Tough Day For Matt Kobyluck Ends With Busch North Race Crash (Loudon, N.H. - July 24, 2004) - Matt Kobyluck had a day he'd rather forget on Saturday. After getting spun out of the NASCAR Busch Series race earlier in the afternoon, he saddled up...
Tough Day For Matt Kobyluck Ends With Busch North Race Crash
(Loudon, N.H. - July 24, 2004) - Matt Kobyluck had a day he'd rather forget on Saturday. After getting spun out of the NASCAR Busch Series race earlier in the afternoon, he saddled up into his NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series car to run in that race, and saw that race end with another accident.
"We had a lot of momentum coming into this race, great equipment, and great teamwork," he summarized, "and the end result was two destroyed race cars."
The Busch North effort was just as important to the Mohegan Sun Chevrolet team as the Busch Series race, as Kobyluck entered the New Hampshire International Speedway race tied for third in Busch North points. He had just come off a strong third place finish the week before at his home track Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl, as well. At the Magic Mile, Kobyluck posted the second fastest speed in the first practice, and backed that up by qualifying seventh best for Saturday's race.
"Everybody on this whole team is just exhausted trying to get the four cars ready to come here this weekend and it's taking its toll on everybody, myself included," he admitted. "We've been in the shop until two or three in the morning since Wednesday of last week. After we raced last week we went home and we were right back in the shop at seven Sunday morning and we didn't get out of there until two the next morning. We've been putting in the late nights all week and didn't leave for the track until one in the morning today. Considering how exhausted everybody is, I'm okay with where we ended up.
"We chased the car a little bit for the early part of the day, the car was really free so we tightened it up," Kobyluck continued. "The car felt more comfortable, but as the day went on the track got tighter and we didn't keep pace with the track. We were one step behind all day. We freed the car up a bunch for qualifying and picked up four tenths from where we were in practice, so that was an accomplishment."
Kobyluck ran the early laps of the race in eighth, until he was taken up the hill by Brad Leighton who was passing low in the first turn. He almost lost two spots, but held off Mike Gallo to hold ninth. Caution on lap 28 brought most of the field onto pit road, and Kobyluck ran into his first bit of trouble there.
"The caution came out and we came down pit road just to take on fuel and make a chassis adjustment, but while approaching my pit I ran over something and that cut down the left rear tire," he explained. "So we had to scramble to put on a tire, and somehow we got a bad tire to put on it. It was a long stop since the guys weren't ready to change a tire, and that put us in the back of the pack."
Restarting deep in the field, Kobyluck started to pick his way through the field, though he was held back by that bad tire on the left rear. The second caution of the event saw Kobyluck pit again to replace both left-side tires, and he had a car he could drive after that, though he was once again deep in the field. Sixteenth at lap sixth, thirteenth at lap seventy, and tenth at lap eighty, Kobyluck was definitely on the move.
He was ninth heading into the race's final twelve laps, and trying to hold off Leighton for that position.
"Brad Leighton had made a move on me to get inside of me going down the backstretch," he said. "We got into turn three and there was a lapped car on the bottom of the track. I held my line on the outside and Brad should have dropped back in behind me since the lapped car was in his groove. Instead, Brad tried to make a hole in the middle. He wound up hitting me in the left front and put me up in the fence. I expected a lot more respect from Brad than that, and I didn't get it. We're racing for the championship and he's not. He's just running a limited schedule and he should have given us more respect than that. Unfortunately, we ended the weekend on a sour note."
Following his second DNF of the season, Kobyluck dropped to seventh in the points standings. He'll have an opportunity to bounce back in a week when the Busch North Series makes its annual trip to Adirondack International Speedway in Beaver Falls, N.Y.