Rebound: Chase Dowling Grabs Pole For Whelen Mod Tour NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 At Stafford

A beaming Chase Dowling climbs from his car in the pits at Stafford Motor Speedway Saturday after winning the pole in qualifying for Sunday’s Whelen Modified Tour NAPA Spring Sizzler 200

STAFFORD – The tired cliché of motorsports says you have to lose one before you can win one.

On April 8 at Thompson Speedway Chase Dowling looked to be on his way to his first career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory in the Icebreaker 150.

Dowling led a race-high 52 laps of the event, but it was his own mistake of jumping a restart that cost him a chance at victory.

Saturday at Stafford Motor Speedway the 20-year old from Roxbury showed he was ready to bounce back from the miscue and go right back to being the one chased on the track.

Dowling set a new track record in winning the pole in qualifying Saturday for Sunday’s Whelen Modified Tour NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 at Stafford Speedway.

It was the second career pole for Dowling, who is racing full-time this year on the series for team owner Robby Fuller.

“Winning at Stafford would mean a lot,” said Dowling, who came up through the track’s weekly SK Light Modified and then SK Modified divisions. “The whole meaning of the Spring Sizzler, not just now, but back in the day. The history of this race is pretty major. To do something like that and win it would be huge for my race career.”

At the Icebreaker Dowling came back to finish eighth. He was fourth in the season opening event at Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Speedway and goes into Sunday’s event at Stafford tied for second in the standings.

“It’s pretty big,” Fuller said. “These guys are showing their maturity. Chase is still a kid. He was pretty hard on himself after Thompson. I’m trying to not only run the team for him, but also trying to show him how to race. You’ve got to put things behind you that you can’t control. We can’t control it. He just the start there. It is what it is. Let’s move on and show our strength. That’s what this team is doing. We’re not messing around this year. We’re going for that championship pretty hard and there should be some nervous race teams out there.”

Dowling toured the half-mile Stafford oval in 17.721 seconds, besting the previous qualifying record of 17.896 seconds set at last year’s Spring Sizzler by reigning Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby.

“This thing’s been really good since we unloaded here,” Dowling said. “It’s the same car we ran at Thompson. Robby Fuller and the guys are working their tails off. The race tomorrow, 200 laps, a lot of strategy. But overall, it’s a great racecar. Great long run speed, great short run speed. We’ll put the pieces together tomorrow and see what we can do.”

Rowan Pennink of Huntingdon Valley, Pa. was second in qualifying at 17.837 seconds.

“The car was really good right out of the trailer,” Pennink said. “I just messed around and tried some stuff in practice and I actually got it even better. It was unbelievable in qualifying. I can’t thank the [Boehler Racing Enterprises] team enough. They did a great job bringing an awesome car here.”

Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford, Mass., winner of the season opening event at Myrtle Beach, will start third Sunday after posting a lap of 17.854 seconds in qualifying.

Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville, N.Y, the winner at Thompson on April 8 and the current points leader, was fourth fastest in qualifying (17.862 seconds). Coby, of Milford, rounded out the top-five in qualifying at 17.883 seconds.

Full NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 Qualifying Results 


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  1. LFR 3 out of 5 good job in qualifying. 200 laps tommorow though. Still sticking with Solomito to win .

  2. Coby & Preece starting side-by-side. That should be fun.

    Glad to see Pennink up there.

    Bring it!

  3. Dareal…….. that 15 car is a turd huh? “Never is a threat” was the quote. How about the peons that said Chase made a deal with the devil? Looks like the devil has a pretty good set up for Thompson and Stafford. The only variable is Fuller. How long can he stay on track. If he starts getting pulled in another direction this team is done. Keep this team together and it’s a battle for second place. Be a great season to watch from the stands!!

  4. My guess is the sk an skl will be the races to watch judging by the heat races the skl will b the best. Too much speed eliminates passing and side by side racing. Narducchi is the guy to watch, so happy he is starting 17th today

  5. Brian, as someone said before, the car seems to be fast, but somehow finds a way to not finish. Remember, this is racing and the objective is to WIN. In order to win, it helps to finish.

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