Confidence Abounds For Chase Dowling With New Whelen Mod Tour Program In 2016

Chase Dowling

Chase Dowling

STAFFORD – The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour 2015 Rookie of the Year thinks it’s time to crack the win column with the series and believes he has the team with the chemistry to do it in 2016.

One thing 18-year old Chase Dowling is not short on is confidence.

Dowling, of Roxbury, had one top-five and eight top-10 finishes in 2015 on the way to a ninth place finish in the standings driving a backup car out of longtime series veteran Jamie Tomaino’s stable.

This year Dowling has connected with car owner Bob Katon Jr. and is ready to climb the standings.

“I want to finish top-five points,” Dowling said during a recent test session at Stafford Motor Speedway. “I think that’s a realistic goal. I think we can get a win hopefully at some point in the year. We just need the right time, right car setup. I’m really shooting for top-five in points though. I think that would be a really good goal to achieve.

“I just want to hopefully get a win at some point in the season and the just be consistent with top-fives and top-10’s.”

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. His one top-five finish as a rookie was a third place at Riverhead (N.Y) Raceway in late August.

At this year’s season opening Icebreaker 150 at Thompson Speedway on April 10 Dowling had a career best fourth place qualifying effort before settling for an 11th place finish in the event.

“We missed it a little bit with the first race at Thompson with our setup a little bit,” Dowling said. “The second run, it was decent. I think we’re gaining on it. … It was a good weekend. I think we have a good team and a good car for this year. I’m excited. I think we’re just going to keep building on it.”

Dowling heads to this weekend’s Whelen Modified Tour NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 at Stafford with the confidence that comes with home-track familiarity.

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 SK Modified 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.

Dowling’s first event this year included a dustup with series veteran Jimmy Blewett. Dowling said he’s understanding well with the series of when aggressiveness is needed.

“I raced everyone clean last year,” Dowling said. “I didn’t rough anyone up. I’m kind of hoping to get the same respect back. At Thompson it was there, I just had a little problem with Blewett. I think it was just a racing deal. We got involved. It is what it is. Now I know how he races, I know how I race. It’s nothing personal, it was just a racing deal.

“I’ll be aggressive when I have to be aggressive. But when we were 50 laps into that race at Thompson, there was no point in me being aggressive if the car is not there. If we have a top-10 car you’re going to run 10th, you’re not going to win the race. I’m aggressive when I’ve got to be aggressive. But if the car is a 10th place car, it’s 10th place car. I can’t personally make the car stick and I’m not going to go underneath someone and clean them out because I’m trying to get ninth place when I have a 10th place car.”


  1. Spec engine?

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