By: Ashley McCubbin
Justin Bonsignore has put up the numbers and won the first two races of the season. Naturally, it made everyone focus on the No. 51 and wonder if he was creating his own special era in NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour history.
Doug Coby just delivered his punch back to say hold on a minute.
Taking the lead on Lap 135, he would stretch it out to a straightaway advantage, before a late-race caution. The ensuring incident and restarts did not slow down the No. 10, as he paced the field en route to victory.
While Bonsignore has put up the numbers lately, Coby can never be overlooked, given the fact he has won the championship six times with no finishes outside the top-five since the 2011 campaign. There’s also those 29 career victories to place him sixth on the all-time tour list.
The difference maker tonight is Coby will cherish this win as not only the driver, but as the car owner. Despite five championships together, he and car owner Mike Smeriglio III split following the 2019 season due to Smeriglio retiring from action.
There was a time of uncertainty in whether we’d see the veteran driver on the tour in 2020 as a result. but thanks to hard work from various sides, everything fell in place for him to compete. The fans will be thankful as it will give another opportunity for us to see Coby and Bonsignore face up against each other.
It was a shock in seeing Bonsignore struggle through the night, as he ran outside the top-10 and even elected to make a mid-race pit stop for adjustments. The changes worked as he drove his way up to eighth, before sneaking by a late-race incident with 20 laps to go en route to placing fifth.
While it appeared to be heading disastrous for his points, he got to leave White Motorsports Park with a nine-point advantage over Coby.
White Mountain Motorsports Park has now hosted two events this year for the tour, and both times has been able to deliver a show. The tight bull ring saw battles throughout the night for various positions through the top-10 as drivers worked at setting each up for passes. While mostly a one-groove oval, some were able to utilizing a diamonding effect off the corner while running a lane up to make up ground. That was ultimately what secured Coby the advantage.
Before Coby took hold of the top spot, it appeared Jon McKennedy was going to be headed to victory lane as he led from the drop of the green flag. However, as the handling went away over the late stages, quite possibly the driver of the No. 7 used up his tires too early in the event. He held on to finish fourth.