By Souza Media/Kyle Souza
RIVERHEAD, N.Y. – Six-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby will drive for Tommy Baldwin Racing in the famed No. 7NY this Saturday at Riverhead Raceway. Set to compete for 200 laps in the Miller Lite 200 – the third Whelen Modified Tour race of the season – Coby and Baldwin will team together to chase the trophy in New York.
Jimmy Blewett was originally scheduled to drive the car, however, a family emergency sidelined him from competition. Baldwin called Coby to fill the seat for the race and Coby is excited for the opportunity.
In 22 starts at Riverhead, Coby has two wins – both of them coming within the last year. Coby went to Victory Lane in the first two races at Riverhead last year, driving for his own team, Doug Coby Racing. In September, he was involved in a crash early running at the front of the pack.
“It was just the right car, the right track and the right weekend,” Coby said. “To be able to drive Tommy’s car, and get a sense for how he sets a car up compared to (past crew chief) Phil Moran, and (current crew chief) John McKenna, with what we are doing here now, it’s a good learning experience. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think we could go out there and win. There are a lot of reasons to want to drive the 7NY at Riverhead – from Tommy’s dad and the impact he had on the Whelen Modified Tour to everyone who goes to Riverhead knowing the number, the car and the family. It’s cool to be the driver they thought to call to drive it.”
Coby is also thinking about the Blewett family during their difficult time.
“Jimmy and I have been close ever since his brother passed away,” Coby said. “I always try to have one of John’s stickers on my car. We’ve hung out and both of us know how the other one races on the track. Jimmy had this deal put together with Tommy and I was happy to see him get back on the Tour with the Modifieds… even on a part-time basis, Jimmy is a good guy for our series to have out there and I think we missed having a guy like him in the series. Their family situation is unfortunate and our number one hope is they figure everything out it gets better as soon as possible. Tommy and Jimmy could have decided to leave the car home but they thought of calling me and I appreciate it.”
Saturday’s race day schedule for the Miller Lite 200 includes one practice session from 3-4 p.m. for the team to dial the car in. Mayhew Tools pole qualifying will take place at 6 p.m., followed by the drop of the green flag in the Miller Lite 200 at 8 p.m. Tickets will be available at the track - but for those who can’t make it - the race will also air live on FloRacing.TV.
For more information on Doug Coby Racing, visit DougCobyRacing.com. For more information on Tommy Baldwin Racing, visit Tommy Baldwin Racing on Facebook.