Kobyluck's Nashville Victory Keeps Title Hopes In Tact  by Penny Aicardi
Veteran Holds Off Bayne, Dillon & More Youngsters In Music City
Matt Kobyluck celebrates his 10th year in the NASCAR Camping World Series East this season, and he would like nothing more than to win his first series crown to celebrate. Saturday night, the 38-year-old driver made a giant stride toward that goal by winning the Strutmasters.com 150 at Nashville’s Music City Motorplex.

Kobyluck took the lead from young hotshoe Trevor Bayne on a lap 144 restart and pulled away to finish 1.147 seconds ahead of runner-up Peyton Sellers. It was Kobyluck’s second win of the season, and the victory moved him to second in the points. He now has only a 20 point deficit from Austin Dillon, who has dominated the championship standings all season long.

“I truly felt like I was a sitting duck,” said Kobyluck about the final restart. “I was in the lead, but whoever was on that outside line would get the lead because you could get more momentum and run right through turns one and two. I really didn’t feel I had a shot going into that restart. (Trevor) got by me, I dropped to the bottom and I found some grip down there somehow, someway. We made a little contact, but when you are going for the win in the last couple of laps, a little rubbing is not unexpected. We were both just trying to occupy the same piece of real estate.”

Kobyluck, who started the race fifth, led a total of 11 laps. He first got the lead on a lap 136 restart when he battled Bayne side by side for an entire circuit. Kobyluck had the advantage at the line and led for a total of five laps before swapping the lead with Bayne once again. Caution put the duo side by side with Bayne on the outside groove in second. Once out front, Kobyluck was unstoppable.

Bayne succumbed to early leader Peyton Sellers in the final laps. Sellers led the first 78 laps in dominating fashion before surprisingly coming down pit road.

Matt Kobyluck speeds beneath the checkered flag in Music City.  (Grant Halverson/NASCAR Photos)
“I really thought I had the car to win the race,” said Sellers. “I found myself being really patient with the car and saving what I had. We knew everybody was going to be really close on fuel because we ran a lot of green flag laps. Andy (Santerre) said we should come in and take a little fuel and we snugged it up a little bit during that pit stop. We just didn’t have enough at the end there. We were just a little too loose.”

Kobyluck had a close call of his own as the race approached the lap 100 mark. Sellers, who was coming back up through after his pit stop, made contact with Kobyluck.

“We were coming out of turn two and the 44 got underneath me and he got free and washed up the track,” Kobyluck explained. “Unfortunately I was still alongside him at that point. I thought my night was done because it was hard contact. I thought I would get a flat out of it or it would knock the toe out of it, but it didn’t hurt our performance at all.”

Kobyluck hoists the legendary Nashville Copley Guitar while celebrating his team's second win of the year.
Third place starter and point leader Austin Dillon finished the race in third.

“I kind of had the restarts figured out there in the end. My car was good when we got out front there, but I started overdriving it,” said Dillon. “I couldn’t get the brakes figured out and I couldn’t hold myself down in the center of the corner. It was a hard fought battle today and we’re happy to come out of here with a third.”

Jeff Anton had a solid top-three car until a flat tire took him out of contention just past the 100-lap mark. Anton had just passed Kobyluck for fourth, and brushed the wall when his tire let go. Anton got out of harms way and onto pit road without bringing out the caution.

“We got a slice in the tire. It wasn't a setup deal, something cut it,” said Anton, who ended the day with a 15th place finish. “There might have been debris on the track or whatever. We had the fastest car by far, we had the car to beat.”

Ricky Carmichael and Derek Thorn finished fourth and fifth respectively – both achieving their series best finish.

The series heads to Adirondack Speedway this weekend where Kobyluck hopes to gain some more in the championship standings. With the momentum from Nashville, Kobyluck is confident this could be his year.

