby now only trails Mike Stefanik (seven) for the most Whelen Modified Tour titles in the modern era.
“It’s just hard to put into words,” Coby said. “We try to come out to have the best season of anybody, and win every race, everyone out there does. My team just finds a way to do it.”
Coby finished seventh in the Sunoco World Series 150 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, but it was enough to win him the title by eight points. But it didn’t come without a bit of drama.
Coby started third, but during a red flag for a multiple-car crash on lap 12, received some crucial information over the radio — oddly enough, from a fellow competitor. Woody Pitkat told Coby’s team the left-rear tire looked low on air pressure, and he was right.
Coby pitted during the caution, changed the tire, and restarted deep in the field. It wasn’t long before he was back up inside the top 15, positioning himself where he needed to be to keep his points lead. By the end, seventh was enough to seal the deal.
Justin Bonsignore won the season-finale, his sixth victory of the season, which helped him close the gap to just eight in the championship standings. Even though he came up short of his second consecutive Whelen Modified Tour title, Bonsignore scored victories in three of four races at Thompson this season — extending his active drivers lead to 11 wins at the Connecticut oval.
“We spotted them way too many points in the beginning of the year. I’m really proud of our effort — we won a handful of races at the end of the year, and we didn’t get the championship, but we backed up our eight wins last year with six this year. Great car and a great pit stop (today).”
Ron Silk finished second, while Matt Swanson, Bobby Santos III and Woody Pitkat finished the top five. Eric Goodale was sixth, followed by Coby, Chase Dowling, Rob Summers and Timmy Solomito.
Behind the top two in the championship standings, Silk finished third, 62 points back, while Craig Lutz and Swanson finished the top five.
The Sunoco World Series 150 will air on NBCSN on Thursday, October 17, at 7 p.m.
Coby will be honored with the rest of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour top finishers and special award winners at the NASCAR Awards Charlotte on Saturday, November 23.