Too Quick: Chase Dowling Moves On From Painful Whelen Modified Tour Icebreaker 150 Penalty

Chase Dowling

By Polly Reid & Shawn Courchesne

THOMPSON – With about 40 laps remaining in Sunday’s NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Icebreaker 150 at Thompson Speedway it was apparent that Chase Dowling had the field covered and looked to be on his way to his first career series victory.

In the end it wasn’t a competitor that caught him on the track, but rather NASCAR officials.

Starting 14th, Dowling passed Doug Coby for the lead on lap 37 and dominated in top spot spot until pitting on lap 74. Dowling made his was back to the lead by lap 108. But following a lap 117 restart, Dowling was penalized for jumping a restart and put to the rear of the field.

“It was just miscommunication,” Dowling said of the penalty. “I went when I thought I could go but obviously not. So it was a call according to NASCAR’s rulebook. There is nothing to do. You cannot get pissed off about it because it is nothing to hang our heads about.”

Dowling rallied to finish eighth.

“Obviously I had the fastest car out there,” Dowling said. “It is what it is. The last thing that I would do is jump the start. They said I did jump it, but I didn’t. I did go a little bit early, but I thought that I could go in between the lines and that was what I did. And I was sent to the back of pack. We ended up finishing in the top ten, so we will come back hungrier next time.”

Dowling, who finished fourth in the Whelen Modified Tour season opener on March 17 at Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Speedway, now sits tied for second in the standings with Craig Lutz, eights points behind Icebreaker 150 winner Justin Bonsignore.

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  1. Gofastturnleft says

    It was pretty clear the lines were not in use. There barely visible on the track and they even taped over the lines on the wall before the race. Maybe if he was still a rookie this would be ok/expected but as this level you can’t be making mistakes like that.

  2. That 15 car has been bad fast for several years. Never wins though. Regardless of driver too. Todd finished 2nd numerous times. Bad luck, wrong place wrong time, wrong pit strategy etc, etc.

  3. Agree Mark they seem to snake bit he did appear to jump the start it’s happened in the past sometimes they throw the caution right after and give a warning just speculation NASCAR was not happy with many teams yesterday they will win they are always fast

  4. lawrence donaldson says

    Did the 15 jump or did the ny7 spin the tire ? NY7 spun the tire and held up the line more than 1 time from what i seen. And lots of Certain people are eating crow today for talking junk about Chases decisions he made . LOL need some Ketchup Boys!! good luck to the 15 crew ! PS.look at replay on

  5. WeldingWonders says

    Dowling/Fuller are in 3rd place after 2 races. Not exactly a bad place to start from. True he’s got a lot of NWMT experience but he’s only 20 or so. He and Fuller are all in this year. This mistake will be forgotten but the teams speed will remain.How about Ronnie Williams consistently terrible starts. He may have bigger issues as far as starts go.

  6. darealgoodfella says

    Doug (aka: WeldingWonders, Sybil, et al.), where were you sitting to see the restarts?

    It is possible for one car to start early and another car to spin the tires. The car that spins the tires does not have anything to do with the car that went early.

  7. Old man racer says

    I see that Chase ran the vmrs race also. Who’s car was he in, and was it an LFR?

  8. Old man racer says

    Also, what did he drive in SK?
    (Sorry, I wasn’t there.)

  9. lawrence donaldson says

    darealagood : Sure does one guy gets in the other ones head ,double throttle that pedal makes it look like he’s going. BUT who am i, seems as though you know everything . Was that your idea to put a cone on the wall for the starts? finish your plate! Stop

  10. Wasn’t there, but seems to me to be a harsh punishment. Usually NASCAR will throw the yellow and retry then if you jump punish you. Sucks for Chase but to rebound to 8 the is good. How many cars were on the lead lap? Anyway rit for tat bet he don’t jump again.

  11. Gofastturnleft says

    He did not race an sk at Thompson. He will be racing a sk at Stafford that is a lfr chassis owned by Ben Dodge. The cat he ran in the mrs race was a troyer

  12. Old man. It was a Troyer. Can’t believe everything you read on here. Fuller had no issue with the kid running a Troyer. It’s another story to run one 28 times for a championship. We will still say that he’s a jerk for restraining him though. From my seat he’s in a pretty good spot with LFR.

  13. WeldingWonders says

    To follow up onTodd. Fullers words “. I have no issues with Chase driving a competitors chassis here and there”. Chase is a salesman for LFR among other things so it is completely reasonable for him to limit his driving in other chassis as he is doing.
    Good spot indeed. A dream job working for a top chassis guy, pay check, benefits and now an SK ride with a long list of supporters being prepared at Fullers shop with his support. Ya you could say he’s in a good spot for a 20 year old. There can’t be many naysayers left. Turns out young Chase is a pretty savvy guy.

