Matt Kobyluck's Sixth At Holland Is Third Straight Top-Ten Finish (Holland, N.Y. - June 26, 2004) - Matt Kobyluck continues to shake off early season mechanical problems that got him behind in NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series...
Matt Kobyluck's Sixth At Holland Is Third Straight Top-Ten Finish
(Holland, N.Y. - June 26, 2004) - Matt Kobyluck continues to shake off early season mechanical problems that got him behind in NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series points. Saturday night's race at Holland International Speedway in western New York saw his streak of top-ten finishes reach three when he posted a sixth place finish in the Sunoco 150 held at the .375-mile oval.
The tight, high-banked track proved to be a challenge for the Kobyluck team, despite the Mohegan Sun Chevrolet's posting the third-fastest practice time in the first session. After making a number of changes to the car for qualifying, it only turned in the fourteenth-best time trial run, leaving Kobyluck in a bit of a hole.
"I'm not too worried," he said. "During these practice sessions you try to learn as much as you can, and then for qualifying you make an educated guess as to what you think you'll need for time trials. We didn't hit it right on, but we had a good car at the end of practice and we were on really old tires. The car was handling really well despite that so I think we'll be in good shape for the race. We're just going to have to make up a little bit of ground."
Kobyluck was no slouch when it came to making up positions at the start of the race, coming to ninth place by lap twenty. He became involved in a battle for that position with Tim Andrews, but made that spot up by passing Mike Stefanik to remain in ninth. He was eighth at the halfway mark of the race, and inherited seventh when early leader Mike Johnson spun out of contention. He passed polesitter Dave Dion for sixth with fifteen laps to go, and then had to endure a green-white-checker finish. He successfully defended his position in the final two circuits to bring the Mohegan Sun Chevrolet home sixth.
"We started fourteenth and got up to sixth, but we really missed the setup for the race," he said afterwards. "We made some changes before the race that were not tested changes, they were changes that we thought we needed to do to make the car a little bit better. Those changes didn't seem to work out for us, the car just wasn't quite as good as it felt during practice. I got from fourteenth up to sixth, and I'm happy that we got to sixth, but I'm not satisfied because we had a better car during practice and if we had the same car in the race that we had in practice, we would have had a top-five finish in the race, maybe even a top-three finish. We survived Holland, we learned from what we did because we thought we knew what the car wanted. We went with what the car was telling us, but the kind of setups they run these days can kind of trick you. The car tells you one thing, and from past experience you know what to do, but you have to do the opposite of that to combat what the car is telling you. Relative to that, we learned a lot at Holland that we can apply to other places that we go to and not have to guess."
After a weekend off, Kobyluck and the Busch North Series return to action at another track out west, Lake Erie Speedway in Pennsylvania. Kobyluck qualified and finished fourth there last year when the series made its debut at the three-year old track.
"I'm looking forward to going out there," he said. "It's a fun little racetrack with a lot of grip. I watched the Hooters Cup race from there on SpeedTV and they looked like they were running the same exact groove that we were last year, so that tells me that the groove hasn't changed any. We can go out there and be pretty decent right off the truck like we were last year when we ran in the top five. We'll come back with the same car we ran at Holland and hopefully have an even better outcome."