September 23rd, 2018
Chase Dowling Avoids Chaos To Score Musket 250 At NHMS
KYLE SOUZA HOMETRACKS.NASCAR.COM release
While Justin Bonsignore and Ryan Preece made contact and crashed racing for the lead in turn three on the final lap of the inaugural Musket 250 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Chase Dowling slid by both of them to score his first career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win.
In July, it was Dowling came off turn four in position to win at the ‘Magic Mile,’ but lost the dash to the checkered by just .014 seconds to Bobby Santos III. This time, Dowling edged Patrick Emerling by 0.056 seconds, moments before the yellow flew for the rest of the field.
“It’s in me, it just doesn’t really sink in yet,” Dowling said of his emotions after winning. “I’m through the roof. It was a pretty crazy race overall. I think it was just one of those things where I was waiting for it to happen. It finally happened.”
Dowling’s road to the victory was definitely not an easy one. He started from the pole and led 54 laps, but over the course of the 250-lap distance, Dowling was shuffled in and out of the top five.
Teams pitted more than once under the green flag, something that Dowling had never dealt with in his career. He pitted for the final time on lap 220, and came out in fifth for the restart.
After a caution with 14 laps to go bunched the field up, Dowling found himself fourth heading down the backstretch on the final lap. When Bonsignore and Preece made contact, Dowling cut to the bottom, slid past Emerling and beat him back to the finish line.
“There were a lot of up and down moments,” Dowling said. “You were leading one moment, then pitting and not knowing where you are out there. We just had to put ourself in position to win.”
Emerling also slid by without damage, too.
In his first trip north to New Hampshire, nine-time Bowman Gray Stadium modified division champion Burt Myers escaped the final corner and finished third. Andy Seuss finished fourth, while Preece limped across the line following the crash to finish in fifth driving for Gary Putnam.
Bonsignore was sixth, followed by Doug Coby, Jon McKennedy, Eric Goodale and Ron Silk.
The lead changed 30 times among five different drivers including three times in the final five laps. Bonsignore’s Whelen Modified Tour championship lead was cut to 74 points over Dowling with two races remaining on the championship points schedule.
The Musket 250 aired live via a stream on FansChoice.TV, and will air on NBCSN on Thursday, September 27 at 7 p.m.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track at Stafford Motor Speedway for the NAPA Fall Final 150 on Sunday, September 30
June 3rd, 2018
Back To The Front: Chase Dowling Gets First SK Modified Victory Of 2018 At Stafford
A www.racedayct.com article
STAFFORD – In 2017 at Stafford Motor Speedway the early weeks of the racing season in the SK Modified division were all about Chase Dowling.
That hot start carried through with Dowling ending the season with four victories and battling for a division championship on the final day of the season.
The book on Dowling in 2018 has been one far different than the one the Roxbury driver was writing last year.
Struggles through the first five weeks of the season had Dowling missing the successes of last year.
But Friday Dowling put the frustration behind.
Dowling started third, went to the lead on lap four and never trailed again on the way to victory in the 40-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature.
It was the first victory of the season for Dowling, who was back with a family run team this year after parting ways with the Adam Skowyra owned SK Modified team he spent one season with in 2017.
Dowling had replaced Woody Pitkat in the Skowyra owned car prior to the 2017 season.
“You jump in a car that had Woody Pitkat in it with those crew guys that had been together for a couple of years and the combination was there already and you get in and you just fit with that team,” Dowling said. “Last year we did that and we did really good. This year this is like my old team when I ran SK Light [Modifieds] and SK [Modifieds] here. These guys are a lot of fun to work with. We have fun. Spring Sizzler we struggled. Then two wrecks. Last week we finished third and had a weight problem [penalized to 13th place]. But it all added up to this, a lot of hard work in the shop and never giving up on this. Tonight we did that.”
Eric Berndt of Cromwell was second and Ronnie Williams of Tolland third.
For Dowling the victory was doubly important in that it marked the first win at Stafford for an LFR produced SK Modified chassis. Dowling works full-time for LFR and drives for company owner Rob Fuller on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
“There’s some push to it,” Dowling said. “LFR hadn’t won a race here at Stafford in the [SK Modifieds]. There’s always that person pushing behind you trying to get you get you going. We’ve been struggling sometimes in practice but we just never gave up basically the whole time, week in and week out. My guys just stayed high behind me and didn’t give up and just made some changes to the car throughout the weeks and every week we came back different and got faster and faster.