Newton, IA (May 18, 2008): Matt Kobyluck posted his first top-10 of the NASCAR Camping World Series East season when he drove the #40 Mohegan Sun Casino Chevrolet home to a ninth place finish in the US Cellular 200 at Iowa Speedway Sunday afternoon. The Uncasville, CT-native came from a 26th place starting position and led twice throughout the 200-lap race.
“We were really pleased with the finish especially considering about 40-50 laps before the end, we picked up a vibration,” said Kobyluck. “It turned out that the left front tire had a flat spot on it.”
Fifty-two cars took time for the 44-car field with Kobyluck posting a speed of 130.316 mph (24.172 seconds) in qualifying.
The speed was 26th fastest.
“I thought we would have had a better qualifying run. We were really good in practice, but we were too free. The last practice we were tight and we freed it up for the race, but for a short two-lap run, it was too much.”
The combination was perfect for the race, and by lap 30, Kobyluck was running 13th. It was time for pit strategy to come into play, and the Mohegan Sun Racing team opted for an early entry onto pit road.
“We wanted track position, and we knew the lead lap cars would have to pit sometime. We came in early – around lap 50 – took tires and pulled some tape off the grill. After that, it was just wait it out and move closer to the front every time a caution came out.”
The strategy worked. By lap 60, Kobyluck was seventh, and he had the track position he wanted. He pitted again for fuel and right side tires and worked his way up to the front.
On a restart at 129, the Mohegan Sun Casino Chevrolet was lined up on the outside of leader Marc Davis. Kobyluck got a jump and was able to lead an entire circuit before Davis reclaimed it. The two pulled away from the rest of the field before another caution put them side-by-side once again. Kobyluck led another lap, but succumbed to Davis’ challenges and started falling back into the field.
“It was the vibration,” said Kobyluck. “In the end, a ninth place finish is a good day. It’s definitely something to build on, and we plan to do that at South Boston in two weeks.”