Matt Kobyluck Slings Monkey Off His Back Wins South Boston 150
South Boston, VA (June 4, 2007): Matt Kobyluck has been rather laid back when talking about the misfortunes that have plagued the Mohegan Sun Casino race team since the season began, but excitement was all you got out of him following Saturday night’s Busch East Series win at South Boston Speedway. Kobyluck outraced Peyton Sellers for the checkered flag at the 4/10th’s mile oval, and collected his first win and first top-five since the 2006 Toyota All-Star Showdown.
“The guys gave me an awesome car,” said Kobyluck. “From the drop of the green to the very last lap, the car handled identically the same. I knew what to expect every single lap going into the corner: it never faded, it never got tight, and it never got loose. I could just sail it in there. We’ve had a tough start to the season and this is the way you rebound. You can’t rebound any better than this, and I’m just thrilled to be able to give the guys a finish representative of the cars they’ve given me all season long.”
Kobyluck started fourth after turning a lap of 91.522 mph (15.734 seconds) in time trials earlier in the afternoon. Kobyluck was fifth in qualifying order, and had the top speed for a good portion of qualifying events.
“I knew it wasn’t going to hold up,” he admitted. “The Hoosier tread that was on the track was non compliant with our Goodyear rubber. I just slid up the racetrack and didn’t even come close to what the car ran in practice. If I had gone out later I could have easily gone faster, but you have to work with what you’ve got.”
At the drop of the green, Kobyluck sat back and let polesitter Peyton Sellers and Sean Caisse settle things out front, but at lap four, Kobyluck moved into the battle and worked the bottom lane to move into second.
The first caution of the day waved at lap 13 and set up a restart for lap 20. As soon as the race resumed, Kobyluck drove ahead of Sellers, where he remained for the next ten laps. Caution put the two together for a restart at lap 31 and Peyton took his turn out front for the next 30 laps.
“If he got me on the restarts, I could have probably pressed the envelope and gotten back by him, but it wasn’t the right time to try and make it happen. I knew we’d have more cautions. I knew I needed to play it smart,” Kobyluck said.
The next restart came at lap 67 with Kobyluck and Sellers taking off dead even. They stayed that wait through turns one, two, and three before Kobyluck went over the line just inches ahead of Sellers. The following lap, Sellers settled in out front where he stayed for the next 15 laps.
The restart at lap 83 saw Kobyluck take over the reigns and lead until lap 100, when a restart gave the benefit to Sellers.
“Peyton is a cool character. He’s not a beater and banger. He wants to run you clean, and he wants you to run him clean. I had a lot of fun and he said the same thing to me,” Kobyluck said.
The duo swapped the lead four more times before Kobyluck took over for good at lap 140, and despite a caution with five laps to go, the Uncasville, CT-native was able to hold for the win and a guaranteed starting position in the 2007 edition of the Toyota All-Star Showdown.
“He’d get the lead then I would get the lead, and I was pressuring him the whole time when he did get the lead on me,” Kobyluck said of his battle with Sellers. “We were able to run side-by-side and the fans got a great show. They had to have – it was a great show from my seat.”
Kobyluck moved up to eighth in the point standings with his victory.