Doug Coby has hired John McKenna as crew chief for his modified program. (NASCAR photo)
MILFORD, Conn. – Doug Coby Racing officials announced on Thursday that John McKenna would join the team as crew chief.
In addition, the team has set a schedule of seven races for this year, including four NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour events and three Open Modified races. The team also announced Mayhew Tools’ return as title sponsor of the No. 10 Modified.
The addition of McKenna offers Coby and McKenna the chance to rekindle a successful relationship they’ve had for years. When Phil Moran left Doug Coby Racing to pursue other opportunities at the end of the 2021 season, Coby and McKenna teamed up for the Haunted Hundred Tri Track race at Seekonk Speedway to close out the year. From there, the two spoke and came up with a plan for 2022.
When Coby and McKenna first teamed up during the 2010 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season finale, Coby didn’t even know who McKenna was. A year later, they won together at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, when Coby split the season between McKenna and another crew chief. In 2012, the two took off – winning five races and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Championship with car owner Wayne Darling. A year later, they won two events and finished in the top-10 in all but three races, just short of a second championship in a row.
“I didn’t know John, I actually thought one of the other crew members was John McKenna,” Coby joked. “I walked into the store and was introduced to him and we started working together. When Phil decided to go in a different direction, my top priority was to find someone I knew I wanted to work with. I want to go to the track with John. His general approach to racing is something I love. He is cunning and always tries different things. He has a lot of full fendered experience in addition to his Modified experience and we try to do what makes the most sense together in each situation. It’s a great experience to work with him because you know that he is always thinking about everything about the car and on the track. He has a great eye.”
The decision to scale back is one that both Coby and McKenna are comfortable with due to commitments outside of racing. However, Coby is open to additional opportunities to host other events throughout the year as they become available to him. The announced modified schedule is just the confirmed events that Coby’s modified team will race in during the season.
“I have a few things to sort out with the team and that led me to the decision not to force the puzzle pieces together to make the full year. My priority for 2022 is to get to know John again and do what is feasible for all of us, including my crew members, to continue building a winning team. Whether we’re going to ride the Tour full-time again in the future or not, we’ll have to wait and see how things develop over time,” continued Coby. “I am very grateful for the hard work of John Lawless and Eric Mills at Mayhew Tools, and Kim Berube at Reynold’s Auto Wrecking. They make it possible for the number 10 team to race and we hope to take home some more victories for them this season.”
The schedule for Doug Coby Racing kicks off at Stafford Motor Speedway in April for the 50th running of the NAPA Spring Sizzler on April 23-24, where the 100-lap special race winner will leave with a $15,000 minimum. From there on Friday, May 27, the team will compete in the $15,000 to win the Open Modified race at Claremont Motorsports Park.
A month later, on Wednesday, June 29, Coby joins the Tri Track Open Modified Series teams at Seekonk Speedway for the annual $10,000 to win Open Wheel Wednesday, of which Coby is a three-time winner. He will follow that up with his first of four NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races during the year, on Saturday, July 16 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
From there, the team will run both NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Thursday, August 17 and Saturday, October 8 as part of the World Series of Speedway Racing. The Doug Coby Racing season will conclude on Thursday, October 27 at Martinsville Speedway in the Whelen Modified Tour Finals.