Fresh off his win at the one-mile Nazareth Speedway just one week past, Matt Kobyluck and the Mohegan Sun Racing team went to the tight quarter-mile Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, Vermont looking to score two in a row. This battle...
Fresh off his win at the one-mile Nazareth Speedway just one week past, Matt Kobyluck and the Mohegan Sun Racing team went to the tight quarter-mile Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, Vermont looking to score two in a row. This battle plan was derailed when contact with a lapped car cut a tire on Kobyluck's car and he was forced to pit under green to change it, and he wound up finishing 24th, twelve laps down.
Following an afternoon of practice, Kobyluck made his time trial attempt and qualified fifteenth with a lap time of 12.978 seconds (69.348 MPH).
"It's not really what we wanted," he said. "We had a faster car during practice. Two laps around a quarter-mile track like this, it's tough to get heat in the tires. The NRP cars are known for not getting heat in tires quick, but they're easy on tires for the long run. We're starting fifteenth, we got a real good car that's solid for the race, we just have to survive out there. It'll be one of those survival races."
Kobyluck survived through the early laps according to plan, and was making moves towards the top ten through the first third of the 150-lap event. On lap 51, though, Kobyluck ran into trouble trying to pass a lapped car, with the two making contact. The result of that contact was a flat right-front tire on the Mohegan Sun Chevrolet. Kobyluck brought the car to pit road while the race stayed under green flag conditions, and returned to the race after losing twelve laps in the pits. From that point Kobyluck put in laps and finished the race in 24th place.
"We were running either tenth or eleventh," he said after the race. "I was trying to get by a lapped car. I went to go underneath it, it came down. I went to go over it and it went up, and then I went to go down under it again and I was under it and it came down, and got me in the right front and blew out the right front tire. We had to come in under green, lost a bunch of laps under green and just struggled the rest of the night. The right front was toed in after that, so the car was real ill-handling after that. We just limped around the rest of the night and made the best of it that we could. You go down laps and you're never going to get them back, it's just a long night for the rest of the night. You just ride it out and get as many positions as you can."
Kobyluck said that this was a tough follow-up to last week's winning performance.
"It's a real tough way to come back after last week," he said. "It's unfortunate because we had a pretty decent race car for the race, we would have pulled a top ten out of it with no problem, and them something like that happens."
Next week the Mohegan Sun team returns to Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Maine for the third visit to that track of the season. In the previous visits, Kobyluck has a pair of twelfth place finishes.
"We're going to shake this off for next week," he said. "We had a good car at Beech Ridge last time, and we'll go back there with the same car, same setup, and go at it again."