Matt Kobyluck's Second Straight Third Place Finish Comes At Stafford Motor Speedway (Stafford Springs, Conn. - June 18, 2004) - Matt Kobyluck picked up four more spots in the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series points standings ...
Matt Kobyluck's Second Straight Third Place Finish Comes At Stafford Motor Speedway
(Stafford Springs, Conn. - June 18, 2004) - Matt Kobyluck picked up four more spots in the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series points standings after recording his second straight third place finish. Friday night's race at Stafford Motor Speedway marked Kobyluck's second top-five finish of the year, his fourth top-ten in five races, and moved him up to sixth in points.
"I'm happy to finish third, we'll keep moving up in the points and plugging away," he said after the race.
Kobyluck got his day at Stafford off to a good start as he posted the fastest time in the ninety-minute practice session before qualifying. In time trials, though, Kobyluck was only fourth best, posting a fast lap of 19.936 seconds (90.289 MPH) around the half-mile oval.
"We made a few changes for the car for qualifying, which we normally do after practice," he explained. "These changes usually pick us up a little time, but this time they didn't, they actually slowed us down a little bit. The car felt a lot better, but it went slower. We're going to free it up for the race and we'll have a good car for the race. We'll try to have it so it gets up off the corners a little better and not brush off as much speed. We're going back to where we were in practice, and a little bit farther than that, so we'll be all right."
Kobyluck ran fourth in the race's opening laps, but picked up third place sixteen laps in. He chased the two leaders all the way past the halfway mark of the 150-lap event, to lap 87 when the second caution of the event came out. The second place car of Andy Santerre pitted, leaving Kobyluck in second place for the lap 93 restart.
When the race went back to green, Kobyluck gave chase to Kelly Moore's leading car, but soon had his hands full as Santerre was coming back to the front after his pit stop. Kobyluck surrendered second place on lap 105, but kept the two leaders in sight. As Santerre worked on Moore, Kobyluck looked to take advantage and got second place back on lap 117.
"It seemed like Andy was trying to work over Kelly on the bottom," Kobyluck said. "And I think he got himself a little too low on the apron and he slipped up a little bit. I was already committed to going around the high side of him so he had to stay there and I got by him."
Kobyluck could not keep that position as Santerre was able to get underneath him and retake second place with less than thirty laps to go. For the duration of the event, the top three ran nose-to-tail, each looking for an advantage, but they finished in that order with Moore ahead of Santerre, and Kobyluck third for the second straight race.
"We ran second for a little bit, but the only way I could have gotten by Kelly was to get into him and loosen him up and drive underneath him," Kobyluck said after the race. "But I didn't want to do that, I wanted to race him clean. We had a good car, a good enough car that the decision not to pit an easy one. We knew what pitting would gain us and we decided ahead of time that we would only pit if we had to make a chassis adjustment. We weren't going to put tires on just to put tires on. When you do that they're good for ten or fifteen laps and then you're back to where you were before, but it gets you back in traffic, and track position here is too important to give up. We weren't going to make the car that much better by pitting, so we just stayed with it.
"We ran third, we ran second, we tried making a move on the outside for the lead, and we tried getting underneath to pass for the lead," Kobyluck continued. "I was all over him up until we were in the middle of the corner and then he had more grip up off than me. It was one of those deals where Kelly and Andy and I had equal cars for a complete lap. They were a little better than me in some areas, I was better than them in others, so we just rode it out hoping that somebody would make a mistake that we could capitalize on, but everybody ran a solid race."
The Stafford race was broadcast live on HDNet television, and will be rebroadcast on SpeedTV on Saturday, July 3rd, at noon. The next race for the Busch North Series will be Saturday night, June 26th, at Holland (N.Y.) International Speedway. That race will be aired on HDNet on June 27th at 8:00 PM with a rebroadcast on SpeedTV at noon on July tenth.