41 years old. Six-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion. Now the winner of the inaugural @SRXRacing race.— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) June 13, 2021
Doug Coby gave up a part of his chance at a championship to race tonight at @StaffordSpeedwy and Coby turned that into a memory of a lifetime. pic.twitter.com/HrQW70BafQ
When the Camping World SRX Series was first formed, much of the excitement towards the new racing series was over the participation of a dozen of the top drivers in various racing disciplines. But in the very first race for SRX, it was a designated local hero -- New England's own Doug Coby -- who wrote the latest chapter in his own legendary career.
In the inaugural Superstar Racing Experience race, Connecticut's Doug Coby put his mastery of Stafford Motor Speedway on full display, dominating the 100 lap feature and holding off NASCAR greats Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart on a late restart to win the first ever SRX event.
Final running order
- Doug Cody
- Greg Biffle
- Tony Stewart
- Helio Castroneves
- Bobby Labonte
- Ernie Francis Jr.
- Tony Kanaan
- Willy T. Ribbs
- Paul Tracy
- Marco Andretti
- Michael Waltrip
- Bill Elliott
Coby, 41, entered Saturday night with extensive experience at Stafford and a regional racing legacy that rivaled those of his high-profile competitors: A native of Milford, CT and a real estate agent by trade, Coby is a six-time champion of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and had 30 feature wins at Stafford to his credit.
Although the higher levels of NASCAR have never come calling, Coby received the chance to drive the "Rocky Balboa" car reserved in SRX for local racing superstars. And on a national stage in front of his longtime fans, Coby sent a message on behalf of career short track racers around the country -- even after causing himself some embarrassment by falling on his rear as he climbed out of his winning car.
"What a special night for short track racing in America. This is a special night for Stafford Motor Speedway and everybody who's a short track racer around the country, whether you're dirt or asphalt," Coby told CBS Sports. "... This means a lot to short trackers. The only thing I screwed up tonight was my exit, and I'd do it all over again if that's what it takes to win this race."
In addition to the big picture of short track racing, Coby dedicated the victory to former car owner Don King, a longtime figure in the regional racing community. Coby was wearing a special helmet in tribute to King, who died earlier this week.
"That's what short track racers do. We pour our heart and soul into this, I've done this for decades, and Don gave me my first Modified Tour ride, and I can't thank him enough," Coby said.
To illustrate the personal significance of the opportunity to race in SRX for Coby, it should be considered that winning in SRX tonight directly affected his chances at another championship in the Modified Tour: As noted by Matt Weaver of Autoweek, running the SRX race at Stafford meant that Coby had to skip Saturday night's Whelen Modified Tour race at Oswego Speedway in upstate New York despite being just five points out of the series points lead.
With the first race now in the books, the Camping World SRX Series will continue next Saturday night with the second race of the season from Knoxville Raceway -- just outside of Des Moines, Iowa -- the first of two dirt tracks on the SRX schedule.