This year, the wheel of the #20 Czarnecki Brothers Modified has passed forward from the legendary Bob Polvarari and Ted Christopher onto young gun Doug Coby. As a result, Coby has some big shoes to fill and he has lived up to the expectations of the team by winning the Waterford 100 True Value Modified Racing Series event Saturday night at Waterford Speedbowl (CT).
After crossing the finish line, Coby accepted the checkered flag to do his victory lap around the track. Pressing on the gas, he spun into the infield which was covered with water and mud. His car was immediately stuck and had to be pushed out. It was a move that fans will definitely remember.
“Everyone has to have their signature move and I guess mine is dumping the car into the water.” Doug Coby said as he emerged from his car in victory lane. “These guys put together a great race car, it was flawless all night. I thought that I would give them more work to do in the shop before the next race.”
With about four laps to go, it looked like Mike Stefanik had enough to make a move to challenge for the lead and then the yellow flag was thrown for a late race caution.
“I got up on the outside of him (Doug Coby) and I was feeling really good about things and then the yellow came out.” But the window of opportunity for a win closed on Stefanik.
“I was a little tight, so I tried to get some heat in my right rear tire so I would be free on the start but I think I got it too hot. I could not even go after him. Doug and his team did a great job. Congratulations to them.”
During the last half of the race, the level of competition was high at the front of the field as drivers all vied to catch Chris Pasteryak for the lead.
“We finished third to Doug Coby and Mike Stefanik. I am not going to complain,” said Pasteryak.
Coby and Stefanik are two experienced racers on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
Chris Pasteryak started the Waterford 100 TVMRS race on the pole and continued to dominate the race lead for eighty-two laps in front of his home town fans.
“I was way too good early,” said Pasteryak from his podium place in victory lane. “This is a brand new car from front to back and this is the first time that we ran it. We missed on the setup a little bit late. There is a lot more there. We will get it better. ”
“He led all night.” Coby said about fellow competitor Chris Pasteryak. “He does a great job. He is one of the smoothest kids to run this race track. I watched him win the True Value race here last year. I was 'Man how am I going to pass this car?' I knew it was going to be on the restart. Hats off to Chris and Mike they do a great job. I do not care what series it is when Mike Stefanik is behind you that is a great win. These guys with the True Value Series make it is a lot of fun, a clean show and fans should come back and support us in August.”
TVMRS competitors will have a week to regroup and prepare for their next race Memorial Day weekend at Thunder Road International Speedway, the one and only race in Vermont.
Waterford Speedbowl Notes
Doug made the move of the race when he passed Chris Pasteryak on lap eighty-two for the lead. Everyone wanted to know Coby's thoughts on the strategic move that positioned him for the race win.
“Chris I had a great car and I could catch him on the long runs and I knew that restarts are kind of my thing. I really like the outsides here but it was just no happening tonight. So I tried for a lap and he was definitely going to get me. I figured that his spotter was saying to take me up a little bit so I knew there would be an opening. My spotter did an awesome job. He told me that the sixty-six (car ) was two car lengths back and I had some room to play so I stomp on the brake and hung a left and shoved it in there and I might have rattled him (Chris Pasteryak) and got next to him a little bit”
Where did Coby learn the fancy move made at Waterford to pass for the lead?
“I watched a lot of Modified Tour videos from here and I have been in a lot of tour type races. I did that move once on Todd Owen at Stafford actually in a Pro Stock. I had him actually good in the first turn and then we came down the front stretch and I think I had a nose out in front of him. Three and four (turns) suck here on the outside. So I lost ground and when we went into one he was taking me up a little bit and I was lit alright, I got room behind you so I am going to hang a left. He (Chris) did what he is suppose to he probably used an extra foot. I think I was only about his right rear tire and that is the line that you take when you want to take it away from someone. I just hung a left and the car stuck real good and I think I surprised him a little bit. I do not think that he thought that I would be able do that from where I was to where I got under him. I think he was just slowed down enough that I got in there and stuffed him. You have to make a winning pass every once and a while.
“I think that Chris's car was perfect. He had a way better car. When I was behind him he blew me a half a tenth every couple laps. I knew I could be aggressive on the restart with Chris. On the restarts, I put a little rear brake to it, stomp on the brake and get the car to tow in a little bit using the apron a little. Then I took a shot that is what you have to do. I got to lay the old right front tire and nerf bar on a lot of people. On the single file runs I had nothing. I had to shove it (the car) at least once on the outside and try it to make a move. I tried it hoping it would work.”
“Then Stefanik got up to me and I was just protecting the bottom. I knew that Mike would try the outside and I figured if I protected the bottom, I think that he could have gotten to my bumper and look low a few times, but I knew he was trying to let the nose drift to make a big run on the bottom. I was listening to my spotter he was telling me that he is trying to get the nose to drift in to get a big run on the bottom on you. Over there it works good off of two. I did not know if Mike had anything for me but I figured I would just protect the bottom and he would just try the outside and I could walk him up a little.“
Defending TVMRS champion, Chris Pasteryak had a great run at his home track back racing with the series for the first time this year.
“We had a new car so the next time we bring it out we will be better yet. This is the one that we are going to run on the True Value Series only. That was a good passing move. He was going good he had a good run off of two. I would have done the same thing if I was in his shoes. It was a good race. Car is in one piece. We will try again at Thunder Road. I think we have something for here when we come back in August. You can't win them all.”
Young Steve Masse has been able to hold his own this year while competing close on the track with seasoned drivers. “
It is a little bit of experience and my pit crew really gave me a good car to work with. I am learning a little bit here and there. It is really following through at the races. It is just taking things one thing at a time. I just pick them off. It is going good so far.”
But Masse like every other driver has the goal to be first across the finish line.
“There is nothing like winning. Our goal is to get a win soon. Anything less is a failure for me. It feels really good running with the top cars.”
Les Hinckley was a major part of the Waterford TVMRS show as he raced from the back to the front.
“It is nice to hear that you are the show, but I should not have been. I was only a show because I screwed up on the first four laps. I know what happened then but I do not know why. The car got out from underneath me getting into turn one and I chased it up the hill and I got into Mike. I feel bad about that. Then when I got into chasing it up the hill somebody got into the back of me and it screwed the front end up. I drove it down and into the infield and I lost power steering for a while because some of the pulleys were soaking wet. '
“Racing up in the front was a little aggressive, but it is nothing more than what is expected when you have the guys of the caliber that they are up in the front racing,” said Hinckley about Doug Coby, Mike Stefanik and Chris Pasteryak. “You expect good hard racing from them and it made the racing pretty good tonight. It was exciting and we put on a decent show for fans tonight. I would much rather had not make a mistake early on and drove around in the front to have had something left at the end.”