“I thought I had a chance going into the season. I think we are a legitimate contender for the championship,” said Kobyluck. “I’m leading laps and my guys are preparing cars that are competing for the win. I think we are more so now than we ever have been.”

NASCAR Camping World Series East-Strutmasters.com 150 by Dollar General
Unofficial Results
At Music City Motorplex
Nashville, Tenn.
Lap length: 0.596 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (6) Matt Kobyluck, Uncasville, Conn., Chevrolet, 150 laps, 73.614 mph, $8,000.
2. (1) Peyton Sellers, Danville, VA., Chevrolet, 150, $7,000.
3. (3) Austin Dillon, Lewisville, N.C., Chevrolet, 150, $4,215.
4. (20) Ricky Carmichael, Clearwater, Fla., Chevrolet, 150, $4,500.
5. (7) Derek Thorn, Lakeport, Calif., Ford, 150, $2,000.
6. (16) Steve Park, East Northport, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150, $2,300.
7. (9) Jesus Hernandez, Fresno, Calif., Chevrolet, 150, $2,100.
8. (5) Brian Ickler, San Diego, Calif., Chevrolet, 150, $2,000.
9. (10) Craig Goess, Greenville, N.C., Toyota, 150, $1,400.
10. (22) Max Dumarey, Gent, Belgium, Chevrolet, 150, $1,300.
11. (26) Dustin Delaney, Mayfield, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150, $1,200.
12. (4) Trevor Bayne, Knoxville, Tenn., Chevrolet, 150, $1,675.
13. (17) Jamie Hayes, Norlina, N.C., Chevrolet, 150, $1,650.
14. (27) Chase Mattioli, Long Pond, Pa., Ford, 150, $1,125.
15. (21) Jeff Anton, Russell, Mass., Chevrolet, 150, $1,550.
16. (15) Jody Lavender, Hartsville, S.C., Ford, 150, $1,450.
17. (13) Marc Davis, Mitchelville, MD., Toyota, 150, $1,430.
18. (25) A J Henriksen, Chicago, Ill., Chevrolet, 150, $920.
19. (2) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Mooresville, N.C., Chevrolet, 150, $1,400.
20. (11) Richard Johns, Cornelius, N.C., Dodge, 150, $900.
21. (8) Rogelio Lopez, Aquascalientes, Mexico, Chevrolet, 150, $1,400.
22. (14) Sterling Marlin, Columbia, Tenn., Dodge, 150, $900.
23. (19) Ryan Duff, Hazard, Ky., Chevrolet, 150, $900.
24. (12) Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, Mass., Chevrolet, 150, $1,400.
25. (23) Jonathan Smith, Beacon Falls, Conn., Dodge, 150, $900.
26. (24) Todd Peck, Glenville, PA., Chevrolet, 150, $900.
27. (18) Daniel Pope, II, Smyrna, Tenn., Dodge, 150, $900.
28. (28) Richard Gould, North Brunswick, NJ, Chevrolet, 150, $900.

Race Statistics
Time of Race: 1 hour 12 minutes 52 seconds
Margin of Victory: 1.127 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: Peyton Sellers (109.986 mph,  19.508.seconds)
Caution Flags: 8 for 33 laps.
Lead Changes: 12 among 4 drivers.
Lap Leaders: P.Sellers 1-78; T.Bayne 79-83; A.Dillon 84-87; T.Bayne 88-97; A.Dillon 98; T.Bayne 99-117; A.Dillon 118-124; T.Bayne 125-135; M.Kobyluck 136-140; T.Bayne 141; M.Kobyluck 142; T.Bayne 143-145; M.Kobyluck 146-150.
Standings: 1. A.Dillon, 1115; 2. M.Kobyluck, 1095; 3. T.Bayne, 1048; 4. J.Hernandez, 1003; 5. B.Ickler, 979; 6. M.Davis, 979; 7. R.Carmichael, 926; 8. S.Park, 921; 9. E.MacDonald, 899; 10. J.Earnhardt, 892.