Matt Kobyluck's Seventh Place Finish Gets 2004 BNS Season Started Off Right (Lee, N.H. - April 25, 2004) - Matt Kobyluck is on his way to another successful NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series season after recording a...
Matt Kobyluck's Seventh Place Finish Gets 2004 BNS Season Started Off Right
(Lee, N.H. - April 25, 2004) - Matt Kobyluck is on his way to another successful NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series season after recording a seventh-place finish in the season-opening Lee 150 at the third-mile Lee USA Speedway in Lee, New Hampshire Sunday afternoon. Kobyluck actually began his racing season three months ago with a third place finish in the season opener for the NASCAR West Series, held at Phoenix International Raceway.
While only fifteenth fastest in the opening practice session at Lee, Kobyluck's team made improvements to the car and the Uncasville, Connecticut driver put his Mohegan Sun Casino Chevrolet at the top of the second practice session's time sheet. This improvement may have made for a pole-winning qualifying run, but debris on the track during his attempt slowed him to seventh fastest.
"We would have been a little better than that if we didn't go out on a track with a bunch of dirt on it," he said. "The car before me spun going into turn one at the end of his run and put a bunch of debris up on the track. I was the next car out and wound up sliding through it for both laps. To pull through that with a seventh place qualifying effort, I'm happy with that and I'm real optimistic about the race today. I've got a good car."
Settling into seventh to start the race, Kobyluck held off a charge by Mike Stefanik as the race neared one-third distance. Stefanik eventually got by, temporarily bringing Brian Hoar with him. Kobyluck retook eighth from Hoar, but a lap 69 caution opened the pits and that's when Kobyluck's crew shined. The Perry Waite-led team got Kobyluck out of the pits third of the cars that had pitted, and he restarted in eighth overall.
In the second half of the race, lapped traffic made things difficult for lead lap cars by racing the leaders hard, stacking up traffic two-by-two behind them. Kobyluck found himself in a three-way battle with Stefanik and Mike Olsen, leaving that in fifth place with fifty laps to go. He held that spot through a lap 129 restart but ran afoul of lapped traffic again, falling to seventh. Any opportunity to improve his position before the finish evaporated when caution flew with one lap to go, and he settled for seventh.
"We had a top-three car," he said after the race. "Lapped traffic changed the whole outcome of that race because they weren't letting the leaders race one another. It's unfortunate that things like that happen on the racetrack. We got hung up because of that, and then everyone gets impatient and tries to take advantage of the lapped car, using the lapped car as a pick, and it gets ugly after a while. I had a faster car, but nobody could go anywhere because we were all stuck behind the lapped cars playing games with lead lap cars.
"But the car's in one piece, and to come out of here with a seventh place finish, I'm not going to complain too much about our day at Lee Speedway," Kobyluck continued. "Last year we came out of here with a 23rd, so we're way farther ahead of where we were last year."
The Lee race, which was broadcast live on HDNet television, will be rebroadcast on SpeedTV at noon of May 1st. Kobyluck's next race will be at Thompson International Speedway in Connecticut on Saturday, May 22.