Only two races into the 2020 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season and the seat changing is beginning.
After just five races together dating back to late last season, Chase Dowling confirmed to RaceDayCT Tuesday evening that he will part ways with the Danny Watts Racing team effective immediately.
Dowling confirmed the split but said he had no other comment on the situation.
Team owner Danny Watts referred to the team’s Facebook page when asked for comment Tuesday evening. Asked by text message Tuesday morning if there was anything to rumors that he and Dowling were splitting up Watts replied: “No.”
The following message was posted on the Danny Watts Racing website Tuesday evening: “As tough as it is we have made a decision to move in a different direction. With all the uncertainty going on with the tour race schedule it appears that there will be multiple conflicts with the other series schedules. We want to make it easier on everyone and have decided to let Chase go race with the other teams he has commitments with. We wish him the best and hope he has much success.”
Multiple sources have said Anthony Nocella will replace Dowling. Nocella was unavailable for comment Tuesday.
Nocella would be the fifth driver to regularly pilot the Watts owned car since the 2017 season and the sixth driver overall to drive for the team during that span.
Ron Silk started the 2017 season with the team before parting ways after three events that year. Ted Christopher replaced Silk. Woody Pitkat stepped into the ride in Sept. 2017 after Christopher was killed in a plane crash. Dowling replaced Pitkat in the ride last season. Also, Andy Seuss made one-off start for the team at the Musket 250 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2019.
Dowling, of Roxbury, replaced Pitkat in the Watts owned ride for last years’s 12th event of the season at Oswego (N.Y.) Speedway. Dowling went on to record two ninth place finishes and an eighth place in three of the final four races of the 2019 season for the team.
Dowling had a 26th place finish in the season opening event at Jennerstown (Pa.) Speedway on June 21 and was 10th at White Mountain Motorsports Park on July 4.
Dowling has made 68 career Whelen Modified Tour starts with one win since 2015. Dowling also races full-time in the SK Modified division at Stafford Speedway for car owner Dan Avery and on the Tri-Track Open Modified Tour and in selected Open Tour Type Modified shows with car owner Jimmy Paige.
Nocella had a 14th place finish at White Mountain driving for his family owned team. The Woburn, Mass. driver has 33 career series starts dating back to 2015.