  14. I saw the kid dominate Thompson when he was driving for Jamie. He didn’t win that night but he made a believer out of me. I’ve been singing his praises ever since.

  15. Did the 51 jump a restart? Yep, yes he did. Did he wave and pretend to be sorry, yup. Kinda messed up. The 51 sent Pennick to the wall on the first lap. Great race. But did the 51 block the 21 going into 1? The only driver rougher was the 76.

  16. They use cones to do restarts. By the Whelen lights just when they go onto the front stretch. One on pit road, one on the outside wall…

  17. Are there any LFR cars on the MRS TOUR?

  18. He should pay more attention to the video in the drivers meeting next time. There’s two double lines and a cone on the beginning of the front stretch wall and he went about 50 yards before it. Watch the full race video on YouTube.

  19. Pencik was real fast to used a lot tires still came back for 3rd

  20. SK ModFan says

    Welding. Let’s fill in some blanks for you. You love Chase, we get it. Bashing Ronnie and questioning if there are issues? Come on. Me being there, listening on the radio and talking to the team afterward, I have some facts. Ronnie in his Troyer wins his first pole in only his 12th WMT start. Finds out early in the race his restart gear is not getting him out of the gate so he was leaving some space to jump and quick shift his restarts. (Slow starts or a driver adapting to his car issues, huh, Welding??). Then while Chase was leading, the 21 car lost power steering and Ronnie fell back to 22nd and considered pulling out of the race. He said on the radio he’s crossing his arms to turn the car. After his pit stop the power steering came back intermittently and he found himself in second with 2 to go. A Troyer vs LFR for the win. Where was Chase. Oh yeah, 10th with NO Chance to win. Where would you rather be, a middle of the race “dominator” or sitting P2 with 2 to go? Last lap Ronnie taps Justin going into 3 and out of 4 and has momentum on him going into 1, so he went for the pass and the win. That’s what racers do. He did not settle for a second. If you have a car that can win, go win. The 51 threw the block of the year going into one, great spotting, and wins. Welding, there is always more to the story than what your tired eyes can see. I can tell you that LFR cars block great. And the story of all the adversity Ronnie had in that race, had a chance to win and went for it shows the character of that young man. I saw him after the race doing interviews, and listened to his reply’s and he was humble, gracious and extremely professional with no excuses or bashing. It’s a long year Welding, keep your eyes open!!

  21. WeldingWonders says

    Man I make a one sentence observation and I’m bashing Williams? Tired eyes? Ouch! For sure but until you discover a cure for old age I guess those will be all I have to view races by. On the other hand if you’re going to use it as motivation to do such an informative analysis of the race from Williams standpoint it’s a very good thing.
    I’ll check the tape again and get back to you. In the meantime with regard to technical aspects of adapting to shifting issues your take is interesting. First, all I said is his starts need work and it appears you confirmed it by defining it as an equipment issue. Second is more a question. Is it acceptable for a driver to clog a lane up as a strategy because his car has shifting issues? Leaving himself some space for a quick shift. Who does that? Can anyone in the field leave themselves some space like one of my fellow geezers leaving two car lengths empty at a stop light anytime they feel it maximizes their starting effort? Further explanation requested.
    To be clear I am a Dowling fan and more so a Rob Fuller fan which does no make me anti Ronnie. And I’m not playing that zero sum game deal where if one driver is good another has to be bad.
    Great post SK Mod Fan.

  22. darealgoodfella says

    SK Modfan, WeldingWonders (aka: Doug, Sybil, et al.) wasn’t at the track. He didn’t see the race in person like the rest of us. Don’t waste your keystrokes.

  23. John Davis says

    What ever happened to give the Spot back on the back straightaway if you jump the start ? I guess that rule only pertains to Doug Coby
    Typical Nascrap different rules for different drivers

  24. This is why the flagman should start the races, and call it off with a yellow if it ain’t right. Like they used to do.

  25. I think Chase got black flagged for jumping a restart last year

  26. Crazy in NY says

    Were any of you at the drivers meeting? Lots of little but Important facts or changes are brought to the drivers, spotters attention. That’s one of the reasons for the meetings. What they did last year and this may not be same. Let’s assume however Chase learned from his miscue. I wouldn’t wager against him at the Sizzler.

  27. Modified Guy says

    @Jason, Chase wasn’t black flagged last year. In the World Series, he had a clutch problem on the initial start. He decided on his own to go to the back of the pack so he wouldn’t cause a major wreck and to feel out the problem.

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