BNS: Beech Ridge: Matt Kobyluck race report

Matt Kobyluck continues Busch North Series hot streak with second at Beech Ridge. Matt Kobyluck extended his lead in the NASCAR Busch North Series championship standings with a second place finish in Saturday's PTM Racing 150 held at...

Matt Kobyluck continues Busch North Series hot streak with second at Beech Ridge.

Matt Kobyluck extended his lead in the NASCAR Busch North Series championship standings with a second place finish in Saturday's PTM Racing 150 held at Scarborough, Maine's Beech Ridge Motor Speedway. Kobyluck, who now has top five finishes in each of the five races held so far this year, now leads two-time series champion Brad Leighton by 58 points.

Kobyluck, driving the Mohegan Sun Chevrolet, started the race from the fifth position after time trials, where he turned a 15.511 second lap around the third-mile oval.

"The car was pretty decent in qualifying but not as good as what we wanted it," he said. "Having to work with the new rules about qualifying with a full tank of fuel, I think hurt us a little bit because we have a pretty good qualifying program that we like to work with and they basically took it right away from us. Considering that, I'm happy that we'll have a real good car for the race and that's what's more important. We're right there on the inside lane where we want to be starting the race and we'll just bide our time and be there at the end."

Kobyluck ran most of the race's early stages in third place, behind Mike Johnson and Leighton, until a caution allowed the opportunity to pit on lap 107. Kobyluck came to pit road where his crew put on fresh right-side tires, sending him back to the race in tenth place.

Through the final 39 laps of the race, 23 were run under caution, costing Kobyluck valuable laps to take advantage of his fresh tires to challenge the leader. He worked his way to third for the final restart, which set up a green-white-checker finish. Quickly passing Eddie MacDonald for second, Kobyluck ran out of laps before he could mount a challenge on eventual winner Mike Johnson.

"We weren't sure if we should have pitted or not, and Perry made the call to pit," Kobyluck said after the race. "We took on tires and made a little chassis adjustment, and when we came back out the car was fast. I was just following Brad Leighton up through there as he was picking them off, and I was going right with him. When we got up to the 17 car [MacDonald], Brad made a move underneath him and the 17 washed up in the corner. Brad was underneath him, right up to the door, and the 17 was a little more aggressive than he should have been blocking his position and he got into Brad's right front and spun Brad. We got through that and, knowing that the 17 and the 96 [Johnson] didn't take on tires, I wasn't ready to settle for third at that point knowing how good of a car we had.

"We needed a few more laps," Kobyluck continued. "We had the green-white-checker restart and I got right underneath the 17 quickly, I think it surprised him that I got down under him that quick. With more laps I would have liked to have mixed it up with the 96 for the win, but we ran out of racing laps. We took what we had and got back to second, and we're happy with it. We had a good enough car to win, but circumstances happened on the track and we'll take second home. We stretched the points lead out a little more, we still have all top-five finishes, so we're keeping consistent."

The Busch North Series will take another week off before returning to action at Stafford Motor Speedway, one of the tracks where Kobyluck raced at weekly before joining the Busch North Series. The race will be held Friday night, June 21st.

"We'll have a good fan base there and a lot of support, and we'll put on a good show there just like we did tonight," he said. "Stafford's been good to us, we've always run well there, and given the performance of the cars so far, and the way the guys have worked so well together this year, we're just going to go there the same way we rolled in here. We're going to get the car adjusted to my liking, and go out there and race it."

-mk/ajc-

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Matt Kobyluck , Mike Johnson , Eddie MacDonald