Matt Kobyluck's top five streak broken by engine trouble; maintains points lead. Matt Kobyluck opened up the 2002 NASCAR Busch North Series season with six consecutive top-five finishes, including a race win at Seekonk Speedway, and this allowed...
Matt Kobyluck's top five streak broken by engine trouble; maintains points lead.
Matt Kobyluck opened up the 2002 NASCAR Busch North Series season with six consecutive top-five finishes, including a race win at Seekonk Speedway, and this allowed him to open up a 58-point lead in the championship standings. This streak came to an end at Stafford Motor Speedway when a broken rocker arm in the engine forced Kobyluck to retire from the Carquest 150 Friday night, relegating him to a 23rd place finish. Kobyluck still holds on to the points lead, though, but with only a 22-point gap between himself and Brad Leighton.
Kobyluck, who ran in Stafford's Weekly Racing Series Pro Stock division before moving up to the Busch North Series, was fast in practice and returned the fourth fastest lap in time trials. The top eight qualifiers then redrew for their starting positions and Kobyluck pulled the sixth starting spot.
"The car was good on a ten- or fifteen-lap run during practice," he said afterwards. "Now we'll just make a few minor adjustments and let it rest before the race."
Kobyluck rode in sixth place at the start of the event, but started making his move approaching the fifty-lap mark of the 150-lap event. He passed Andy Santerre on lap 50 to take fifth, and was about to make a move on Bryon Chew for fourth when his engine turned sour on lap 60. He tried to ride it out but came to pit road under green on lap 68 and the Mohegan Sun Racing crew went under the hood.
They brought the car behind the wall to attempt repairs and returned Kobyluck to the race to get some more laps in, but the damage was done and, after completing 95 laps, Kobyluck retired from the event.
"The motor broke," he said. "I had just passed Andy Santerre for fifth and was pulling low in turn four to pull out and pass Bryon chew for fourth and a rocker arm broke. We had to go behind the wall to change it, and by the time we fixed it, we were about twenty laps down. We ran back out and tried to salvage what we could. There's nothing we could do about that, it's a mechanical failure, we can't control that stuff. We'll just move on to Holland.
"It's unfortunate, we had a good car and I was looking forward to racing those guys at the end there because the car was good," Kobyluck continued. "But circumstances didn't work out for us so we'll just have to get them next week."
Kobyluck will try to bounce back from Stafford's bad luck next Saturday night at Holland Speedway, located just outside of Buffalo, New York.