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Auto Racing: A Riverhead first for Connecticut driver at Miller Lite 200

Doug Coby, who has earned six NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championships and is a 30-time WMT winner, checked off another item on his racing bucket list Saturday. The Milford, Ct., driver, who had never won a race at Riverhead Raceway, did so with his victory in the Miller Lite 200.

“My dad told me the other day go get that Riverhead win,” Coby said afterward while sipping a beverage in victory lane.

Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park, N.Y., grabbed the runner-up honor. “We run pretty well here and are getting better and better at it,” he said.

After climbing out of his third-place car, Justin Bonsignore said, “Hey, if I couldn’t win it really is nice to see Doug and his bunch get it. They [have] been waiting a long time here.”

Kyle Bonsignore, a Bay Shore native who now calls North Carolina home and is Justin’s cousin, was fourth. Woody Pitkat of Stafford, Ct., put on the drive of the night, finishing fifth after starting 20th.

The 2020 Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Modified championship runner-up, Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills, had the best showing among Riverhead Raceway regulars with a ninth-place effort. For others, the Miller Lite 200 was not so kind. John Baker (17th), Kyle Ellwood (18th), Roger Turbush (21st), Kyle Soper (22nd) and Tom Rogers Jr. (24th) all had issues of one sort or another during the race.

Only seven of the 26 starters were on the lead lap at the end of the race.

Emerling’s runner-up coupled with Eric Goodale’s eighth-place finish leave the duo tied for the 2021 NASCAR WMT championship lead at 125 after three races.