BNS: Matt Kobyluck Showdown preview

Matt Kobyluck gears up for inaugural NASCAR showdown Uncasville, Connecticut's Matt Kobyluck is ready to take on the best of the NASCAR Grand National Division in the running of the first Toyota NASCAR Showdown, scheduled to take place this ...

Matt Kobyluck gears up for inaugural NASCAR showdown

Uncasville, Connecticut's Matt Kobyluck is ready to take on the best of the NASCAR Grand National Division in the running of the first Toyota NASCAR Showdown, scheduled to take place this weekend at the half-mile Irwindale Speedway, located outside Los Angeles, California. Kobyluck earned his invitation by placing in the top fifteen in the recently completed NASCAR Grand National Division season.

Kobyluck's original plan was to run two races in California with his Mohegan Sun Casino Chevrolets, with his also competing in the Winston West race at California Speedway last weekend. That race was cancelled as the area suffered from historic wildfires.

"It's disappointing to not get to run a race, but in light of the circumstances, cancelling was an easy decision for them to make," he said. "That just means that we'll be that much more prepared for next year, as we'll have the car that we planned to take to California all set and ready to go without any races on it."

The Showdown, which will be televised live on both Friday and Saturday nights on Speed TV, has a unique format that Kobyluck says is a thowback to grassroots racing. Friday night will feature a pair of 50-lap qualifying races that will set the field for Saturday's feature.

"It's qualifying races just like running heats at the short tracks," he said. "Cautions don't count, they're fifty laps of green flag racing with green-white-checker finishes if they need them. The races don't pay a dime, so I hope that everyone plays it smart and we don't tear up a bunch of equipment and have to go to a back-up car. We'll go out there trying to put on a good show for the fans, trying to get up to the top five so we can get a good starting position for the feature."

Saturday's race will total 125 laps, with a five-minute break scheduled for lap 100. At that point, the series that has the best performance will be awarded a team prize that adds $3,000 to each member of the winning series. Following the break, the final 25 laps will be for individual driver honors.

"The big money is paid in the final 25 laps, so we're going to have to play it conservatively in the first hundred laps, while also playing hard to get in position for those last 25 laps," Kobyluck said. "It's a compromise, but the main idea is to make sure we're there for that last run. We don't know if they're going to redraw the top cars during the break, or invert some of the field, so we don't even know where we want to be at the break.

"It's the last segment that pays the most," Kobyluck continued, "It's a 25-lap feature just like we did in Pro Stocks and Late Models, but we'll be in front of a live television audience, so you know it's going to be exciting. Everyone on the team's excited, and I think we're going to have a good race out there."

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Matt Kobyluck