Chase Dowling scored his first ever NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win on Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the Musket 250.
The race came down to the final lap as Justin Bonsignore and Ryan Preece would battle for the lead and wreck in turn three and four giving the lead to Dowling as Patrick Emerling would try to get Dowling near the start-finish line but Dowling was able to hold him off.
For Dowling, the win didn’t sink in yet. “This race is a lot different than earlier in the year. You’re leading one moment and then you pit out and you don’t know where you are when you come out; you just had to be patient.”
Patrick Emerling finished the race in second and Burt Myers finished the race in third.
The top three finishers told 22News that a 250 lap race can wear you out mentality and not physically.
“It’s mental. You don’t physically get tired. There’s times when you get frustrated. You don’t know what cars you’re racing with for position. We were joking about our ears ringing. It’s really hard to hear. I think it’s mental. You don’t get tired. You get frustrated. It’s still a blast. I don’t know about them but I can do another 250 right now,” said Myers.
“We didn’t get tired out there. It was a couple times on the long runs. We blistered some right rears and I was just out there and hanging on just a half throttle. I couldn’t even get full throttle till the straightaway and I was just out there turning more right than left. Some of my dirt experience took over there. It was a lot of fun. You just had to be patient. Try to figure out where you were and execute your strategy,” said Emerling.
“Mentality, you had to stay in the game. Worry about where you were. Just have confidence in our team when your pitting and when your not and luckily we did not have a hot day. It was cloudy out all day. It’s not like we were sweating a lot in the car but mentality you want to stay in the game,” said Dowling.
Ryan Preece gave his thoughts to 22News on the last lap of the event.
“He (Justin Bonsignore) blocked the run. At the end of the day, I went for the bottom when I had a huge run and I got put towards the grass. Trying to race for the win here,” said Preece.
Doug Coby was part of the last lap wreck. He talked to 22News about the wreck.
“Just guys trying to win a race. What are you gonna do? We battled all day got down a lap two times and we’re up battling for the lead again with seven to go. I got shoved into the marbles and probably was looking at a fourth-place finish I think. Those guys were just battling hard and that’s what you gotta do to win this race,” said Coby.
Bonsignore gave his thoughts to 22News about the last lap incident.
“I needed to be the leader. I had the best car but you know when the product of racing up here with the draft. I couldn’t drive away more than a couple laps. I took the lead back. I knew what it was going to come down to and I knew I had to block the bottom. I don’t blame him. I blame the product of racing. Just racing. I don’t have any problems with Ryan. Will go onto to the next one and sure they won’t be any issues between us,” said Bonsignore.
The race saw 31 lead changes.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will be back in action next weekend with the NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final at Stafford Motor Speedway.