Matt Kobyluck leaves Waterford with 23rd place finish. Matt Kobyluck, the driver of the Mohegan Sun Chevrolet on the NASCAR Busch North Series, tried to put on a good show in front of a crowd full of friends, family and employees last Saturday...
Matt Kobyluck leaves Waterford with 23rd place finish.
Matt Kobyluck, the driver of the Mohegan Sun Chevrolet on the NASCAR Busch North Series, tried to put on a good show in front of a crowd full of friends, family and employees last Saturday night at the Waterford Speedbowl, where he started his racing career. Things didn't go so well for Kobyluck in the race, though, as he suffered a pair of accidents, the second of which ended his night after 145 laps and leaving him 23rd in the final standings.
After extensive testing at the track, Kobyluck arrived on race day and found himself struggling to get a handle on the track. Following a full complement of changes to the car, Kobyluck suited up for qualifying and could only muster the eleventh best time trial lap, 15.23 seconds around the third-mile oval.
"We've been struggling all day," he said. "We can't put our finger on what it is, but the car is not comfortable to me. We've changed everything on the car - springs, shocks, ballast, you name it, we changed it - and the car is just not comfortable. From when we last tested here a couple weeks ago, they put some sealer on the track and I just can't get a handle on it. But we'll run some laps, put some of our rubber down and see what happens."
Kobyluck found himself in the top ten after thirty laps, though progress further into the field proved to be difficult. Riding eighth at the hundred-lap mark, he picked up another position with just 25 laps to go, when the race was set to restart. Jerry Marquis was just in front of Kobyluck.
"Before we went back to green I radioed to my spotter and had him go to Marquis' spotter and tell him that I knew we had a better car than he did, and when we went back green, if he could give me a line on the outside I'd go by him," he said. "I figured of all people, Jerry would have plenty of respect and he'd give me a lane on the outside, but for three laps straight I'm on the outside of him trying to make a move and he squeezed me off into the wall on both corners for three laps straight. I backed out of it going into turn one and went to drop underneath him and at the same time I dropped underneath him, Dennis Demers was making a move at the same time and I wasn't clear by him and he got into me and sent me spinning and we got into the fence a little bit."
Kobyluck elected not to pit and fell back in line as the last car on the lead lap, in sixteenth. He had made up some of the positions he had lost but was running out of time, and soon there were just five laps left to race. That's when Kobyluck found trouble for a second time.
"Somehow the 22 car spun down onto the bottom of the track and it looked like he was going to stay on the bottom," he said. "I couldn't stop so I went to the high side and he shot back up the racetrack and I glanced off of him right into the turn one wall. It was a hard hit, but fortunately we've got good safety equipment and I'm fine."
Kobyluck was forced to retire from the event with severe crash damage.
"It's frustrating," he said. "In front of a hometown crowd, we had a good car and we were just clicking off laps. It was just another short-track race. But I'm OK, the car did what it was supposed to do, it folded up nice. We'll send it out, clip it, and get it ready for Thunder Road."
Kobyluck looks to bounce back next Saturday night at another Connecticut track, the 5/8-mile Thompson International Speedway.