LEE, N.H. — For the second straight NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race, Doug Coby was on top Saturday when he rocketed to Victory Lane in the inaugural Granite State Derby at Lee USA Speedway.
Coby took the Tommy Baldwin Racing No. 7NY into Lee’s winner’s circle in the first series appearance at the track in over two decades. Of 181 total laps, Coby led 78 laps in the race that moved into NASCAR Overtime, capturing his 33rd career victory on the Whelen Modified Tour.
Two weeks ago, Coby wasn’t planning on competing in tour races at Riverhead Raceway, or at Lee.
After a phone call from Tommy Baldwin, the six-time series champion now has two trophies in his corner.
The win came in the first of three races in the Whelen Granite State Short Track Cup, giving Coby the early edge in those point standings. Coby also claimed victory at the first of four JDV Productions events during the season.
“Tommy Baldwin gave me a good car for two races in a row,” Coby said. “This is a tough track, you can spin your tires real easily. Jon (McKennedy) is a clean driver, Matt (Hirschman) is a clean driver, but I didn’t want to worry too much about Jon and open the door for Matt to be the hero. They’re both so good. To be able to race with those guys is a great feat for this 7NY team and the Baldwin family.”
While Coby captured the victory, the horses behind him in the derby were some of the best in the game.
McKennedy finished second, while Hirschman, who led 100 laps, finished third. Known as one of the best in the game in tire strategy, Hirschman admitted post-race that he would like to replay the day.
“Good start, just ended up a little bit off on strategy,” Hirschman said. “Sometimes you live or die by some of the decisions you make, and some of them start earlier in the day. What you do with your tires and how you plan on using them. I think we just ended up a little bit off. I’d like to re-do a couple things, but still a good run.”
Ron Silk took the Whelen Modified Tour championship lead finishing fourth, while Rookie of the Year contender Jake Johnson finished fifth after winning the Mayhew Tools Dominator Pole Award.
Kyle Bonsignore was sixth, followed by Austin Beers, JB Fortin, Eric Goodale and three-time series champion Justin Bonsignore.
Former Granite State Pro Stock Series champion Joey Doiron passed Bryan Kruczek inside the final 30 laps to win their 100-lap feature. In his return to racing action, Les Rose took the victory in the 25-lap Pro 4 Modified feature win.
Dylan Coutu rocketed to the NEMA Lite victory, taking his No. 53 to Victory Lane.
In the NHSTRA Mini Stocks, Gordon Farnum captured the checkered flag in the Battle for the Belt race.