By Souza Media/Kyle Souza
MILFORD, Conn. -- Doug Coby Racing announced on Wednesday that crew chief Phil Moran will be departing the team at the end of the 2021 race season. Moran’s final race for the team will be on Sunday, October 10, in the return of the historic Thompson 300 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, with Doug Coby behind the wheel. Moran will be departing the team following this special event and will pursue a new opportunity with Haydt-Yannone Racing in 2022 with driver Ron Silk.
“Phil and I have a great friendship and a strong bond due to all of our success together with the No. 2 team owned by Mike Smeriglio and our No. 10 team,” Doug Coby said. “We made each other better and had great communication over the last eight years, winning five championships, and a lot of races together. I wish him well in the next step of his career with HYR.”
The combination of Moran and Coby started working together in 2014, when Coby was tabbed to drive the No. 2 for Smeriglio on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Their partnership struck almost immediate success -- winning four consecutive championships -- and winning 14 races in the four-year span. After a third-place finish in points in 2018, they won the title again in 2019 -- their fifth together -- just before Smeriglio retired in the offseason, which left both without an opportunity.
That’s when Coby opened Doug Coby Racing for 2020 -- winning once in the COVID-shortened season. They have followed it up with two more wins this year on the Whelen Modified Tour, both at Riverhead Raceway.
In their eight years together, Coby and Moran had five championships and 22 victories on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour -- along with multiple wins in Open Modified events -- including a win in the $10,000 to win Open Wheel Wednesday at Seekonk Speedway. In their first race together, they won the UNOH Battle at the Beach at Daytona International Speedway in 2014, and the combination also won major events including the Southern Slam 150 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and more.
With the World Series Thompson 300 scheduled to be the last race of the season with Moran, Coby is already fielding questions about what the 2022 season might look like for the six-time series champion. Right now, he’s not sure, and focused on chasing $20,000 at Thompson.
“I’m fortunate to have great sponsors who support my team,” Coby said. “Mayhew Tools is on board with us again for 2022, so we will evaluate our opportunities to continue to build our relationship together. I haven’t made a decision yet as to whether or not I will continue to own and operate a full-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour team next season or pursue a different path, like driving for someone, or even mixing in some other types of racing.”
“The primary reason I started the No. 10 team was to keep Phil, myself and the crew together after Mike Smeriglio retired. With Phil moving in another direction, it gives me the opportunity to consider driving for someone else again. I’m just going to focus on finishing out 2021 and then consider what opportunities are available for next year. It seems as if I’ve been through this type of change more than anyone and great opportunities have always presented themselves, sometimes even when they’re not expected. I’m not going to rush into any decisions yet, but with the support of my sponsors and crew members, I’m confident we will have a game plan for 2022.”
Doug Coby Racing will return to the track on Sunday, October 10 for the Thompson 300 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, as one final ride for the Coby and Moran combination. For more information on Doug Coby Racing, visit DougCobyRacing.com and follow the team on Facebook for the latest updates.
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