Category Archives: NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour

Dowling Delivers Sunoco Rookie Of The Year Award

nwmt-lgTop First-Year Driver In The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 9, 2015) – The old phrase goes that once is by chance, twice is a coincidence and three times is a trend. Chase Dowling is trending.

IMG_0794 (2)A rookie of the year at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway in its NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Light Modified Division in 2013 and SK Modifieds in 2014, Dowling his kept the streak going by adding 2015 Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

Dowling sits ninth in the championship standings with seven top-10 finishes in 14 outings, and with one race remaining, he’s already clinched the tour’s top first-year driver honors.

The highest finishing rookie in a race receives 10 points, second receives nine, third gets eight and so on. After 14 of 15 events, Dowling has an insurmountable 23-point lead on his nearest competitor Max Zachem (117-94).

The 17-year-old has displayed marked improvement as the season has transpired. Through his first six races he maintained an average finish of 18th. In the eight outings since, he’s lowered that number to eighth. Included in the surge was a best run of third at Riverhead (New York) Raceway in August.

“At the beginning of the year we had a lot of mechanical and electrical problems and had some horrible finishes, but about midway through the year things started coming together,” Dowling said. “Everything was new. The team was new, I was new, so there were some struggles. Once things started to click, our team has been pretty stout these last eight races.”

Dowling, of Roxbury, Connecticut, originally got into auto racing by chance. He was racing dirt bikes as a youth when a family friend suggested competing on four wheels. Dowling’s family got him started in go-karts at a local dirt track and things progressed quickly from there.

Dowling and his father and crew chief, Mark, didn’t necessarily have a road map for his career – they just looked to advance as he matched the skill level of the competition. They were unsure how the team would fare in their first modified venture – the Stafford’s SK Light division – with the family-owned team new to that type of racing. But Dowling won seven races in his first season and contended for the division title, so they decided to move up to Whelen All-American Series Division I SK Modifieds. He followed with an impressive first year in that division, and another door opened.

Dowling had a common sponsor with Whelen Modified Tour ironman Jamie Tomaino in Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Repair. Business owner Doug Dunleavy introduced Dowling to Tomaino, and Dowling eventually began contributing to Tomaino’s tour effort in various capacities as a crew member. Toward the end of last season, Tomaino offered Dowling an opportunity to join the Whelen Modified Tour as his teammate for 2015.

“It wasn’t something that was really planned,” Dowling said. “Three years ago I didn’t have any intentions of being where I’m at right now. We keep proving to ourselves each year that we can compete with the big guys.”

Looking back on his three-year rise in modified racing, and run of rookie of the year honors, Dowling appreciates what he has been able to accomplish.

“Every year I won the rookie award, it wasn’t just given to me either,” Dowling said. “It’s not like we showed up to the track and were the only rookie there. It’s been good competition, so that’s definitely something to be proud of.”

Dowling will receive the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award on Dec. 12 as part of the NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Awards at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The 2015 season will conclude for the Whelen Modified Tour on Oct. 18 at Thompson (Connecticut) Speedway Motorsports Park with the Sunoco World Series 150.


Voting Opens For NASCAR Most Popular Driver

NASCAR 4C(PRT) (2)Fans Can Vote For Their Favorites Across Seven Touring Series

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 16, 2015) — As on-track competition comes to a conclusion, there’s another showdown on the line in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR’s seven touring series, as voting for the Most Popular Driver Awards begins on Tuesday, Oct. 6.

Chase Elliott looks to defend his NASCAR XFINITY Series Most Popular Driver title while the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is guaranteed a new winner. Fans can vote once per day online for the Most Popular Driver Awards at

Voting is open and runs through Friday, Nov. 20 for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Saturday, Nov. 21 for the NASCAR XFINITY Series, prior to the respective season finale races at Homestead-Miami Speedway during Ford Championship Weekend. Voting for the seven NASCAR touring series will also conclude Saturday, Nov. 21.

The winners will be announced at the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Awards. The combined postseason gala will take place at the Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Florida on Monday, Nov. 23.

The Most Popular Driver Award winners for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and NASCAR Mexico Series will be honored at the NASCAR Touring Night of Champions at the NASCAR Hall of Fame/Charlotte Convention Center on Saturday, Dec. 12.

