Chase Dowling, Danny Watts Racing Skipping Whelen Mod Tour Event At Myrtle Beach

Chase Dowling in the Danny Watts Racing No. 82 Whelen Modified Tour ride last Octobert at Thompson Speedway (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)

Two years ago Chase Dowling spent the 2018 season hunting down a series title on the Whelen Modified Tour. Dowling ultimately ended up second in the standing to Justin Bonsignore in the championship hunt that year. 

After running part-time with the series in 2019, Dowling was hoping to get back on in championship hunt in 2020 with Danny Watts Racing. 

Now it looks like Dowling and the team will be stepping away from that title chasing goal for 2020. 

Danny Watts Racing announced through Facebook Monday that his team, with Dowling, will not compete in the May 30 Whelen Modified Tour Wade Cole Memorial 133 presented by Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Repair at Myrtle Beach Speedway in Myrtle Beach, S.C. 

The Myrtle Beach event was announced officially by NASCAR on Friday as an addition to the 2020 schedule.

The Danny Watts owned team joins Kevin Stuart Motorsports in publicly announcing they will not attend the hastily arranged season opener for the series. 

“After discussing the Myrtle Beach race with everyone we have decided as a team that we will not be going to the race this weekend,” read an announcement on the Danny Watts Racing Facebook page Monday. “We appreciate everything NASCAR has done to put this together and hope that there will be more opportunities to race sometime real soon. With so much uncertainty around it doesn’t feel like the right thing to do for us. Good luck to everyone that chooses to go.” 

The Myrtle Beach event – which will be a points-earning race for the series – will take place with a purse greatly reduced from what the series typically runs for. The event will pay $4,000 to win. Every finisher from 10th place back through the final running order will earn $500 per position. No fans will be allowed to attend the event and teams will be limited to eight participants entering the track, including driver and team owner.

The Myrtle Beach event was not part of the original 2020 Whelen Modified Tour schedule. Due to restrictions in various areas due to the COVID-19 global pandemic the Whelen Modified Tour has been out of action. Of the first seven events on the 17-race original schedule, six have been postponed indefinitely and one – at Martinsville Speedway – has been cancelled. NASCAR has also already announced the cancellation of the Whelen Modified Tour event that was scheduled for July at Iowa Speedway. 

Dowling parted ways with Rob Fuller Motorsports following the 2018 season and started nine Whelen Modified Tour events in 2019. He ran three of the final five events of the season for Watts and the team announced during the offseason that they would remain together with plans to run for a title in 2020. 

NASCAR first made team owners aware of the scheduling of the Myrtle Beach event on May 15 and told teams about the likely restrictions that would be in place, including teams being limited.

On May 18 the following was posted on the Danny Watts Racing Facebook page: “No one wants to get back here more then our team. … but why do it if we can’t all be there! #DWR82 #itsapassionnotajob #initalltogether” 


  1. getserious says

    The disrespect of NASCAR attaching Wade Cole’s name to this sham of an event, in order, IMHO, to shame teams to attend, is beyond the pale. NASCAR once again shows how callous, greedy, and manipulative those “suits” in the business are. Especially when it comes to the WMT, they exploit the real racefans, mostly good people but often simple-minded addicts, over and over. It is good to see some saying, “We aren’t going to play this week.”

  2. Chase Dowling got 2 new LFR’s. Watts, Horsepower Hill Farm, Jimmy Paige?

  3. So can the friends and family of Wade Cole attend the event if there are no fans allowed? Bad enough if they can in fact, they will have to spend over 1000.00 to pay tribute. Nice job Nascar. If a southern driver passes will we have the memorial race in Loudon? Come on.

  4. knuckles Mahoney says

    Unfortunately the show will go on. They will likely get some southern teams to fill the field. I applaud all those that are staying home.

  5. knuckles Mahoney says

    The race is a few days away, I don’t see any entry list anywhere. You have any insight Shawn?

  6. Knuckles,
    I don’t expect to see an entry list until maybe Wednesday or Thursday.

  7. wmass01013 says

    I love you guys looking for an entry list, This is a NEW race just announced FRIDAY AFTEROON of a holiday weekend, in the articles Shawn has posted they ALL say after discussing this as a TEAM they decide No and I am sure quite a few teams might STILL BE DECIDING!!!!!! USE some common sense!!!

  8. Respect. ✊

  9. Bob Npt. says

    A tour race to honor a long time New England driver should be held at a New England track in front of fans, whenever that can be. Not at Myrtle Beach in front of no one. That’s pathetic and quite honestly a dishonor. Wade deserves better than that.

  10. Fast Eddie says

    I would bet once we’re racing up here, the local tracks will do something to honor and remember Wade Cole. He has been such a big supporter of the WMT, doing what he could with limited funds. One of the “little guy” teams, always there to support the sport.

  11. Jimmy Wilson said via Facebook: We will do something when timing is better in the NE but we needed to open the season in Wade’s honor.

  12. I’m so glad I’m not on FaceBook.

  13. Any chance some races get rescheduled to some NH tracks that weren’t on the original schedule? There is a GSPSS race next weekend and it sounds like the Cup series will run Loudon in July so I don’t see why there can’t be Tour races up here? I would love to see these guys run at Star or Lee etc…. Also hoping Trackpass will be streaming the event since it’s why we are paying for it and all.

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