Goodale Races His Way To A Brand New Clock

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, April 9 2021

Eric Goodale got the Modified Tour victory at Martinsville on Thursday. (Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)

By Deb Williams | Senior Writer

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – After winning the first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Martinsville Speedway in 11 years, Eric Goodale admitted his perspective on a grandfather clock, the track’s trophy for its race winners, had changed since childhood.

“We had one (a grandfather clock) in my house growing up and I hated it, but now that, that one is mine I’m going to love it! I don’t care how many times it chimes … I’m going to enjoy it!” Goodale said after claiming his fourth career victory late Thursday night in the season opening Virginia Is For Racing Lovers 200. 

“It is going to stay in my kitchen for a few weeks because I want to look at that thing. That clock is one of the best trophies in racing. To finally win one feels pretty damn sweet!”

Goodale, who qualified third, didn’t emerge as a victory contender until late in the event that was halted twice. The first red flag came just eight laps into the 200-lap event when rain interrupted the race for an hour. After the race restarted, a multi-car accident on lap 15 blocked the fourth-turn exit, forcing officials to stop the race until the track was cleared. 

Pole winner Ryan Preece continued to control the event after the race restarted for the second time, leading the first 110 laps. However, midway through the race a miscue on pit road cost Preece a lap, removing him from contention.

  Two-time NASCAR Modified champion Justin Bonsignore, who had to start in the rear due to a pre-race adjustment, now appeared to be the one to beat. With 58 laps remaining, he surged past Max McLaughlin and into the lead. It wasn’t until the final 30 laps that Goodale flexed his modified’s muscle. On lap 164, Goodale, who made his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour debut at Martinsville, took second from McLaughlin. Seven laps later Goodale scooted under Bonsignore as they exited turn two and Tyler Rypkema followed.

“I was really glad that I was able to get up underneath Justin,” Goodale said. “With that few of laps left, I wanted to get out front and kinda just control it. I felt like he was better than me earlier in the race, but after the pit stop … we were just better at the end of it. 

“I knew the longer I waited (to pass him), the tougher it was going to be. I knew he (Bonsignore) was struggling through the center and I just gave him a little tap to move him up there and get up underneath him. I knew I had to take it while it was there because it might not have opened up again. I calmed myself down being able to get out front and lead some laps.”

 Rypkema’s last chance to snatch the victory from Goodale came with 10 laps remaining when the field had its final restart following the seventh caution period. However, Rypkema’s efforts fell short and last year’s top rookie had to settle for second. 

“Other than roughing him (Goodale) up or pushing him down into the corner or getting him loose in the middle (there was nothing else I could do),” Rypkema said after his Martinsville debut. 

“I couldn’t roll with him on the outside. I couldn’t hang with him out there. My best option was on that restart. If I didn’t do anything on that first lap of that restart, that was me getting in line, saying, ‘OK, let’s finish this out, wait for him to make a mistake and be there ready to pounce.’ We were right there with him, but to get by him, would have taken a mistake on his part.” 

  The Modified Tour’s next race is at 5 p.m. on April 25 at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway.


| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, April 9 2021
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