Story By: KYLE SOUZA / TRI TRACK OPEN MODIFIED SERIES – SEEKONK, MA – Former Tri Track Open Modified Series presented by All Phases Renovations winner Chase Dowling has the six events on the 2021 schedule circled on his calendar. Set to compete behind the wheel for Ben Dodge in the No. 9 that the team debuted last year, Dowling will be planning to chase the championship.
On top of Tri Track, Dowling plans to run select Open Modified races in New England — including the Stafford Motor Speedway Open Modified race and the Thompson 300. He will also run a full slate of dirt track events at Lebanon Valley Speedway, a full SK Modified schedule at Stafford, select NEMA Midget events, and maybe additional races, if possible.
“I’m not a firm believer that the more races you run the better you are — but in my specific situation — it’s good because I have the sponsors and crew guys behind me and I can focus on driving for most,” Dowling said. “It takes a lot out of you (to be running all of these races). I just have some good people behind it. You have to be in a good spot mentally, and allow yourself to reset for each race. You can’t let the night before transfer to the next day. Each race is a new race. I have to be on top of it as a driver.”
As a previous three-time Tri Track race winner, Dowling is one of only three drivers in series history to have more than one win to his credit. The other two, Matt Hirschman (12) and Ron Silk (3), are also entered to compete in 2021. Dowling went to Victory Lane at both Monadnock Speedway and Seekonk Speedway in 2019, and followed that up by winning the inaugural Tri Track stop at Stafford Motor Speedway last October in dominant fashion.
Two of his previous Tri Track wins came with Jimmy Paige and the No. 00 team, with the other celebration with Ben Dodge. He’s returning with Dodge and hoping to carry the momentum the team picked up at Stafford into this year.
“Definitely want to beat Silk in that category of three wins,” Dowling jokes. “Winning Stafford last year gives me more confidence going to the Tri Track races. We just kind of regrouped over the winter. We’ve been hanging a new body and everything. Our heads are into it, we want to keep building. It’s something really neat where Ben allows me to run my own race team and do it the way I want to do it. It’s just the best fit for me. Even though I wasn’t around back then, I feel like it goes back to what racing was and has been in New England for many years. I have a great group of guys that help. I went to Stafford last year with the No. 9 and my group of guys and we had fun. Tri Track helps bring back that fun. The competition is great.”
Heading into the season, Dowling has the goal of scoring the Tri Track championship in mind, and it’s something he would like to add to his already impressive racing resume. He will run the four Open Modified races at Stafford, which will make him an eligible candidate for the Call Before You Dig 811 Modified Bonus, a points championship combined between Tri Track and Stafford. The winner of that title will earn a smooth $8,110 courtesy of the team at Call Before You Dig.
Dowling will continue to have sponsorship from Dodge and S&S Asphalt Paving for the No. 9 team. He also wishes to thank Carragan Heating & Air Conditioning, JG Poulin Drywall, Dan Avery, Bertrand Motorsports and the entire Bertrand family, Magnolia Hill Farm and Aerohead Iron.
“At the end of the day I’m doing it for Ben Dodge in the No. 9, we are close friends that are having fun,” Dowling said. “I’m just trying to go have fun, win some races, and see how it pans out in the end (when it comes to the points). You have one bad night with Tri Track and you’re going to lose a shot at the championship, with the short season and the competition. It keeps you on your game.”