Matt Kobyluck, of Uncasville, Connecticut, rebounded from recent disappointing runs to post a fifth place finish in Saturday night's Dealmaker 150, a NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race held at the half-mile Adirondack ...
Matt Kobyluck, of Uncasville, Connecticut, rebounded from recent disappointing runs to post a fifth place finish in Saturday night's Dealmaker 150, a NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race held at the half-mile Adirondack International Speedway. Kobyluck, driving the Mohegan Sun Chevrolet, now has five top-five finishes in the 2003 season and continues to run eleventh in series points.
Kobyluck, who finished second in this race last year, was critical of the choice of tire that Busch North officials made for the circular track. Instead of the series' short-track tire, officials decreed that the series would run on its harder speedway tire.
"I don't think they made the right choice in tire," he said. "It's too hard a tire for this size track. There won't be any pitting, no tire strategies, and not a lot of side-by-side racing. But that's the decision that was made, so we'll race on what they say we're going to race."
He was eleventh fastest in the first practice session, but improved to ninth best in the second. Qualifying found him fifth after turning a fast lap of 17.495 seconds (102.887 MPH) in time trials.
Kobyluck spent most of the race's opening laps in fifth position. He took fourth from Eddie MacDonald on lap 33, but then was passed back to fifth by Mike Olsen, who hounded Kobyluck for many laps before finally getting by. Following a lap 70 restart, MacDonald sent Kobyluck back to sixth place, where he had to fend off the challenges of Kelly Moore as well as deal with heavy lapped traffic.
Running in seventh with fifteen laps to run, Kobyluck regained sixth position when he repassed Olsen on lap 143. A final caution set up a green-white-checker finish, and Kobyluck crossed under the checkers in sixth place. But one of the cars that finished ahead of him was penalized for being involved in a late spin, and that brought Kobyluck up to the fifth finishing position in the final results.
"We just hung in there," he said afterwards. "We weren't a fast car, but we were an okay car. I just stayed with it and didn't burn up the right side tires, which was key tonight. We had to save the right side tires because, since these weren't the right tires to be running here, we just played it smart and didn't use it up too early. I was able to have a little bit for the end to be able to maintain position. We wound up passing some cars and, through attrition, gained some more and ended up with a top-five. Considering the last four weeks that I've had, I'm happy with a top five."
Kobyluck returns to action next Saturday night at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, located outside of Portland, Maine, for the running of the Irving Oil 150.
"We'll bring the same car that we ran tonight, and we'll have the short track tire there," he said. "I don't think it's the right tire for there, either. They should have a softer compound short-track tire for places like that, and they know it, it's just that nobody's going to do anything about it this late in the season. We'll run what we have, and we look forward to it. It's a very similar track to this, a big circle, a big momentum track. We'll go there, try and get some grip, and hopefully pull off another top five."