Perfect Start: Chase Dowling Wins SK Mod Debut With New Team At Stafford

Chase Dowling celebrates victory in the SK Modified feature Sunday at Stafford Motor Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont)

STAFFORD – The new team, new driver combination is typically expected to take some time gel in motorsports.

Sunday at Stafford Motor Speedway Chase Dowling showed that that he was going to need months or even weeks to find the recipe for success with a new SK Modified ride.

In his first race for car owner Adam Skowyra, the 19-year old Dowling drove to victory in the 40-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature at the NAPA Spring Sizzler at Stafford Sunday.

It was Dowling’s second career SK Modified feature win at Stafford. He won his first on June 20, 2014.

“This is something I’ve always dreamed of,” Dowling said. “I can’t thank [car owner] Adam Skowyra and the boys enough. They worked their heart out all week and it shows. We came here fast in practice, fast in the heat race. That race I just knew I had to be patient.”

Ronnie Williams of Tolland was second and Keith Rocco of Wallingford third.

Dowling wasn’t surprised by the victorious results in the team’s first race together.

“When we went to the first practice and tested here two weeks ago, it was just fun right off the bat,” Dowling said. “Me and Adam and the whole team just bonded well. I knew from then we were going to be good. We came here and practiced fast, in the heat race we were fast. In the race I just knew I had to be patient. First race out, I just stayed patient, took my time and got to the front at the end.”

Ryan Preece went to the front early, but it was Ted Christopher moving past Preece for the lead on lap five.

Christopher held that top spot on until lap 34 when contact between Rocco and Christopher sent Christopher spinning out of the lead.

The race restarted on lap 34 with Rocco leading, Williams in second and Dowling third. On the restart Dowling was able to find his way to the low lane in turns one and two and get Rocco up the track and wrestle the lead away.

“He got a good push after the restart the box,” Dowling said. “I was like ‘Man I’ve got to make up for it.’ I knew he was tight in the center [of the corner]. I went up and [bumped] him up a little bit. I knew he’d do the same with me. It was just hard racing. Cars aren’t getting wrecked, it’s just racing. It was definitely eventful, but it was good.”

Said Rocco: “It’s definitely not what we wanted, but a good way to start out the year.”

Williams ran near the front the entire event, but couldn’t find away to the top spot.

“Our car was tight through the center [of the corners],” Williams said. “I was trying to do everything I could. It felt like we could never get up to the front. We were always second and third on the restarts. I was happy when we were third on the restarts because we’d get second. Definitely wanted one more lap.”


  1. Didn’t actually see the deal between Rocco, and Teddy. (Was in infield in turn 1&2). One thing I did not like, was the track officials letting Eric Berndt (with a badly wrecked racecar) sit in turn 1 for more than a lap, so the race could reach the checkered flag. Nobody knew if he was hurt, and the rest of the field was at full speed entering turn 1. I assume this was all because of the approaching weather? Lets hurry and get the show in!
    Pre race ceremonies, as usual way too long. Sizzler not that exciting until the last 40 laps. 200 laps way too many. 80 laps would be just about the perfect length

  2. After decades away I returned to Stafford as a spectator a few years back expecting to see the SK division as it was long ago. A yellow flagged, demolition derby of over aggressive drivers that didn’t seem to value patience or equipment in the slightest. What I saw was 40 laps of outstanding, competitive wheel to wheel racing by highly skilled drivers wheeling magnificently prepared machines that blew me away.
    Watching last Sundays race I could not help but marvel at the number of competitive cars that took the green. Easily any one of 10, maybe more cars could win a race on any given day. Great drivers coming in 15th could turn it around and win the next week. Guys that won steadily in the Light division moving up and making competition even more brutal. Add the SK Lights with their jam packed field and great racing and the future of local racing at Stafford looks promising.
    If someone could convince Ben Dodge that he doesn’t have to refer to drivers “making magic” nearly every single lap, watching an SK feature would be pretty near the perfect 40 laps of racing.

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