Story By: KYLE SOUZA / DOUG COBY RACING – MILFORD, CT – It’s a double-duty kind of weekend for Mayhew Tools driver Doug Coby.
The six-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion will compete in the fifth race of the Tour season on Saturday at Lee USA Speedway, set for 175 laps, driving the Tommy Baldwin Racing No. 7NY.
On Sunday, the Connecticut native will make a visit to Vermont for his first start at Thunder Road Speedbowl as part of the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series season-opening race with his own No. 10.
Coby and Baldwin enter the Granite State Derby at Lee as the defending winners of the race. With six change tires in the pit area again this year, strategy and tire conservation will both play a major role in deciding if they can make it back-to-back. The Mayhew Tools No. 7NY has already been in Tour Victory Lane this season at Monadnock Speedway on May 6 in round one of the Whelen Granite State Short Track Cup. Saturday’s event at Lee is the second of three in the Cup, with Coby and the Baldwin Racing team currently leading the charge in the points.
Coby and the team will carry the name of Sergeant Richard L. Ford on the roof decal of the No. 7NY at Lee. He lost his life at 40-years-old in 2007 while in combat serving the United States in Iraq.
“Our strategy for the race at Lee worked well last year,” Coby said. “We rode around at the front early with Matt Hirschman and then his strategy was different and our strategy just played out well and we had a good car where I could drive away late. There are going to be a lot of competitive strategies now that everyone has a year of the six-tire change under their belts. We just approach it like every other race, hopefully start up front and use that to our advantage and be there at the end.”
Sunday, Coby and his Mayhew Tools team unload the No. 10 for the first time in 2023. It isn’t something they aren’t used to doing – as the team ran part-time on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and select Open Modified events in the last few years with crew chief Jon McKenna. Coby knows the competition at Thunder Road will be tough and the style of racing includes heat races and the feature, instead of time trials like on the Whelen Modified Tour.
He’s excited for his first visit to Thunder Road.
“I’ve never been there,” Coby said. “It’s a track I’ve always wanted to go race and with Tri-Track going there, it’s a cool experience to be able to go up to Vermont and race at Thunder Road. It seems like since they paved it and have the full wall around it, it’s a tight, fast race track. I went back and watched last year’s race and learned some things. It will be important to have a strong starting position, but it’s a completely different environment with the tire scuff, heat races.. Just going to go out there and let it rip. It will be a fun weekend for all of us on the Mayhew Tools teams – with Tommy Baldwin Racing on Saturday and our Mayhew Tools team on Sunday.”
Saturday at Lee, teams will have one practice session from 1:40-2:25 p.m., followed by Mayhew Tools qualifying at 6:30 p.m. The green flag for the Granite State Derby 175 is scheduled to drop at 7:45 p.m., live on FloRacing.TV. Sunday at Thunder Road, Coby and the team will have one practice in the morning, followed by a tire scuff session, heat race and the 100-lap feature, scheduled to go green around 4 p.m.