WWS: Las Vegas: Matt Kobyluck race notes

Matt Kobyluck unlucky at Las Vegas, finishes sixteenth. Matt Kobyluck's second foray into NASCAR Winston West Series racing came Saturday night at the 3/8-mile "Bullring" at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Saturday's Orleans 222 was not too different...

Matt Kobyluck unlucky at Las Vegas, finishes sixteenth.

Matt Kobyluck's second foray into NASCAR Winston West Series racing came Saturday night at the 3/8-mile "Bullring" at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Saturday's Orleans 222 was not too different from his first WWS race, which was at the one-mile Phoenix International Raceway in February. While running in the top five, a situation out of his control found him in an accident and put an early end to his race. He finished sixteenth.

Kobyluck was impressed by the track when he first saw it. "It's a beautiful facility," he said. "It's smooth with a lot of grip, nice stands, nice lighting, and paved pits."

Following a single practice session, qualifying was held and Kobyluck's Mohegan Sun Casino & Resort Chevrolet was seventh fastest.

"Lucky seven," he said afterwards. "We should be in good shape for the race. The track will tighten up, and we'll start out only thinking about survival. We've got that intermission at halfway so we'll concentrate on what we have to do to the car then, and then we'll go back racing for the second half, be cautious, get to the last thirty laps, and race for the win."

The Uncasville, Connecticut driver stuck to his plan, and ran in the top ten through to the halfway break. Returning to racing for the second half, he moved into the top five and was poised to move up further. Things took a turn for the worse, though, as a wreck among lapped cars on a restart collected him and left his car with front end damage. Repairs were attempted, but the damage left the car overheating and Kobyluck was forced to retire from the race after completing 172 of 222 laps. He was credited with a sixteenth place finish.

"We were running fourth when a couple of lapped cars got into a wreck," he said after the race. "Lapped cars were a little bit difficult to deal with all night, and there's a new rule that allows lead lap cars to restart on the outside row with lapped cars on the inside, so you're not even out of traffic on restarts. That played a negative role in our race. The rule might work with drivers who respect lead lap cars and behave themselves, but that was not the case tonight.

"We had another good car that was definitely going to be in the top five at the end of the race," Kobyluck continued. "We had a very real shot at being in the top three and could have contended for the win. But while the outcomes of these two races aren't what we wanted, we accomplished what we set out to do. We got to work on the chassis and got a lot of work with the new motor package. The experience was well worth it."

Kobyluck now will turn his attention to the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series season as he tries to improve on last year's second place points finish. His campaign begins next weekend with a day of testing at New Hampshire's Lee USA Speedway, where the season kicks off Sunday, April 27th.

-ajc-

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Matt Kobyluck