Dedicated: Chase Dowling Scores Emotional Valenti Mod Series Win At Thompson Icebreaker

Chase Dowling celebrates victory in the Valenti Modified Racing Series feature Saturday at the Icebreaker at Thompson Speedway (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)

THOMPSON – The memories of the late Ted Christopher will forever be part of the fabric of short track racing in Southern New England. 

Saturday at the Icebreaker at Thompson Speedway it was Chase Dowling helping his car owner and crew celebrate their own memories of Christopher behind the wheel. 

Dowling used a late pass of Ronnie Williams to score victory in the 50-lap Valenti Modified Racing Series feature Saturday at Thompson Speedway. 

It was the first career victory at Thompson Speedway for Dowling, of Roxbury.

Immediately following the win Dowling was handed a Ted Christopher flag by the crew of his Jimmy Paige owned car and he did a special victory lap flying the TC No. 13 around the .625-mile oval. 

Christopher, who was killed in a plane crash in September 2017, had driven Tour Type Modifieds and SK Modifieds during his career for Paige. 

“I think it’s more about those crew guys who had been with Teddy,” Dowling said of his victory dedication. “… He had a huge impact on those crew guys. Those guys walking out on the track as a group and giving me the flag. It means the world to those guys. I’m just happy to be behind the wheel of that race car.” 

Williams, of Tolland, held on for second and Mike Willis Jr. of Grantham, N.H. was third. 

Dowling easily went by pole-sitter Max Zachem for the lead at the drop of the green flag and had the dominant car for most of the early going. But by lap 28 it was Williams all over Dowling in second. 

Williams took the lead on lap 29 in turn one, but Dowling rallied right back to regain the top spot in turn four. 

On lap 31 Williams got by Dowling again for the top spot and then held off the charges of Dowling through a rash of late restarts. 

The final caution flew on lap 48 to set up a three-lap dash to the checkered. On the restart Dowling got to the inside of Williams off of turn two then cleared him for the lead for good off of turn four. 

“I knew he was going to be there at the end,” Dowling said. “He caught me and got by me clean. … We raced each other hard. … But I wasn’t going to come in second today.

“… These guys really needed to win. They’ve been busting they’re tails week in and week out. … We’ve got a small group but they have a big heart.” 

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  1. New year same two cars vying for the win and ending up flipping positions in the end. 26 cars started the race last spring 21 this year. No Nocella, Goodale, Pitkat, Rocco,Ethridge, Savory or Silk.
    A great race but is it an indication that the VMRS is becoming the traveling open show someone predicted last year. Points and a championship more of a back burner thing.
    Are teams keeping their powder dry for the opens like Staffords expanded schedule, the Bull Ring Bash and the crown jewel of opens the TTOMS. Is that the trend?
    NWMT seems to be thriving but the VMRS and that deal that is stuck on hold with only Speedbowl dates may be caught in a changing landscape. That’s what many wanted isn’t it? Fewer modified tours. More opens.

  2. donald super says

    how is glenn griswald doing

  3. Donald Super,
    No official updates given and with medical privacy law issues these days it’s really not proper to put out any information without consent.

  4. Paul Pytko says

    Hope he is OK, all though he and my Son have had there more then fair share of on track incidents he really is a good guy and we wish him a fast and speedy recovery.

  5. Fast Eddie says

    Doug, I’m guessing Nocella, Silk, & Goodale teams were focusing on the NWMT race. They did mention over the PA that Ethridge’s car was not ready yet. I don’t think Pitkat has a VMRS ride. I heard Savory was cutting back on his schedule. It always seemed to me that some VMRS teams focus on the bullrings and don’t do Thompson or Stafford; maybe lacking a little in horsepower and/or suspension components?

  6. You’re the expert Eddie but when I look at the 26 cars that showed for the last VMRS race at Stafford I don’t see too many holes there.
    I guess I’d ask you. Does the VMRS championship and points system really carry any weight now? Are opens changing the landscape? Do fans even care about VMRS points? Would it make sense for the VMRS to go to a TTOMS style more limited race model but with greater rewards?
    Seems to me something is going on here.

  7. Nocella and Silk moved to NWMT, no Rocco or Brady entry and Goodale was never a VMRS regular. Yes – the VMRS field was a bit thin.

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