Kobyluck third place finisher at the Magic Mile. Matt Kobyluck, driving the Mohegan Sun Chevrolet on the NASCAR Busch North Series, finished third in Saturday afternoon's New England 125 held at the New Hampshire International Speedway. This ...
Kobyluck third place finisher at the Magic Mile.
Matt Kobyluck, driving the Mohegan Sun Chevrolet on the NASCAR Busch North Series, finished third in Saturday afternoon's New England 125 held at the New Hampshire International Speedway. This finish improves the Uncasville, Connecticut driver's best finish at the track known as the "Magic Mile" by one position, as he finished fourth at the one-mile track in this race last year.
Kobyluck wasn't totally happy with his car through Thursday's practice and qualifying, but put together a good qualifying run (30.085 seconds, 126.601 MPH) to claim the fourth starting position. Friday had no on-track activity, so after a day off, the Mohegan Sun Racing team returned to the track on Saturday to run a final practice before the race.
"The car's going all right, but the track changed a little bit today from what it was on Thursday, so we went out and made a few adjustments," he said after that last practice. "We put on some old tires and felt something wasn't quite right, and then put on some new tires which magnified the problems so we could find where they were. We should be decent for the race. We haven't had any problems thus far, all weekend long everything's been going along pretty smoothly."
In the race, Kobyluck settled into third to start, holding that position until a lap 43 caution brought him and a majority of the field onto pit road. Kobyluck's crew put on two right-side tires and topped off the car with gas, sending him out to restart the race in fifth place, behind a car that stayed on the track. He moved up to fourth after the restart, then retook third place on lap 52. Following a lap 57 restart, Kobyluck moved up to second behind Brian Hoar's leading car. He ran in that position until losing second to Brad Leighton on lap 75, and held third all the way to the finish.
"We probably needed to start the race off just a little bit freer than what we did," he said after the race. "We just didn't have enough, the car was just a little bit too tight to really get up there and put a strong run in for the lead. We came in and pitted, we had a good pit stop, took on right side tires, we ran in the top five the whole race from start to finish. I'm really proud of the guys who put a good car underneath me. I just drove as smart as I could, stayed out of trouble and got through the lapped traffic. To bring home the Mohegan Sun Chevrolet in third today, I'm real happy with it. We had a real good car, we were just a little too tight there at the end to really get up on it and make a run at getting the lead."
Kobyluck was especially happy to run well with a car that he had some concerns about earlier in the weekend.
"I wasn't real comfortable with the car but we made some changes before the race," he said. "I was a little upset that track conditions were so different from Thursday and we only got a half hour to try to figure it out. We scrambled a little bit, Perry [Waite, crew chief] and I talked about what to do, and it really helped the car on the long runs. I was able to run up in the front all day and the car really didn't change through a fuel cycle. All in all I'm pretty happy with the way things went today."
Kobyluck's next race is at Stafford Motor Speedway, where he ran well last month before a blown engine took him out early.
"We're going to go back there and hopefully we'll be able to win it," he said. "We had a good run going there last time but we had motor troubles. We'll go back there with a different motor this time and see if we can't pull it off."