Sophomore Switch: Chase Dowling To Run For Owner Bob Katon In 2016 On Whelen Modified Tour

Chase Dowling: (Photo: Tim Bradbury/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Chase Dowling: (Photo: Tim Bradbury/Getty Images for NASCAR)

One of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour’s brightest young stars is on the move.

Seventeen-year-old Chase Dowling, the 2015 Whelen Modified Tour rookie of the year, will run full-time in the division in 2016 for team owner Bob Katon’s Berkley Auto Racing team.

Dowling, who turns 18 on Friday, moves to Katon’s outfit after spending his rookie year on the Whelen Modified Tour running a second car out of veteran Jamie Tomaino’s stable.

“He’s a very good kid,” Katon said. “There was a few people that had mentioned him to me and we had talked a few times and decided to put something together. I just think he’s definitely got a lot of potential. He wants to win races and I want to win races.

“We’re going to learn from each other. He’s got a bunch of good guys, I’ve got a bunch of good guys. We’re going to put our heads together and do this and see how it goes.”

Said Dowling: “It’s another good opportunity on the Tour. Everyone knows with racing you need the finances behind it to do it, so I’m fortunate just to have the opportunity to race again this year on the Tour.

“I talked to Bob almost three years ago, when I was racing an SK Light. We tried making a deal back then and it never went through. But we’d see each other at the track and talked a lot. This year, financially, we had all the parts in place and we’re excited to put this team together.”

Dowling, of Roxbury, started all 15 Whelen Modified Tour events in 2015 and finished ninth in the standings, showing a strong closing kick over the second half of the season.

Dowling had top-10 finishes in eight of the final nine events of the 2015 season, including a streak of five consecutive finishes of ninth or better over the final five events of the season. He recorded one top-five finish as a rookie with a third place at Riverhead (N.Y) Raceway in late August.

“The beginning of the year we didn’t start like we wanted to … but near the end we started getting the consistency we’re going to need,” Dowling said. “I definitely want prove more than I did last year. I want to get a whole bunch more top-five’s this year and just improve all the way around. We’ve got a good base and I think it’s going to work. … We’ve got a good notebook, which a key on the Tour.”

Dowling will carry primary sponsorship from S&S Asphalt Paving and Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Repair. The team is expected to run a No. 9 car. Katon said in addition to running the Whelen Modified Tour the team is also hoping to run selected Tri-Track Open Modified Series events.

Dowling made the leap to the Whelen Modified Tour in 2015 after spending one year in the SK Modified division at Stafford Motor Speedway. He recorded one victory at Stafford in 2014, becoming the youngest winner ever in the division’s history at 16 years old.

He finished fifth in the SK Modified standings at Stafford in 2014 with four top-fives and 12 top-10’s in 17 starts. He finished second in the SK Light Modified division standings at Stafford in 2013, recording seven victories that season.


  1. This kid is a shoe. I had been hoping he was talking to the other Bob with an open seat.

  2. Should be a strong team kid showed a lot of talent and bob has good cars good luck

  3. Did Katon ever comment on TC’s departure last year? I believe TC suggested that he didn’t want to fund any more Tour races expenses??

  4. ModFan Homtracks says

    This is great. Chase showed good progress and consistancy through the whole year. We need to keep bring up this type of young talent matching them up with great owners like Bob to make the Tour more exciting and to give it a brighter future. Finally some good news coming from the tour in this offseason. Good luck Chase!

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