To be eligible to receive Most Popular Driver votes, NASCAR XFINITY Series or NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers must have selected to receive 2015 championship driver points in their respective series. Additionally, drivers in every series must have attempted at least half of each of their series’ races this season.

Coby Keeps Title Repeat Hopes Alive With Another Win

nwmt-lgPulls Even With Preece After Fall Final Triumph At Stafford


STAFFORD, Conn. (Oct. 4, 2015) – Three races after it appeared Doug Coby’s efforts to repeat as NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion were in jeopardy, he’s back in the driver’s seat.

The Milford, Connecticut, driver rolled to his second straight win Sunday in the NAPA Fall Final 150 at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway and will head into the season finale as the championship points leader.

Ryan Preece, the 2013 champion who was the runner-up to Coby in 2012 and 2014, rebounded from an accident and pit road penalty to finish second at Stafford. Woody Pitkat, who entered the penultimate race weekend with the points lead, finished 12th after being involved in a late-race wreck.

The result is Coby will head to the season finale even in points with Preece. They are both four points (565) ahead of Pitkat (561) going into the Sunoco World Series 150 at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Sunday, Oct. 18.

Coby has six wins to Preece’s four and Pitkat’s one.

It’s a dramatic turn of events for Coby, who wrecked on Lap 2 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 19 and left the World’s Fastest Half-Mile 33 points out of the lead. He finished second at New York’s Riverhead Raceway before winning last week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Sunday’s race at Stafford.

Coby also earned the Coors Light Pole Award for the NAPA Fall Final 150 in qualifying on Saturday. With Sunday’s win he became the first Whelen Modified Tour driver since Donny Lia in 2007 to win six events in a season.

Timmy Solomito was third on Sunday, followed by Lia and Shawn Solomito.

Rookies Chase Dowling and Matt Swanson were sixth and seventh, respectively, followed by Jamie Tomaino, Ken Heagy and Todd Szegedy.

The NAPA Fall Final 150 will premiere on NBCSN on Oct. 10 at 4 p.m.

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour-NAPA Fall Final 150 Results


At Stafford Motor Speedway

Stafford, Conn.

Lap length: 0.5 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

  1. (1) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 150 laps, 60.688 mph.
  2. (2) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
  3. (3) Timmy Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Ford, 150.
  4. (5) Donny Lia, Jericho, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.
  5. (14) Shawn Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.
  6. (7) Chase Dowling, Roxbury, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
  7. (19) Matt Swanson, Acton, Mass., Chevrolet, 150.
  8. (18) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 150.
  9. (22) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.
  10. (15) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Dodge, 150.
  11. (13) Max Zachem, Preston, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
  12. (10) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
  13. (17) Anthony Nocella, Woburn, Mass., Chevrolet, 150.
  14. (9) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.
  15. (27) Wade Cole, Hartland, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
  16. (12) James Civali, Meriden, Conn., Chevrolet, 149.
  17. (25) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Chevrolet, 147.
  18. (21) Steve Masse, Bellingham, Mass., Chevrolet, 144.
  19. (6) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 136, accident.
  20. (4) Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass., Chevrolet, 122, engine.
  21. (11) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 102, accident.
  22. (16) Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, N.Y., Chevrolet, 100, accident.
  23. (23) Jeff Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 100, accident.
  24. (8) Ronnie Williams, Ellington, Conn., Chevrolet, 100, accident.
  25. (24) Dave Salzarulo, Enfield, Conn., Chevrolet, 48, accident.
  26. (20) Dave Sapienza, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 47, accident.
  27. (26) Melissa Fifield, Wakefield, N.H., Chevrolet, 47, transmission.


Race Statistics

Time of Race: 1 hour 14 minutes 9 seconds

Margin of Victory: 0.642 seconds

Fastest Qualifier: D.Coby (98.205 mph, 18.329 seconds)

Caution Flags: 8 for 36 laps.

Lead Changes: 2 among 3 drivers.

Lap Leaders: R. Preece 1-96; D. Lia 97-105; D. Coby 106-150.

Standings: 1. D. Coby, 565; 2. R. Preece, 565; 3. W. Pitkat, 561; 4. T. Szegedy, 495; 5. P. Emerling, 476; 6. T. Solomito, 473; 7. E. Goodale, 465; 8. D. Lia, 456; 9. C. Dowling, 446; 10. B. Santos, 439.