Digging Deep With Denise: Visiting With Chase Dowling





“Digging Deep With Denise” is a semi-regular question and answer feature with local racers and racing personalities produced by RaceDayCT’s Denise DuPont


Chase Dowling (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

Chase Dowling – I would not change a thing 

Chase Dowling of Roxbury ran circles around the family home on a dirt
bike which started his need for speed. He moved to Go-Karts, Legend cars and
then forward to the Modifieds. At 18 years old he competed in the K&N Pro
Series, finishing in the top-10. Running in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
series for seven years he has one win, 21 top-five’s and
41 top-10’s.

In 2021, running a Ben Dodge owned Modified, Dowling collected four wins in
the Tour Type Modified events. He also earned one win in a Dan Avery owned SK
Modified at Stafford Speedway. Dowling also continued to expand his racing
focus to include Dirt Big Block Modifieds. 

What sparked your interest in racing?

“I used to run around on a dirt bike at my house when [my parents] were
building it. One day my dad’s best friend came over for a visit and said
‘You should put that kid in a Go-Kart.” My dad did that and I liked it. As a
joke my dad told me if I won the championship in the World Karts in the
Northeast Regional competition that we would go to Nationals. And we did and it kind
of was history from there. We won a lot of National Championships with the
Go-Karts and Legend cars which we ran down south. Then we moved on to the
Modifieds – an SK Light Modified at Stafford Speedway, the No. 15, and we won
too.”

Which type of racing do you like the best?

“It all depends. It is cool that I have had an opportunity to drive a NEMA
Midget, the Dirt Big Block Modified and the asphalt Modified. I have been
jumping around from one division to another my whole life, but obviously
asphalt Modifieds are kind of my favorite.” 

Would you say racing is your hobby? Your Work? Your Life?

“Racing is pretty much a combination of everything – my work, a hobby and my
life. We have really great people, backers, and sponsors. And obviously, I
put a ton of hours into it each week. It is a full time job and then after
hours I will stay there until whatever time it takes to get it done. I love
it and yes it is a job. Ben [Dodge] is a great owner and supplies us with
everything that we need. But at the end of the day it all comes back on my
hands from the truck, trailer, getting the car prepared, organizing the crew
and getting to the race track. So it definitely is a lot of work.

“Originally I drove a family SK Light and an SK [Modified] so I worked on them, I never
really drove for anyone then. I had some opportunities to drive for others,
but I figured out that no one is going to care as much about the car as you
do. We ran a program last summer for three races and then decided that the
team ought to run more open races. It is a lot more fun and a lot less
stress. It is also cheaper financially and provides more give back.”

What type of Modified chassis is in the car?

“We purchase the chassis and then we do a lot ourselves at the shop before
we send them out. We actually build them from bottom up.” 

Working on your own car?

“I start with the experience that I have gained. I have been around a lot of
good people and I have gathered notebooks from everywhere and learned a lot.
Basically you go through the notebook and work off of it.” 

What is your most memorable race experience?

“There is a lot of them. But one of the cool weird ones is coming back up to
the Northeast after racing down South in the Legend cars and being told by
Marcus Ambrose and those guys in a Late Model deal that it cost $250,000 to
run a year. My dad and I looked at each other and said that is not going to
happen. So we came back up here and ran an SK Light and we won the first
race. It was pretty cool. It was just a different experience. Winning
Stafford with the No. 9 car this year was pretty awesome. And Ben [Dodge] and
that whole situation. There have been a lot of good wins and memories along
the way.”

What are the challenges that drivers have running different tracks?

“It is everything. It does not depend on one person. The crew is a big
factor, pit stops are key, finding and getting financials. Bringing the car
to the race track and thinking that you have the best of the best stuff.
There are so many combinations – The best driver could win, the best car
could win there are so many crucial things.”

What do you find unique about Stafford Speedway?

“Seekonk, Star and Monadnock are bull rings – [the Tri-Track Open Modified Series] runs. It is a lot
different for drivers. You are never wide open really so the race is more in
the driver stand put. Stafford, turn one and two are obviously way different
than turn three and four. There are little nooks and crannies in the race
track where you can find grip. You can move around the race track and run
different lines which is cool. When you talk to drivers, Stafford is a hard
track to conquer.” 

What was your goal for 2021?

