Tri-Track Open Modified Series
Rameau Joining the Modified Party at Monadnock
Apr 28, 2022
Chase Dowling may only be 24 years of age, but this past weekend at Stafford Speedway’s Spring Sizzler marked the beginning of his tenth season of racing Modifieds for the Roxbury, Connecticut native. After a seven-win season in Stafford’s SK Light Modifieds in 2013, Dowling put the Mod Squad on notice, rising to become a threat to win whenever he gets behind the wheel of a Ground Pounder.
While wins have come his way, rides have come and gone in the Open/Tour-type Modified ranks since he first started competing in 2015. But, Dowling has found stability in the past year and a half; partnering with veteran motorsports figure Ben Dodge during 2020, driving the Start/Finish Motorsports No. 9CT.
Ending 2020 with their first win as a team in Tri-Track Series competition at Stafford, it provided a springboard to a quartet of victories in 2021. Two of those wins came in Stafford Open 80 races, along with a pair on the Tri-Track Series at Monadnock Speedway and Seekonk Speedway.
Last Sunday, Dowling started the season with a seventh-place finish in the 100-lap Spring Sizzler feature but had improved nine positions from his starting spot. It was a performance that has given him confidence as the 2022 Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series hits the season’s trail at Monadnock on Saturday night.
“I think we’re in pretty good shape. We did have a few little hiccups last weekend, but at the end of it, we felt pretty good. I got through the field during the race, and for the rest of the year, I’m feeling pretty confident with our program. We got everything together, the first race isn’t going to tell the full story on anyone’s year, but I think we’ll be the same as last year, if not better,” Dowling told Racing America.
Stafford may be Dowling’s home track, but Monadnock is high up on his favorites list. He has recorded four feature victories at the New Hampshire quarter-mile, including his first career Tour-type win in July 2017 driving the Gary Casella-owned red No. 25. Also winning in the Jimmy Paige No. 00 in 2019, before his most recent win last August in the No. 9CT; Dowling has demonstrated a knack for the tricky little oval.
“I definitely like it, it’s a driver’s track with the two different corners. One is flatter, the other is more banked. It’s not easy to set a car up there, and it’s not easy to have a preference as a driver. You have to be good on one end or the other, and kind of compensate for that on the other end. It always seems to put on good racing and a lot of drivers like going there, it’s a good track all around.”
Surprisingly, Monadnock is also one of the most difficult tracks in New England to pass on. While the chrome home is an option that can be used, there is a cleaner method which Dowling has been able to master over the past couple of years.
“No, it’s not easy to pass. You have to be able to turn the center of the corner and somehow have a better drive off the corner to motor up alongside the guy in front of you. It’s two of the hardest things that anyone in racing can try to find is drive and turn. That’s another reason why it’s so hard to get a grasp on a setup there. But, if you can get it, you’re probably going to win the race.”
Saturday’s Wonder Casino 100 will feature a $10,000 winner’s share, and that’s not even including the bonuses. The season-opening race for Tri-Track will anchor the first half of a full weekend of racing during Monadnock’s annual Spring Dash. It is yet another show of improvement for the ever-growing Tri-Track Series, which will actually feature seven big-money events at six tracks in four New England states in 2022.
“It’s awesome for Modified racing. For the past few years, this series has been growing and really tending to the race teams. You get the high car counts when that happens, the fans pack the facilities which go further to keep us around. Even with what’s going on in the world, we’re still headed in the right direction with Northeast Modified racing. Couldn’t be happier to be a part of it.”
As for what Dowling thinks of his chances on Saturday night, it was a short and to-the-point take. The rest will be said by his driving.
“Going to be tough, but again I’m confident in our program, and that we can be the ones to pull it off.”
You can see both the Monaco Ford Modified Tri-Track Series on Saturday night, and Whitcomb 5 Series on Sunday afternoon from Monadnock Speedway live on Racing America.tv.