STAFFORD SPRINGS, Conn. — After taking two-years off from full-time SK Modified competition to compete on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Chase Dowling has returned to Stafford Motor Speedway with a vengeance.
Dowling, an SK Light graduate and the 2015 NWMT Rookie of the Year, joined forces with Adam Skowyra during the offseason and the pairing has quickly found success.
The No. 50 SK Modified team has scored two wins, four top-fives, and five top-10s in six races so far this year.
“Coming into the No. 50 car for the Skowyra family, I knew I had big boots to fill … with Woody [Pitkat] being in the car the last few years,” said Dowling. “I knew we could win; when we tested for the first time, we all got along and bonded really well.”
“Everything we’ve been doing so far is what we expected when this deal came together. We just have to keep on doing what we’ve been doing. It’s the effort at the shop that makes the racing at Stafford on Friday night the fun part.”
Dowling came out of the gate strong, winning the 40-lap SK Modified feature at the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler and backing it up with another win three weeks later. The Roxbury, Conn. native is no stranger to victory lane, with 10 Stafford Speedway victories to his name, including seven in the SK Light division.
“I’ve driven all different kinds of chassis during my time on the Tour … and at Stafford in the SK Lights and the SKs, and it’s the people behind you that are going to make the difference,” Dowling explained. “It’s a lot of fun when you have a good car like we have it every week to be battling for wins. We definitely don’t take it for granted either because we know we can get into a slump at any time.”
Slump is not a word one would use to describe Dowling’s season thus far. With two wins to his credit this year alone, Dowling has contended for wins each week, thrilling fans along the way and staging battles with some of the best in the business, including Ted Christopher.
“It was hard racing,” Dowling said of a late-race battle with Christopher in the most recent SK Modified event. “I have fun racing and you can’t win them all. As long as the cars are coming home in one piece and aren’t in the fence, then it’s just good, hard racing and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
“It’s always fun racing with a guy like Teddy. You’re not getting beat by just another guy, you’re getting beat by a guy who has 127 career wins at Stafford, so it’s nothing to be shameful about. We beat him already once and he beat us, so it’s all kind of equal at Stafford right now.”
Dowling now has his sights set on victory lane in the biggest SK Modified race of the season, the NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K on Friday night.
The SK Modified division is slated to run 100 laps in the marquee event, which pays $5,000-to-win and has a total pot of more than $34,000 in posted awards.
“It’s pretty cool that we get to go 100 laps and I think drivers will be a little more patient during the race, it could get interesting at the end,” said Dowling. “I think it might come down to a green white checkered at the finish. It’s definitely going to be a race worth watching and it’s really cool that (Stafford) is doing a special race like this with big money on the line and some extra laps, instead of running 40 laps every week.”
CREDIT: Stafford Motor Speedway