“Our goal was to run good and competitive. We definitely met it that is for
sure. I had been around Modified racing a long time and so has my crew. But
we never went Tour Type [Modified] racing as a team. I work on the car the whole time
with Ben Stoner.  Being in charge and managing the whole situation and
operation is kind of stressful. But what you put in is what you get out. Now
we have a philosophy that if we do not run the top five it is kind of a bad
day. I do not know if that is a good or bad philosophy but we do obviously
come to the race track to win races. And we have won quite a few races this
year and ran well if we did not win. Overall I am very happy with our 2021
program.”

Which do you like better: Turning the wrenches or turning the wheel?

“I think that it is a combo kind of thing. I think that is you know your
race car, you can give better feedback and put more into your race car.
Instead of guessing, you know when your car is tight and loose. You work in
the shop and put a lot of hours in it because you know you can give it back
on race day with feedback.”

If you had to do this all over again, would you?

“Yes, absolutely. I would not change a thing along the way. I made a lot of
good and bad memories. I have had a ton of lows and some good highs. So I
would not change a thing. I am very fortunate and grateful right now.”

What are your plans for 2022?

“I think that we are going to do the same deal: run the Stafford Open races,
Tri-Track and maybe do a little more Dirt Big Blockers.”

Reflecting on the ‘Call Before You Dig’ 2021 Championship Award ($8,111.00)

“It is just awesome that the ‘Call Before You Dig (CBYD)’ and Derek Brown
are stepping up for the Modified racing. It makes it a lot easier for us to
go racing and gives us another Championship to go after every year. Overall
it is just for the community of New England modified racing to have people
stepping up and sponsoring our events. So we all come out and we have a
really good car count because of a lot of people supporting our series. We
cannot thank those guys enough.”

Comments

  1. Do your self a favor and keep driving that Big Block Dirt Modified .

  2. Did not answer the question on what chassis he is using nor did he say what he prefers best driving or the mechanical end.
    “We purchase the chassis and then we do a lot ourselves at the shop before
    we send them out. We actually build them from bottom up.”
    Does anyone out their speak Dowling that can interpret what the heck that means. Is that a Ben Dodge thing where because of his position it’s not acceptable to name where the dad gum chassis came from you built from the ground up.

    Sure we get that if you know the components you put into the car and how they perform in relationship to each other you’re in a better position to recommend changes. That wasn’t the question. Oh brother.
    Just a suggestion to all you drivers out there that do interviews. Give us a break and let your guard down every now and then. This ham handed manipulation of responses in the interest of directing the audience to some kind of conclusion is just insulting. You’re not being asked how your love life is going. All you have to say is LFR or Fury and mechanical or driving for Pete’s sake.
    I never realized that in many ways Dowling and Ronnie Williams are similar and different. Similar in that they came from a privileged youth that could afford to foster their racing interests. Different in that Williams got the formal education and is pursuing a traditional career while Dowling is putting all his eggs in the racing basket. Completely different approaches to racing but I’d have a hard time saying as a driver one is better then the other.
    To get where Dowling is now is the result of parents that could afford to fund his racing interests, talent and hard work. He’s unique in that he jumped around more then just about any other really successful driver and dropped rides that he didn’t feel would get him where he wanted to be. You can’t do that without a lot of confidence.
    There’s a price to be paid for that approach. In 2013 he won 7 SK Light features and Tony Membrino is in the record books as the champion. He had the year with Skowyra in the SK’s that was successful yet Rocco’s name is in the record books as the champion. The banner year with the LFR house car. A win in the Musket but second in the points. Chase Dowling for all that talent so far is not in the record books as a champion in a modified of any sort while Ronnie Williams has two championships.
    It’s just one fans opinion but great drivers at some point need to appear as the champion somewhere or they get forgotten really easily. Not important now but it may be some day when you have no championships to point to, to say for that year you were the best.

  3. I agree Doug. Ronnie Williams also has a Tri Track championship and mostly won the owners Championship for Gary Casella in the MRS the same year as the TriTrack and one of the Stafford championships you mentioned in 2019. Both drivers are exciting to watch, so let the rivalry continue!!!

  4. I agree Doug. Ronnie Williams also has a Tri Track championship and mostly won the owners Championship for Gary Casella in the MRS the same year as the TriTrack and one of the Stafford championships you mentioned in 2019. Both drivers are exciting to watch, so let the rivalry continue!!!

  5. Yankee racer says

    Doug,
    It’s called immaturity. For Chase to say that they build the chassis from the ground up is laughable. I’m sure the guys that actually do build them love that crap. Hope he NEVER needs another one! I would tell him to s$1t if his hat if it were my call.

Leave a Reply

Copyright 2018 E-Media Sports

Website Designed by Thirty Marketing