STAFFORD – Doug Coby kept an extra souvenir to help him remember his second career Tech-Net Spring Sizzler 200 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory Sunday at Stafford Motor Speedway.
Coby will keep a piece of paper with the winning trophy, a piece of paper that nearly ruined an almost perfect day for him. A wrapper from a Subway sandwich will sit with the trophy to help Coby remember just how close he came to not scoring a second Spring Sizzler victory.
Coby said the sandwich wrapper got lodged in his grill sometime after he pitted on lap 97 of the 200-lap race. Coby took the lead from Ryan Preece on lap 112 but also was noticing the water temperature gauge on his car was spiking.
He said the water temperature went from 210 degrees to 240 in an instant.
“It almost ruined our day,” Coby said. “It was that close to ruining our day. It must have been around lap 110 or 120, my car owner [Wayne Darling] sits in the stands and he came on the radio and said ‘There’s a big piece of debris on the grill, check your water temp’ and it was fine for a while and then I saw it go from 200 to 220, and that’s ok. Then I saw it go to 230 and I said, ‘That wrapper is going to ruin our freaking race.’ It got to 240 and that’s about when I started to panic and I turned it over to [crew chief John McKenna] and told him ‘You tell me when to pull in.’ I’ve run motors at 250-255 and I’ve blown them up after that.”
Coby tried in vain to shake the paper loose at times under caution, with no success.
“I pulled up to the pace car,” Coby said. “I’ve seen [Sprint Cup] guys when they have stuff on their grill, if you change the airflow sometimes it will drop. But I think it was wedged so far … it was just stuck in there.”
In the end the motor survived and Coby got to celebrate in victory lane, matching the Spring Sizzler win he had in 2006. He made sure during the celebration to grab the piece of paper out of the grill.
Long after the celebration died down, Coby was left crafting a plan to try to parlay the near disaster into a positive, hoping he could swing some sort of endorsement deal with the sandwich chain thanks to the mishap.
“I’m from Milford, Subway world headquarters is in Milford,” Coby said. “… Can you guys talk it up? Can it be the headline please, like ‘Subway wrappers’?”
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