Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – Following Stafford Speedway’s NAPA Fall Final last October, Riverhead, NY native Eric Goodale was on cloud nine after scoring his first Stafford victory. Since that win, the #58 GAF Roofing team has found the road back to victory lane a bumpy ride. Goodale finished 7th in the Whelen Modified Tour season opener, but finished 27th at Thompson and then an ignition problem relegated him to a 30th place finish in the NAPA Spring Sizzler back in April. Goodale and the #58 team will be looking to get their season back on track with a good run in Stafford’s Twisted Tea Open Modified 80 set for June 8.
“We have a pretty good Stafford program and I love racing there,” said Goodale. “We know how to get around Stafford and I’m confident in my team’s ability to give me a good car. Our racing program has been going downhill since we won the NAPA Fall Final at Stafford last October so we’re looking to get back on track and right the ship. The more races we can run at Stafford, the better. We had an ignition problem at the Sizzler that limited us to only 28 laps and things haven’t been going the way we need them to and the only way to fix that is to keep on racing. We’re a much better race team than we’ve shown the last couple months so there’s no better track than Stafford for myself and the team to be going. It would be huge for us to get a win. The way things have been going the last 2 or 3 months we’d be happy with a top-5. Certainly you always come to the track to get a win, but if we can’t win, we can drive home happy with a top-5.”
In addition to getting his season back on track, Goodale is looking forward to the challenge of racing against some competitors that he might not normally get the opportunity to race against in the Twisted Tea Open Modified 80.
“I’m eager for the race since there’s drivers from all different touring series, which is pretty cool,” said Goodale. “Normally the Tri-Track Series tends to race at smaller race tracks so it’s good to have an opportunity to race against some of those drivers that I otherwise might not have a chance to race against. It should be an interesting field of cars to make for a great show for the fans. I think that the Mod Tour guys are going to be the drivers to beat but there’s a lot of other modified drivers who have their eyes set on this race at Stafford, so I think you could see some surprise contenders for the win.”
One aspect of the Twisted Tea Open Modified 80 that will play right into Goodale’s hands is the opportunity for teams to be able to change two tires during the 80-lap race. Teams will get a total of 6 tires for qualifying heats and the race and they can change two tires during the race. Goodale used pit strategy to his advantage when he won the NAPA Fall Final last October at Stafford and he says that drivers will need to have the right strategy in order to win the Twisted Tea Open Modified 80.
“I love the tire rule,” said Goodale. “I drive really hard every lap and it’s tough for me to conserve tires as a driver. Tires is what won the race for us at Stafford in the Fall Final last year and whoever puts the 2 right tires on at the right time is probably going to win the race. It definitely adds another element to the race rather than an MRS race where you can’t change tires. This race will take the tactic of riding around in the back out of the race and I think it’ll be more wide open with a lot more racing going on, especially right from the green flag. Track position is also important at Stafford so you’re going to need to have the right pit strategy if you want to win the race.”
Teams can register for the Twisted Tea Open Modified 80 online or by calling the track office at (860)-684-2783. Rules for the two Open Modified 80 shows can be found in the TEAMS section of www.staffordspeedway.com.
Stafford’s five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions will join the Open Modifieds in feature action. Tickets for this event are priced at $30.00 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seat tickets are $32.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Motor Speedway offers plenty of free parking along with overnight parking available for self contained Recreational Vehicles.