LIME ROCK, CT - Uncasville, Connecticut's Matt Kobyluck was acknowledged by many drivers in Saturday's Burnham Boilers 200 as having the fastest car, his Mohegan Sun Chevrolet having led the most laps of any in the event and being in contention...
LIME ROCK, CT - Uncasville, Connecticut's Matt Kobyluck was acknowledged by many drivers in Saturday's Burnham Boilers 200 as having the fastest car, his Mohegan Sun Chevrolet having led the most laps of any in the event and being in contention for the win until the late going. But after being penalized for being involved in another car's accident, he had to fight his way from the back of the field in the closing laps and could only make it up to twelfth.
Kobyluck finished the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series season tenth in points.
The Mohegan Sun team's road racing car was shaken down on a test day back in the beginning of the month, and came back confident that he'd have a good weekend. Thinking he had a good shot at the pole, he was disappointed to turn in a fourth-place effort in qualifying, turning a fast lap of 54.268 seconds (101.496 MPH).
"We had a good enough car to get on the pole, but there were a couple of the areas on the track where I could have went in a little bit harder, I was probably a little too conservative," he said. "We've got 82 laps to get something done in the race. We've got a good car, I'm just a little upset with myself that we had a good enough car to be on the front row. It'll be a great race for the Mohegan Sun Chevrolet Monte Carlo. They're one of the sponsors of the event, so we'll put on a good show for them and get them all the exposure we can, and try to win this thing."
Running third in the race's early going, Kobyluck got the lead briefly during the exchange of pit stops needed to ensure cars had enough fuel to make it to the finish. After making his own pit stop on lap 16, Kobyluck started working his way through traffic to get back to the front.
Running second and heading for a lap 31 restart, Kobyluck ducked inside Eddie MacDonald to take the lead going into the Esses and went on to hold the lead for the next thirty laps. This run ended when he ran across dirt in the exit of Big Bend and went off the track.
"Someone had gone off course in turn one the previous lap and it was just dirt from top to bottom, about 30 feet wide. I slowed up as much as I could and I got into it. Normally if there's a little bit of dirt on the track you can get two tires into it and two tires out of it, but there was so much I got four tires into it and slid off the track because of it. I went off course but kept the car straight, but I went from first to seventh. I was frustrated, but I had a fast car and I just started picking guys off one at a time."
Coming back through the field, Kobyluck found traffic to be tough to work with, but still got to sixth place. He joined a battle with two other cars for fourth, passing Joey McCarthy going into the first turn and running down Kelly Moore for fourth. Moore proved to be difficult to pass.
"I pulled up to the 47 [Moore] and followed him through the Esses," he explained. "I tried going under him and he blocked me there. Going into the uphill corner I got alongside him to let him know that I was there and he chopped me down there. I lifted out of it and not dump him into the fence going into the uphill corner, which could have easily happened since I had position and I didn't need to brake and let him back in, but I did. We went up the uphill and I pulled alongside him going into the last corner before the bridge, and he did the same thing, he chopped me down, and I was in there, I wasn't going to back out of it again, I already lifted in two other corners. He spun himself. The official over there called it as me spinning the 47 when I'm underneath him and he comes down and spins himself out. They brought me in for a stop-and-go and that was pretty much the end of the day there."
Kobyluck summed up the season, which ends with being tenth in points, compiling a record of one pole, seven top-fives, and nine top-tens.
"There were a lot of on-track incidents that were no fault of ours, it was just being in the wrong place at the wrong time," he said. "We're fast, we've had good stuff all season long, been competitive, and it's definitely frustrating for everybody involved to work so hard to put a season together and do the best that we can and not get the finishes that are representative of how well you're actually prepared and how fast you actually are. It's tough to swallow sometimes. From that perspective, I'm glad the season's over, but from the other perspective that we're running competitively, and we can win races, I'd just as soon keep on going. So we're going to Fontana and run the Winston West race out there, and that should be fun and the guys can let loose a little bit. Then we'll go to Irwindale the next week and run the All Star race there and hopefully things will turn around there."