Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – When the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series comes to Stafford Speedway this Saturday, September 24 for the NAPA Fall Final, Chase Dowling, driver of the #9 Start/Finish Motorsports / S & S Asphalt Paving car, will be looking to return to his winning ways at Stafford.
The 2021 season saw Dowling and the #9 team take back to back wins during the summer in open competition but 2022 has seen Dowling and the #9 team collect just one win thus far.
“We’ve been struggling to say the least this season,” said Dowling. “We had great success last year and we’ve had a curveball thrown at us with the car this year but we feel confident coming to Stafford for the NAPA Fall Final. I don’t want to go into too many details but we’ve had a lot of big problems that haven’t helped us at all this season.”
With only 2 races left in the 2022 Monaco Modified Tri-Track season, Dowling currently trails Matt Hirschman by only 10 points in the race for the championship. In an effort to help get his #9 back to being a winning car, Dowling and crew recently took part in a private test session at Stafford and that test has Dowling looking forward to the NAPA Fall Final. While Dowling is looking forward to the race, he is also wary of the 53 car entry list that he says will make the NAPA Fall Final the toughest race of the 2022 season.
“We worked on a few things when we tested the car at Stafford and I feel like we’re on the right track for the Fall Final,” said Dowling. “I think we’ll probably have the car pretty similar to how we finished our test and the key will be for us to make the right adjustments for the night. I feel like this race is going to be one of the toughest, if not the toughest, race in the northeast this season and there will be 15 or 20 cars that will be good and can win the race. That’s what is going to make this race so hard to win. Hopefully we can unload and be in the top-10 on the charts because if you’re outside the top-15, you’re going to be searching for a lot of speed and you won’t really know where you are with the car when the race starts.”
In addition to the Monaco Modified Tri-Track championship, Dowling has some extra motivation on his side as he wants to win the Stafford race for his car owner, Ben Dodge, who has missed the last several months fighting health issues.
“We’ve been having a rough season so I just want to have a good run for our team and obviously for Ben Dodge,” said Dowling. “Ben has stood by me through the lows of racing and he’s helped me with new opportunities. With the friendship we’ve developed both at the track and away from the track, Ben has been one of the best owners I’ve ever driven for and a win for Ben would mean everything to us. As well as Ben Dodge and Start/Finish Motorsports, I have to thank our other sponsors S & S Asphalt Paving, Call Before You Dig, Carrigan Heating and Air Conditioning, Billy the Kid, Airgas, Spectro Oils, LFR, Richards Corporation, and T.A.S. Country Homes.”
Another variable that Monaco teams will have to deal with is the change in temperature from the summer months to what is forecast to be a much cooler NAPA Fall Final. The change in weather could see teams scrambling to find a setup that allows them to run up front, but according to Dowling, teams that have experience at Stafford should be ready for an ever changing track.
“It seems like Stafford has been its own character and it’s been different every time we’ve gone there this season,” said Dowling. “The track has been kind of like a dirt track in that you don’t know what’s going to happen so you go with what you think will be good and fine tune on the car for the race. We’ve had a lot of stuff thrown at us this year so hopefully we won’t have any curveballs come our way. I think we’re going to be bringing a pretty good racecar to the Fall Final and hopefully we can have a good day, have a good pit stop, and focus and execute so that we can be there at the end of the race.”
The NAPA Fall Final is set for Saturday, September 24 and tickets are available now online at StaffordSpeedway.com/tickets and tickets will also be available for purchase at the admission gates. Tickets for the NAPA Fall Final are priced at $30.00 for adult general admission, $10.00 for children ages 6-14, children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult, and reserved seating is priced at $35.00 for all ages. Pit passes are $45.00 with a valid 2022 Stafford Competition License and $50.00 without a Stafford license. If you are unable to attend the event, tune into the live stream on FloRacing, the official streaming partner of Stafford Speedway.