Matt Kobyluck Rebounds With Third Place at Seekonk Speedway (Seekonk, Mass. - June 12, 2004) - Matt Kobyluck has had a forgettable start to the 2004 NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series season. Entering the fourth race of the...
Matt Kobyluck Rebounds With Third Place at Seekonk Speedway
(Seekonk, Mass. - June 12, 2004) - Matt Kobyluck has had a forgettable start to the 2004 NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series season. Entering the fourth race of the season race outside the top ten in series points, Kobyluck needed a good run at Seekonk Speedway to boost the spirits of his Mohegan Sun Casino Chevrolet team as well as improve his championship standings. A third-place finish Saturday night was just what the doctor ordered.
After posting the fourth best time in the first practice session and the third best time in the second, Kobyluck had reason to be optimistic. His time trial effort yielded a fourth place starting spot.
"The car is great, it's responding to the changes that we've made," he said. "I don't think the fastest guy has won the race here probably ever, so it's more important to survive rather than worry about being the fastest guy out there until the end. We'll try to be one of those guys who survives and be there at the end. Go-time here is with 25 to go, 25 to 30 laps to go. Before that you just have to survive and avoid all of the carnage."
Kobyluck did indeed avoid trouble during the running of the Budweiser 150, though there were close calls. Falling to fifth in the early laps, he moved back to fourth following a lap fifteen restart, and briefly ran third until being passed by eventual race winner Andy Santerre. Through four more cautions and restarts he held fourth, despite having some trouble with lapped traffic. The biggest moment came on lap 106 when a lapped car came up the track and hit Kobyluck in the left rear exiting turn four.
"I thought my day was done there," Kobyluck explained. "He drilled me in the left rear and sent me out sideways. I had the wheel cut all the way to the stops, just nursing the throttle trying to save the car, and fortunately we were able to do that."
A late-race scramble caused by a lapped car spinning in front of the leaders gave Kobyluck the opportunity to join the battle for the lead, and in the following laps he took third place from Dave Dion. He spent the final fourteen laps trying to run down the top two, but ran out of laps and had to settle for third place, which brought him to tenth in the season standings.
"Finally we actually finished one where we should have, in the top three," he said after the race. "After what we went through at Lee with the flat tire and at Thompson getting put in the fence with ten to go, and at Lime Rock breaking an axle and ending the day, this helps. In all three of those races we were in the top five when those incidents happened, so we had a good car at all three tracks.
"This place is tough," the Uncasville, Connecticut driver continued. "You know you're not pitting, you know you're stuck with what you start with, track position means a ton, and lapped traffic is tough. We came home with just a few minor bumps and bruises and got a good top-three for the Mohegan Sun team and the Mohegan Sun Casino. We can now take this momentum and hopefully roll with that right into Stafford so we can pull off a victory there, since that place owes us a couple."
Saturday's race was taped by HDNet Television for broadcast on Sunday, June 13th at 8:30PM. It will also be rebroadcast on SpeedTV on Saturday, June 26th, at noon.
The next race for Kobyluck and the Busch North Series will be this Friday night at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway.