Late Race Spin Leaves Matt Kobyluck Ninth At Lake Erie Speedway (North East, Penn. - July 01, 2004) - Matt Kobyluck was on his way to at least a sixth-place finish in Saturday night's Local Dodge Dealers 150, the seventh NASCAR Grand National,...
Late Race Spin Leaves Matt Kobyluck Ninth At Lake Erie Speedway
(North East, Penn. - July 01, 2004) - Matt Kobyluck was on his way to at least a sixth-place finish in Saturday night's Local Dodge Dealers 150, the seventh NASCAR Grand National, Busch North Series race of the 2004 season. After coming from the thirteenth starting spot to run sixth with just a handful of laps to go, a late-race spin forced Kobyluck out of the top ten, leaving him to scramble to finish ninth.
Practice times were encouraging for the Uncasville, Connecticut resident who posted the third best practice time in his Mohegan Sun Chevrolet. But his tire choice for qualifying cost him, and he was only thirteenth fastest in time trials.
"Basically, we just didn't scuff the tires in practice," he said. "We should have put them on in practice and run a hard lap or two on them before qualifying. That would have gotten us a little bit better. The car was good in practice and we did a sticker run then. With this set, we did a hard lap before we took the green so they got scuffed in there. But we lost a tenth in qualifying, which is rare. We've got a good car, so we're leaving it alone and we're just going to run it like we qualified."
Kobyluck found passing to be tough on the .375-mile oval, as he did not advance into the top ten until just after the fifty-lap mark. He joined a three-car battle with Mike Stefanik and Dave Dion for ninth, coming out of that with ninth place with a third of the race still to run.
With just five laps left to run, Kobyluck's race took a turn for the worse. It started when Ryan Moore was spun by Brian Hoar in turn two.
"When the 45 spun the 74, caution came out there coming out of turn two," he explained. "I went to the high side to avoid those cars and Dave Dion was behind me when the caution came out. We went down the backstretch and got into the third corner and Dave apparently didn't know that caution was out and he drilled me in the left side door under caution. We had a good shot at a top five, but you can lose positions when you spin, even when caution is out, so we got relegated back to thirteenth at that point. We had a green-white-checker finish and I fought my way back up to ninth. The Mohegan Sun Chevrolet was a top-five contender again, but didn't have a representative finish of how we were going all day."
Next Saturday night will be a special one for Kobyluck, who will host employees of Kobyluck Corporation and their family members at the Waterford Speedbowl, which will be the site of the eighth Busch North race of the season. Kobyluck won the pole at Waterford last year, leading the first third of the race before an accident forced him to retire from the event.
"We have some unfinished business there," he said. "I've been telling everybody that I don't care if we finish 20th there, as long as I finish the race because I have yet to finish a Busch North race at the Waterford Speedbowl. It's been discouraging because I've run so well there and won races in every other division I've run there. We're looking to turn our luck around there this weekend."