NHIS MODIFIED LEFTOVERS by Mike Twist, Bob Dillner and Matt Dillner
Coby Gets to Front Pack, Front Pack Wrecks and Pasteryak Gambles

Doug Coby had an up and down weekend at New Hampshire.  He lost an engine in his regular #28 car and had to borrow a back-up car from the team of Zach Sylvester.  They got into the field in the 37th position and when the race began, they headed towards the front.  Coby made in to the top three, but with 35 laps to go his day ended early when the renumbered #28 slowed in turn one.
“I don’t know how, but this car came from 37th to second and we were going for the lead,” said Coby.  “Going down the backstretch, I felt the power steering belt come off so I had no power steering.  Then I came down the front stretch and another belt came off.  One of the pulleys came off and took a few of the belts with it.  It was over then.”

Despite his 33rd-place finish, Coby found some satisfaction in a strong performance.
Doug Coby (#28) races against the #15 team of Zach Sylvester with their back-up car. (51 Photo)
“I’m very disappointed,” said Coby.  “But hopefully a lot of people took notice of how we came from the back to the front.  A good weekend would have been in finish in the top three with this car.  We ran with the big boys with a car that wasn’t supposed to run at Loudon.  This is a short track car with no motor panels on the side and no aerodynamic package whatsoever.”


Racing real estate got really scarce on the backstretch with two scheduled laps to go at New Hampshire.  John Blewett and Todd Szegedy were both gunning for the lead when they found each other instead.  Their two cars went spinning into each other, which ended their days within a few laps of the finish line. 

Jerry Marquis had a third place run in the #52 Busch North car and then hopped into his #3 Modified.  At this point, his day took a turn for the worse.

“I’m kind of disappointed because we didn’t have that good of a run with the Modified,” said Marquis.  “It was one of those deals today.  I seemed like there was always something going on.  My front end was catching hell.  We ended up with a bent front end, we ended up with a flat tire and we had the car catch on fire.  What else can you ask for?  We just had no luck here today.”

Marquis ended up with a 22nd place finish.
There were no hard feelings after the incident however.

“We were just racing hard,” said Szegedy. “I had a great run on the outside and John was down low. He had to stay in it, but he was pushing and we just ran out of track. I was up against the wall to try not to hit him and all it took was a little touch. It happens.”

Blewett was busy trying to race with Mike Stefanik with the hopes up drafting to the front and did not know that Szegedy was as close as he was.
Jan Leaty climbed back in a NASCAR Modified at NHIS.  (51 Photo)
“I’m having a lot of fun with my older son, Mike, and my younger son, Steve and my wife, Julie, with our own racing team at Spencer Speedway,” said Leaty.  “Mike’s doing a helluva job. He has ten starts this year with eight top-five finishes and two wins already. And he’s right in the point hunt. I think he’s going to be a good little driver. So, I’m weaning my way out of this deal, but I want a graceful way out, not like we had here at Loudon. I’ll probably let my boy do this Featherlite Modified thing here pretty soon.”

The wrecked cars of John Blewett (#77) and Todd Szegedy sit in the infield.  (51 Photo)
“I got up to third and I knew Stefanik was going to get me back because the longer I went the tighter I got,” said Blewett.  “When Mike got by me getting into one it slowed me up enough to allow Todd to get up to me. I guess he had a good run on the outside.  Nobody said he was there and I didn’t see him there. I just pinched him enough to make slight contact, but that’s all it took. It was enough to turn me right into the fence. It was nobody’s fault, just one of those deals. I knew we weren’t going to win, but it would have been nice to get a top-three or four. This is just how our season has been. We’ll just soldier on."


Tony Hirschman was within sight of the lead for most of the day, but wasn’t quite good enough to get into the lead.  He ended up finishing fourth but closed to within 44 points of leader Eddie Flemke.

“We gained a few points,” said Hirschman  “We were off just a little bit.  I was glad that we could run with the lead pack for most of the day.  The car needed to be a little more comfortable to dice it up a bit in the draft.  But we’ll take fourth and move on.”

It was a challenge for the team to fine tune their car after they lost valuable track time on Thursday.

“We lost our whole happy hour on Thursday when a piece of lead came off somebody else’s car and went through our radiator,”  said Hirschman.  “That hurt.  A few little adjustments would have made us better.”

Jan Leaty made his first NASCAR Modified Series start of the season, but despite a strong third place qualifying run, his race would not be one to remember.  After 27 laps, Leaty dropped out because of mechanical problems.

“Unfortunately we had trouble with the clutch,” said Leaty.  “I have no idea why. It showed no signs of it in practice or qualifying so we are really disappointed. Racing is highs and lows and today we were real low, but we’ll be back.”

Leaty has been away from the driver’s seat, but not the sport, this year.  He is enjoying the task of helping his son go racing.  In fact, Leaty might find himself giving up his own racing seat before long.

Rick Fuller ended up with an eighth place finish at New Hampshire and does not feel that his car had much left in it after that run to the top ten.

“We kept getting loose,” said Fuller.  “We got what we could get and that’s all that we can ask for.  We’re going to leave here with the whole racecar and it wasn’t a bad points day either.”

An interesting part of racing at New Hampshire is the mystery of the draft.  Toward the end of the race, it looked like Fuller and Donny Lia might be able to race together and gain some ground, but their two cars would not draft well with each other.

“I couldn’t run with him,” said Fuller.  I could run as fast as him, but our cars don’t run well together.  I was slower with him.  I was 2/10’s faster running without him.”
Charlie Pasteryak had a strong run at New Hampshire.  He started eighth and finished tenth.

“We did pretty good and had a good time,” said Pasteryak.  “We ran in the front a little bit in the beginning and came back up through before it got really loose.  The car felt like it was at Lebanon Valley ( a dirt track).

Pasteryak pitted for tires during the race and 51 asked him if he thought that helped or hurt his finish.  The veteran admitted that either decision was a gamble.

“That’s why we go to Mohegan Sun (Casino) because it’s a crapshoot,” said Pasteryak.
The #5 team gambled on their pit stop at New Hampshire.  (51 Photo)

Point leader Eddie Flemke showed that he is ready to make a play for the championship at New Hampshire.  He wasn’t particularly quick, but stayed out of trouble and was rewarded with a seventh place finish.
“It wasn’t too bad of a day - it actually turned out to be a good day,” said Flemke.  “The car was too tight in the beginning and wicked loose in the middle.  A lot of it is me.  We’ve got a lot of mixed blood up in front, and they deserve to be there because that is where they qualified, but here is a lot of beating, banging, pushing, shoving and inexperience.  That makes me nervous and I’m not really comfortable here a lot of the time anyways.  We’ve got to finish, so we went backwards for awhile and when the car settled down, we went back forwards.”
Eddie Flemke (#79) runs on the low side of Mike Stefanik. (#16).  (Howard Hodge Photo)
CLICK HERE For NHIS Modified Series Leftovers Part 2