Youth Movement: Rookie Chase Dowling Gets First Career SK Modified Win At Stafford

Chase Dowling

Chase Dowling

STAFFORD – Chase Dowling came into the 2014 SK Modified season at Stafford Motor Speedway hoping to get a top-three finish as a rookie.

He got that top three he wanted right out of the box in the season opener on April 27 when he was third in his first career start in the division.

Friday, in his fourth start, the 16-year old from Roxbury did what he had previously thought unfathomable this season.

Dowling held off reigning division champion Woody Pitkat to win the 45-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature Friday at Stafford.

Pitkat, of Stafford, was second and Dan Avery of Somers third.

Dowling, who finished second in standings as a rookie in the SK Light Modified division at Stafford last year, became the youngest winner ever in an SK Modified in the track’s history.

“Last year we didn’t really shoot for goals, we shot for winning one race and we ended up winning seven,” Dowling said. “This year, I didn’t believe that would happen at all. I was thinking top-three’s would be awesome and I’m looking at the fourth race in and I just won a race. I can’t even describe it. I’m just speechless right now.”

Dowling passed Michael Gervais for the lead on lap 17 before Gervais spun from second place a lap later. Over the closing laps Dowling had to fend off feisty challenges from Avery and Pitkat.

“I had to almost hold my breath there,” Dowling said. “I couldn’t believe it. I’m racing against some of the best people here. This is an awesome opportunity to race against these guys. I just can’t believe this right now, it’s awesome. … I was just thinking, ‘I’ve got to beat [Woody Pitkat], he’s the man of this track. He knows this track inside and out. I tried switching it up a little bit, but he’s smart.”

Said Pitkat: I’ve been watching him come through with the SK Light [Modified]. He did an outstanding job. … I knew he was going to be good. He’s a real good driver. He’s been driving for a long time. Hat’s off to those guys, that was awesome.

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  1. “Dowling inherited the lead after Michael Gervais got spun out of the top spot on lap 18.”

    This is not accurate. We passed him clean and he got spun trying to keep 2nd place….just to clear things up

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