Mohegan Sun Racing's Matt Kobyluck made the third and final NASCAR Busch North Series visit to Stafford Motor Speedway on Sunday for the running of the Carquest Fall Final. In a race that was slowed by only two cautions, minimizing the number of...
Mohegan Sun Racing's Matt Kobyluck made the third and final NASCAR Busch North Series visit to Stafford Motor Speedway on Sunday for the running of the Carquest Fall Final. In a race that was slowed by only two cautions, minimizing the number of opportunities to make adjustments to the car, Kobyluck finished ninth. Kobyluck moved up one position in the series points standings to eleventh.
Practice on Saturday found Kobyluck and the team struggling to find the setup under their #40 Chevrolet. After 90 minutes of practice the team made more changes to the car in anticipation of time trials, where Kobyluck ran a lap of 20.189 seconds (89.157 MPH), good enough for the sixteenth starting position.
"The last two times we came here we qualified third," he said after qualifying. "We came this time to try something different, try to work with these 134s [tire compound] a little more. It didn't work out for us so it hurt us as far as practice time. I'm going to start in the back of the field and make it work forward."
In the race, Kobyluck worked his way into the top fifteen quickly, and was up to twelfth by the halfway point of the 150-lap event. Under the second caution on lap 91, Kobyluck took the opportunity to pit for a chassis adjustment, as well as replacing right-side tires. Restarting eleventh, but with many lapped cars between himself and the front of the field, Kobyluck had his hands full not only working lapped traffic but also keeping track ace Ted Christopher behind him. Kobyluck held off Christopher for the balance of the event, and even though he would have liked to have had another shot at improving the car in the pits, there would be no more cautions and Kobyluck finished the event in ninth.
"It was kind of a gamble when we started the race because we didn't know what we were going to have," Kobyluck said after the race. "We made spring changes, shock changes, sway bar changes, all sorts of changes before the race started because we were not that great in qualifying. We were kinda skeptical of what we had but we went out there, and the car was good right off the bat and we ran a lot of green flag laps today. The car picked up a push and it stayed that way. On the second caution we came in and made an adjustment, went back out and it was better. Then we had another long green flag run at the end that the car picked up a push again. We salvaged a top ten out of it and I'm happy with that considering the circumstances of the weekend. Everybody seemed to be pretty tight and we were pretty equal with everybody, we just weren't that little bit quick enough to pass some cars when we needed to."
Kobyluck detailed the need to pit in a race where few other lead lap cars did so.
"We needed to make an adjustment or we would have backpedaled pretty badly," he said. "We didn't need it for tires, we needed it to make a chassis adjustment and it made a difference, we just needed to pit again and make more of an adjustment to be able to get that little bit more that we needed. We didn't want to over do it the first time and go from push to loose so we made a small adjustment, we could have made another one but we didn't have an opportunity to with the race going green for so long."
Kobyluck will finish the Busch North Series at Lime Rock Park in two weeks.