Takeaways from the Inaugural Granite State Derby at Lee USA Speedway

Second verse, same as the first.

One week after making a dominant return to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at New York’s Riverhead Raceway, Doug Coby picked up right where he left off by scoring his second victory in as many weeks in the Inaugural Granite State Derby presented by USA Insulation at New Hampshire’s Lee USA Speedway.

Coby, once again piloting Tommy Baldwin Jr.’s No. 7NY, strategically saved his equipment before taking the lead just past the 100th lap.

RACE RESULTS: Inaugural Granite State Derby

Coby controlled the race from there, ultimately surviving an overtime restart to secure his 33rd Tour victory.

It’s the seventh time during Coby’s legendary Modified career that he has won at least two Tour races in a single season.

Below are the key takeaways from Saturday’s Granite State Derby, beginning with Coby’s second straight Tour victory.

Another race, another win for Doug Coby

When it comes to being a sub, Coby is right up there with the Nautilus in terms of formidability.

Don’t get the reference? The Nautilus is the formidable submarine from “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea,” and was even suggested by @nascarcasm when he was picking out horse names for NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour drivers in advance of Saturday’s race.

The name choice couldn’t have been any better, as Coby delivered another victory while serving as the substitute driver for Jimmy Blewett and Tommy Baldwin Racing Saturday night at Lee USA Speedway.

Yeah, maybe they aren’t exactly the same, but Coby certainly doesn’t seem to mind.

“Just an awesome win for a great team,” Coby said post-race. “I want to thank everybody here at Lee USA Speedway. It’s a tough place to get around, you’ve really got to manage your tires. I really want to thank Norm Wrenn (track owner) and his family for having us here.”

At this time it is unknown if Coby will be back with Baldwin for the next race on the Tour schedule, which is this Saturday night at Pennsylvania’s Jennerstown Speedway. If he doesn’t compete at Jennerstown, his next scheduled Tour event is at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 16.

Hirschman leads most laps but comes up short

Making his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour since his win at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway in February, Matt Hirschman controlled more than half of Saturday’s Granite State Derby presented by USA Insulation.

Hirschman started second and took the lead right away from polesitter Jake Johnson. He stayed in front of the field for the first 100 laps, but a caution flag on Lap 99 changed the race for Hirschman.

RELATED: Watch Matt Hirschman’s post-race interview

He took his No. 60 PeeDee Motorsports Modified to the pits for fresh tires, but once the race resumed, he struggled to make his way through traffic and back to the front of the field.

So instead of racing Doug Coby for the victory at the end of the race, Hirschman ended up finishing third.

“Still a good run,” Hirschman said. “It’s been awhile since I raced here so I’m glad we did it, just don’t like the result as much as what could have been.”

Another tough day for Justin Bonsignore

Lately for defending and three-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Justin Bonsignore, it seems as though he either has really good luck or really bad luck.

On Saturday at Lee USA Speedway, it was bad luck that struck again for the driver of the No. 51 Phoenix Communications Inc. Modified.

Bonsignore was never a contender throughout the Granite State Derby, as he struggled to keep pace with Coby, Hirschman and the rest of the leaders.

His luck went from bad to worse when he spun down the backstretch with 26 laps left. He managed not to make contact with anyone or anything and recovered to finish 10th.

Bonsignore is currently eighth in the Tour standings after four races, 40 points behind championship leader Ron Silk with 12 races remaining on the schedule.

NOTES:

  • Boehler Racing Enterprises rookie Jake Johnson turned in a strong performance in his second NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event, winning the pole and finishing fifth after leading three laps. He is scheduled to be back in the Ole Blue No. 3 at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, New Hampshire, on June 18.
  • Of the drivers who have competed in every NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race so far this season, two have finished inside the top 10 in each race. They are points leader Ron Silk and current runner-up Eric Goodale.
  • Doug Coby and Matt Hirschman have led more laps than any other drivers in Tour competition this year. Coby has led 274 laps in two Tour starts this year, while Hirschman has led 212 laps in two Tour starts this season. No other driver has led more than 69 laps this season.
  • Saturday’s Granite State Derby was the first race of the Whelen Granite State Short Track Cup, a three-race series within the series promoted by JDV Productions. The next race as part of the Whelen Granite State Short Track Cup, which will pay $5,000 to the champion, is the Duel at the Dog 200 at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, New Hampshire, on June 18.
  • NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour drivers will be back in action for the third week in a row on Saturday when they visit Pennsylvania’s Jennerstown Speedway for the Jennerstown Salutes 150. The event will shown live on FloRacing.