HAMPTON, Va. — It only took Doug Coby and Tommy Baldwin Racing one week to get their efficient 2022 season back on track.
An accident between Coby and teammate Jimmy Blewett at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park a couple weeks ago proved to be water under the bridge by the time the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour descended onto Langley Speedway, as Coby ended up leading every lap from the pole in Saturday’s CheckeredFlag.com 150 for his third win of the year.
Coby could not help but see the irony of him winning in Baldwin’s car after last week’s race, but he was just happy to put the incident behind him and showcase the speed of Baldwin’s equipment in the state of Virginia.
“Racing is an interesting sport,” Coby said. “A week ago, things didn’t go so well between me and this car, and [on Saturday] I drove it to Victory Lane at Langley. This is all about Tommy, his team and all the work they put in to making this car fast at any type of track. I love coming down here and putting on a great show for these fans.”
Once it was announced that the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour would return to Langley for the 2022 season, Coby immediately circled the date on his calendar.
The inaugural NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at Langley back in 2017 saw Coby lead a race-high 134 laps. Late misfortune ended up costing Coby, and he was forced to watch Timmy Solomito celebrate a win he had firmly under control for most of the evening.
Determined to avenge his tough loss from 2017, Coby and Baldwin worked diligently to put together an efficient car for Saturday. While Coby admitted Langley had changed significantly since his last visit, he quickly adapted to successfully put plenty of distance between himself and the rest of the 19-car field.
Ron Silk was the only driver who came close to matching Coby’s torrid pace Saturday. His second-place finish in the CheckeredFlag.com 150 did get him slightly closer to Jon McKennedy in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour standings after trailing by five points entering the weekend.
Silk tried everything to chase down Coby in the closing laps but said his car simply was not strong enough to mount a significant challenge.
“[Coby] was just a little bit better than we were,” Silk said. “I could stay with him a few laps after that last restart, but we were both running pretty hard at that point. He could just inch away, but I slipped up one time getting into Turn 1 and lost all that ground in one shot. That was about it for me.”
As Silk heads back north with a smaller points deficit, Coby was elated to continue a stellar season for Baldwin that has seen him, Blewett and Mike Christopher Jr. all take home checkered flags.
Even after being as dominant as he was Saturday, Coby remembered how 2017 played out and knew that a victory was not set in stone. He patiently navigated through the lapped traffic and kept Silk behind him, all while hoping a late caution would not fly.
Coby’s triumph at Langley gives him 34 career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victories. He considers himself fortunate to still be efficient at the age of 43 but credits Baldwin and everyone involved on the team for constantly providing him great cars every week he is with them.
“It means a lot to [win] here,” Coby said. “Anytime you come to a newer track for all the teams, it’s always nice to get a win. This is all about Tommy, his team and the effort they put in this past week to get the car here. What a rocket ship it has been all season. It’s been a long time since I’ve been the fastest in practice, won the pole and led all the laps.”
Rookie Austin Beers tallied a career-best third place finish at Langley with McKennedy and Justin Bonsignore completing the top five. Rounding out the top 10 were Tommy Catalano, Kyle Ebersole, Jake Johnson, Craig Lutz and Ken Heagy.
A replay of the CheckeredFlag.com 150 can be seen on USA Network on Friday, Sept. 2, at noon ET.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will be back in action next Saturday with a trip to Oswego Speedway. The race will be streamed live on FloRacing.