SEEKONK, Mass. – Doug Coby, in only his third Northeastern Midget Ass’n start, added the Boston Louie Memorial to his resume Sunday at Seekonk Speedway.
The 2012 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion got by Bertrand Racing teammate Randy Cabral with four laps remaining in the 29-lap event to score his first NEMA triumph.
Starting sixth, Coby chased Cabral, who took the lead on lap four, for 14 circuits before assuming command with an outside pass heading into turn one. The move came three laps after the third and final restart – each featuring an epic battle.
Cabral (Bertrand 47) was second followed by John Zych Jr. (Zych 9), Ian Cumens (Seymour 9) and Todd Bertrand (Bertrand 39). Zych was a definite challenger on the final two restarts.
“The car was really hooked through three and four,” said Coby. “I thought if I could stay on Randy’s right rear I had a chance and I really let it sail into one.”
He quickly opened an advantage and won the 16th edition of NEMA’s premier event by five car lengths.
Driving different cars, Cabral and Coby had different problems.
“The restarts killed me,” said Cabral. “My car was good only on short runs.”
He went into “survival” mode after the car started to go away eight laps in.
“Actually, we also had trouble with the restarts,” said Coby. “It was skipping and it needed three or four laps to clear out.”
That was evident on the second restart with 10 laps remaining. Zych, startling behind Cabal, actually took second briefly. Running on the outside, Coby regained second a lap ahead of the final yellow.
The winning move surprised neither Cabral (“I knew he was coming”) or car owner Tim Bertrand.
“It had to come on the outside because Randy was really protecting the bottom.” Coby, Bertrand added, “Did an awesome job. He was smooth and patient and gave great feedback all day.”
Pole sitter Jim Miller led the first three laps before Cabral took over. Zych and Cumens were the heat winners.