Fast-forward to 2013, and the reigning NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion has become entrenched not only as a fixture on the Tour but also as one of the insightful voices among a small handful of active champions.
Coby's abilities – and his personality – seem well suited to the Little Engine That Could team owned by Wayne Darling.
“Once you're comfortable in your own skin, with your own team, you can have a lot more fun with it,” said Coby, whose father was a Modified driver at Riverside Park and Stafford Speedway a generation ago. “It's really pretty funny, because I always joke with (multi-time Tour champion) Mike Stefanik now. He came to all our quarter-midget banquets as a guest speaker when I was a kid. Now he tells me that I'm the one who's going to be going to those quarter-midget banquets.”
It was a strange path to Modified success for Coby. While fellow Tour champions like Ron Silk or Todd Szegedy grew up racing go-karts and then graduated into Modifieds, Coby started out in full-bodied stock cars. He won the final Pro Stock championship at Stafford in 2000, and then found himself searching for what was next.