Uncasville, Connecticut's Matt Kobyluck had to make a pit stop less than thirty laps into the Irving Oil 150 at Scarborough, Maine's Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, but still worked his way through the field to finish seventh in Saturday night's...
Uncasville, Connecticut's Matt Kobyluck had to make a pit stop less than thirty laps into the Irving Oil 150 at Scarborough, Maine's Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, but still worked his way through the field to finish seventh in Saturday night's NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race. He now has seven top-ten finishes in the thirteen BNS races run to this point of the season.
Like the previous weekend, Kobyluck, driver of the Mohegan Sun Chevrolet, was critical of the tire specified for the race. He felt the tire was too hard for the track, taking out some of the strategy as well as grip on the third-mile oval.
Preparations for the race went well for Kobyluck, who was second fastest in the first of two practice sessions. He was fifth fastest in qualifying after turning in a lap of 15.817 seconds (75.868 MPH).
At the start of the race, Kobyluck ran in fifth place but he thought he had a cut right front tire. He pitted under caution 28 laps into the race for new right-side tires, returning to the race deep in the field. From 21st, Kobyluck started working his way back to the front. A long green-flag run began on lap 37 and Kobyluck's fresh tires helped him get to twelfth at the lap 100 mark, and tenth when caution ended the run on lap 121. He quickly moved to eighth when the race returned to green, and got one more spot before the race ended.
"We had to pit early because I thought I had a right front going down," he said after the race. "We pitted, made an adjustment and took on tires, and it helped it some, but it wasn't as good as it needed to be. It was something that we couldn't fix in a pit stop. But we came from all the way in the back to come back up through to seventh. We had a decent car."
Kobyluck explained his concerns with coming through the field after the pit stop.
"It's so tough coming back through," he said. "Everybody's so close in speed so you have to be careful coming back through and watching out for stuff happening. We got fortunate to come back through without any serious damage. All in all, we did what we could do with what we had to work with. We got a top ten and I'm not upset with that, especially with pitting early and having to work our way back. I just thought that more guys up front would pit and we'd gain track position that way, but it didn't happen. We ran a long stretch of green after that first caution, about 80 laps of green, and we were gaining on some guys. Other guys would slow up while I could maintain my pace. On that green flag run is where I got by most of the people. On short runs the car wasn't that good, and we struggled for the first five laps after a restart, but we did what we could do to come out of here with a top ten."
Kobyluck next races at Thunder Road International Speedbowl on Saturday night for the running of the True Value 150.