There was no question that Chase Dowling was the class of the field in Saturday’s Spring Sizzler.
On old tires, Dowling took the lead, and extended the gap to a full straightaway on one long green-flag run. All the team needed was a set of fresh tires, whereas many teams made stops to refuel.
“We were fine,” said Dowling of the fuel situation. “I wasn’t thinking about fuel at the end at all.”
The race began to unravel for Dowling within the final 40 laps of the race.
On a late pit stop under caution, the crew lifted up the rear of the car. Dowling knew there was trouble.
“I just felt something vibrating apart,” Dowling said. “Ronnie Silk was behind us and reported to us that something was coming apart… If I had stayed out, I would’ve lost a tire, lost the rear and killed the race car for no reason. There’s no reason to do that when you’re part-time.”
Dowling slowed on the backstretch without warning when the race went back green. He was forced to bring the No. 99 back down pit road and behind the wall.
“Just an unfortunate day for us,” Dowling said.
The third-year Whelen Modified Tour driver isn’t scheduled to race again until the Thompson 125 in June.