Matt Kobyluck records third top-ten in a row after taking fourth at Thunder Road Mohegan Sun Racing's Matt Kobyluck enjoyed a competitive race at the quarter-mile Thunder Road International Speedbowl, coming from his fifth place starting...
Matt Kobyluck records third top-ten in a row after taking fourth at Thunder Road
Mohegan Sun Racing's Matt Kobyluck enjoyed a competitive race at the quarter-mile Thunder Road International Speedbowl, coming from his fifth place starting position to run in the top five for just about the entire length of the event. He fell to sixth late in the event, but picked up positions when the leaders tangled with less than ten laps to go. He finished fourth, his sixth top-five finish of the year and third consecutive top-ten finish.
Kobyluck did not post top-ten practice times during the two afternoon sessions, but turned up the wick in qualifying when his fast lap, 13.054 seconds (68.944 MPH) was good enough for fifth on the starting grid.
In the race, Kobyluck was immediately under assault by Mike Johnson, but turned that around and set his sights on moving up, taking fourth from Eddie MacDonald. He took third from Brian Hoar after a six-lap side-by-side battle, but lost that position shortly afterwards. He settled into fourth and stayed there until just before the race's halfway point, when Johnson returned to take the spot. After a lap 81 restart, Kobyluck again mounted a challenge on Hoar, and the two swapped positions twice before Hoar reassumed the spot. Fifth place Kobyluck then found himself under repeated challenges from MacDonald again.
"He got me in the left rear quite a few times, but nothing that drastic," he said. "I talked to him afterwards and he said he was really tight and he was having trouble keeping the nose down. I didn't have that problem at all, I was having trouble keeping the rear end tucked underneath me. He was getting his nose in there and trying to keep it down and ended up getting into me a few times, but on a short track, that's racing. You're going to make a little bit of contact. We both kept our cars in one piece and both ended up in the top five."
With less than thirty laps to go, Kobyluck gave up a spot to Santerre. He caught a break, though, when the three leading drivers spun with just ten laps to run. He moved up to fourth, and held that position to the end of the race.
"It was survival, that's all," he said afterwards. "We had a pretty decent car for the first hundred laps, it was cutting good, and it had good bite off. But I think it broke something in the rear end with about fifty to go. The locker seemed like it was doing something funky. Basically, we tried to survive and somehow pulled out a top five. Some of it was through attrition, but that's racing. We just survived out there. It was another good top five for the Mohegan Sun team, and thank God the last short track's over and we go back to the big tracks. We really look forward to going back to Loudon, going back with some vengeance. We're bringing back the same car we had the last time. It's all back together and it'll be a brand new car going back in there again and we're going to make something happen."
New Hampshire International Speedway, in Loudon, New Hampshire, hosts the next Busch North race on Saturday, September 16th.