* Matt Kobyluck Proves His Point: Preparation, Determinatio Bring Lime n Rock Wi n * Logano's Point Lead Over Kobyluck Cut In Half with 23rd Place Finish * Final Short Track on...
* Matt Kobyluck Proves His Point: Preparation, Determinatio Bring Lime n Rock Wi n
* Logano's Point Lead Over Kobyluck Cut In Half with 23rd Place Finish
* Final Short Track on 2007 Schedule Looms in Ohio Saturday Afternoon
LAKEVILLE, Conn. (August 18, 2007) - Mohegan Sun Chevrolet driver Matt Kobyluck of Uncasville, Conn., muscled his way to a spectacular victory in the Mohegan Sun 200 at Lime Rock Park, the NASCAR Busch East Series' only road course race of the season Saturday afternoon.
The 82-lap, 125.46-mile event was a short-track style affair, action packed with five full course cautions and intermittent "local" caution periods.
Kobyluck led 46 of the event's 82 laps on the 1.53-mile road course including the final five. But in a fireworks finish, Kobyluck and second place running Mike Olsen hit a patch of oil and slid off track in turn seven - the last turn of the last lap. Kobyluck manhandled his car back on course to retain the lead and post a .258-second margin of victory over Sean Caisse (No. 44 Casella Waste Systems Chevrolet). Jeff Anton (No. 30 Baran Institute/Engineered Floors Chevrolet) placed a career-high third, followed by Jesus Hernandez (No. 4 Allstate Insurance/Ginn Resorts Chevrolet), and Jeffrey Earnhardt (No. 1 Menard's/Pittsburgh Paints Chevrolet). Olsen, in second place entering the turn, recovered to finish ninth.
"When we hit the oil, I thought my day was done," Kobyluck said. "There was no way around it and we were carrying so much speed, we were going to slide no matter what we did. I got off course, and somehow saved it from spinning out. My elbow hit the kill-switch, killed he ignition, and all I hear on he radio is my crew chief saying 'go-go-go-go.' Finally I got it going, grabbed a gear, and took off."
Factors that led to the race's outcome of the event began on a lap 58 restart.
Kobyluck led defending series champion Mike Olsen, Caisse, Bryon Chew and Chase Austin to the restart's green flag. Instantaneously, Caisse blasted to the front. Only two laps later, Olsen showed the strength of his No. 61 Little Trees Chevrolet and powered by Caisse to take the lead. Kobyluck then went to the front for a final time on a lap 77 restart.
At the beginning of the final lap, it was Kobyluck chased by Olsen, Caisse, Mike Johnson, and the event's defending champion Ruben Pardo. However when the battle for the win hit the final turn of the course, the cars began sliding on a freshly deposited swath of oil on the asphalt surface. Kobyluck managed to recover without losing the lead while Olsen's car was completely crossed-up, adding to his recovery time. Through the smoke and oil, Kobyluck had to hold off a fast closing Caisse to take he win.
Caisse said his spotter and team owner radioed him about potential trouble in the turn just as he arrived in it.
"I saw Matt and Mike spinning so I locked it down and was able to keep control on the pavement," Caisse said. "Suddenly it dawned on me to grab a gear and go. (Car owner Andy Santerre was) on the radio yelling for me to get on the gas. And we managed to get a second-place finish. 2-2-2-2 NASCAR BUSCH EAST SERIES RESULTS - LIME ROCK
"For me as a driver, I've gotten a lot of advice from Matt and Mike and Andy. They've always said you can have a top-five car, and the driver is who makes up the difference to getting a podium finish. So I'm excited that I've taken a step in the direction of the level those guys are able to perform at."
Third-place finisher Anton started the final lap in seventh place and came through the oil and dust to finish third, matching his career high finish set earlier in the year.
"My guys were on the radio telling me to dig, dig, dig," Anton said. "I drove over the hill and into that turn like I had driven it every lap in the race. I saw oil and grass all over the track, jumped on the brakes, got it turned right, drove through it and got my foot back on the gas.
"It was like driving on ice, but it just all worked out. It was a great finish."
Completing the top-10 were James Buescher, the event's defending champion Ruben Pardo, Peyton Sellers, Olsen, and Larry Moloney.
Belgium's Max Dumarey, a veteran road course racer but series rookies, led eight laps before his car encountered ignition problems and finished 21st.
Point leader Joey Logano spun and struck a tire barrier and damaged his car on lap 43. After repairs were made, he returned to the event to finish 23rd, eight laps down for his worst finish of the season. Logano arrived at Lime Rock with a 188-point lead over Kobyluck. Kobyluck's win sliced the point margin almost in half, with Logano departing with a 92- point lead.
The series now moves to Mansfield (Ohio) Motorsports Park for an inaugural twin-bill of 150 lap events with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Saturday, August. 25. It will be the final regular season short-track race of the season for the NASCAR Busch East Series. The final two races of the year will be on superspeedways: New Hampshire International Speedway on Sept. 14 and Dover International Speedway on Sept. 21.