Matt Kobyluck Leaves Phoenix With Third Place Finish Phoenix, Ariz - Matt Kobyluck got a successful head start on his 2004 racing season Sunday when he ran in the United Rentals 150, a NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series race held at the...
Matt Kobyluck Leaves Phoenix With Third Place Finish
Phoenix, Ariz - Matt Kobyluck got a successful head start on his 2004 racing season Sunday when he ran in the United Rentals 150, a NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series race held at the one-mile Phoenix International Raceway. Avenging his early exit from this race one year ago, Kobyluck came from 24th on the starting grid to contend for the win, eventually finishing third.
"It's a night and day difference from this time last year," he said. "We had a good, solid car and we came home third, we can't complain about that."
The Uncasville, Connecticut driver of the Mohegan Sun Chevrolet again had a fast car in practice, but inclement weather held up practice enough that qualifying was cancelled. Kobyluck was assigned the 24th starting position based on 2004 points. Final practice was run, and Kobyluck ended the day fourth on the speed charts.
At the start of the race, Kobyluck started working his way up to the front. While coming through the field can be perilous, this time he accomplished it without incident.
"It was pretty uneventful, I was able to get up through traffic pretty good," he explained. "I got into the top ten and I started picking cars off one at a time after that. The key was getting up there quick. If you linger around slower traffic any longer than you have to, that's when you get into trouble."
Sitting in third when caution waved just after the race's halfway point, Kobyluck joined the rest of the leaders on pit road. While there, the Mohegan Sun Racing crew made a change to the car's suspension. Back on the track, Kobyluck ran second but was involved in a three-way battle for second with Austin Cameron and Clint Bowyer. Kobyluck fell to fourth, but Cameron and Bowyer got into each other, and Bowyer spun.
Back in third, Kobyluck spent the balance of the race chasing down Cameron for second. As the laps wound down, he got close, but couldn't quite pull off the pass. He finished third, and earned himself a $14,000 payday.
"I was right on Cameron's bumper at the checkered flag," he said. "He was making it pretty tough for me to get inside him, and the high side of the track was too slick.
"We made an adjustment on the track bar, which we shouldn't have because the car was loose on entry after that, it wasn't as good after that as it was before," Kobyluck continued. "But it's the first time we ran the car, so weren't sure how it would react to some changes. Now we know, so we'll be that much better off when we bring it out to race the next time."
The Mohegan Sun team turns its attention to preparing for the start of the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series season in April.