Local hero Doug Coby wins inaugural race in Tony Stewart/Ray Evernham SRX Series

SRX Stafford Coby Stewart
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Doug Coby won the season opener Saturday of the inaugural Camping World SRX Series started by Tony Stewart and Ray Evernham, winning from the pole position at Stafford Motor Speedway.

Coby, a six-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion, won for the 30th time at Stafford by taking the lead from Greg Biffle on Lap 98 of 100 on the half-mile oval.

“What a special night for short-track racing in America,” Coby said in a series release. “This is a special night for Stafford Motor Speedway and everybody who is a short-track racer around the country, whether you’re dirt or asphalt.

“Just to have all these fans here and all these drivers – the guy who won the Indy 500 two weeks ago, NASCAR Hall of Famers, Daytona 500 champions, and here I am, Modified Tour guy and homegrown Stafford Speedway guy. It just goes to show there are a lot of good short-trackers out there. I like to think I’m one of them, but there are hundreds of others who are good at their craft and get around their speedway really good. It ain’t going to be easy for any invader, and I love that we were in equal cars.”

Coby skipped a Modified Tour race at Oswego (N.Y.) Speedway to race at Stafford. He was second in the championship standings by five points before Saturday.

“I’ve got six Tour championships and I’m shooting for seven to tie Mike Stefanik, and if it takes one more year to tie a great like that, I’m happy to wait,” Coby said.

Stewart, who co-founded the all-star series with Evernham, finished third.

“That’s what this is supposed to be all about,” Stewart said. “The whole concept about this was to have fun and to celebrate motorsports, and I think this was a perfect example of that tonight. Let’s go five more weeks and do the same thing at five more tracks.”

Next week the series will race at Knoxville (Iowa) Speedway with Brian Brown, Scott Bloomquist and Hailie Deegan joining the field.

After Knoxville, the Camping World SRX Series will remain on dirt June 26 event at Eldora Speedway then back to asphalt for Lucas Oil Raceway (July 3), Slinger (Wis.) Speedway (July 10) and Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway (July 17).


RESULTS

Heat Race No. 1 (15 minutes, 36 laps, starting lineup determined by random draw): 1. Greg Biffle (Started 1st; led laps 1-36); 2. Bobby Labonte (2) 36; 3. Helio Castroneves (3) 36; 4. Ernie Francis Jr. (4) 36; 5. Tony Kanaan (7) 36; 6. Doug Coby (10) 36; 7. Tony Stewart (5) 36; 8. Marco Andretti (12) 36; 9. Bill Elliott (11) 36; 10. Michael Waltrip (8) 36; 11. Willy T. Ribbs (9) 36; 12. Paul Tracy (6) 27.

Heat Race No. 2 (15 minutes, 35 laps, starting order was invert of Heat 1 finish): 1. Doug Coby (Started 7th; led laps 34-35); 2. Michael Waltrip (3; led laps 1-28, 30-33) 35; 3. Tony Stewart (6) 35; 4.   Bill Elliott (4) 35; 5. Ernie Francis Jr. (9) 35; 6. Paul Tracy (1; led lap 29) 35; 7. Tony Kanaan (8) 35; 8. Bobby Labonte (11) 35; 9. Marco Andretti (5) 35; 10. Willy T. Ribbs (2) 24; 11. Helio Castroneves (10) 23; 12. Greg Biffle (12) 23.

Feature (100 laps; starting lineup was based on finishing position in Heat Race No. 2): 1. Doug Coby (Started 1st; led laps 1-8, 25-61, 65-96, 98-100); 2. Greg Biffle (12; led laps 16-24, 62-64, 97) 100; 3. Tony Stewart (3; led laps 9-11) 100; 4. Helio Castroneves (11) 100; 5.    Bobby Labonte (8) 100; 6. Ernie Francis Jr. (5) 100; 7. Tony Kanaan (7) 100; 8. Willy T. Ribbs (10) 100; 9. Paul Tracy (6) 99; 10. Marco Andretti (9) 98; 11. Michael Waltrip (2) 51; 12. Bill Elliott (4) 9.