Dilly Dilly: Eric Goodale: Wins Bud Light Open 80 At Stafford Speedway

Eric Goodale celebrates victory in the Bud Light Open Modified 80 Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway (Photo: Fran Lawlor)

STAFFORD – If there’s a car owner with a ride open at Stafford Motor Speedway for some weekly racing Eric Goodale is ready to talk.

Visits to Stafford of late have turned out to be the best elixir for the Riverhead, N.Y. driver and that proved true once again Friday.

Goodale used a perfect halfway point pit stop and then rolled to victory in the Bud Light Open Modified 80 Friday at Stafford Speedway.

Goodale won the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour NAPA Fall Final last year at Stafford.

“My dad picks on me all the time,” Goodale said. “This used to be my least favorite track when I first started driving Modifieds because I was so terrible here. And we tested and tested and tested and tested and it finally paid off last year at the Fall Final and we get to celebrate here in victory lane again tonight.”

Chase Dowling of Roxbury was second and Keith Rocco of Wallingford third.

“I need to race here weekly because all my other programs are struggle city right now,” Goodale said. “I love racing Stafford. This is one of the most professional tracks that we’ve ever raced at. The Arute family does a great job. … Obviously we’ve got to thank Bud Light. We’ve got a lot of drinking to do here tonight.”

Goodale, a regular on the Whelen Modified Tour, said the half-mile oval at Stafford plays perfectly into his aggressive style.

“You can drive hard,” Goodale said. “Everybody gets on my because I drive the car deep into the corner, sometimes a little aggressively. Here, you can do that and when you get a run somebody you can stick your left sides right down on the dirt there and get it done. It’s just a cool track.”

Caution flew on lap 40 for the spinning car of Mark Bakaj in turn four with Andrew Molleur leading and Keith Rocco in second.

The caution period sent everyone to pits besides Molleur. Rocco overshot his pit box and was forced to pit a second time. Goodale won the race off pit road to move to second place.

On the ensuing restart Goodale quickly grabbed the top spot, with Molleur sinking like an anchor through the field before heading to pit road under green.

“My guys did an incredible job on pit road,” Goodale said. “We brought these guys on two years ago to help our Whelen Modified Tour program and they crushed it here on pit road today. They made my job easy. Got caught up in a little early incident there, rebounded, kept our cool, stuck to the game plan, it was the fastest car here tonight. I couldn’t give it away if I wanted to.”


  1. Congratulations Eric!! What a boring parade race. A late caution would have made it more interesting. Only 20 cars for the open and SK modified race. Where were the others missing tonight? Had a great time and loved the racing except the first two parade races in the limited and late model 10 car divisions. Thank you Stafford for starting the show with them. They are so boring each week the divions should be combined. Congratulations to Eric for a well deserved victory!!

  2. Crazy in NY says

    Ran it against a 22 car VMRS show at Lee. Not enough cars around to run races against each other but that mindset continues. It’s foolish.

  3. I could care less about Tommy Barrett’s attention or lack there off to NASCAR and their policies in the distant past. But what was totally uncool of him was dogging it in his heat to save his tires while everyone else was putting on the show. Then karma kicked in and everything evened out in the feature.
    It was 22 SK’s but point taken.
    Couldn’t be happier that Goodale won. Was that the SPAFCO? That team races everywhere and it’s nice to see him win one. Highs and lows for sure but no one could complain that wasn’t a very full dance card with moments of spine tingling excitement. Big crowd, great value and nice to see both Stafford and Lee had successful nights.

  4. It was a Troyer, I don’t believe you could not tell just by looking at it.

  5. It really frost me that Stafford pays so much more money to a non regular Modified division than there very own. The Twisted Tea should become a sk event and the BudLight should become an sk lite event. 50 Laps instead of 80 also. JMO

  6. wmass01013 says

    Jesus STEVE they just HAD THE SK 5 K that paid Williams over 10 K and they have moved the Lites to SUNDAY races on sizzler/fall final weekends, plenty of race nights for sk’S AND LIGHTS
    Isn’t 5 K more than $3500 to win Open race and now add 7 K FOR 13 LAP tc RACE, WHAT THE HELL DO U WANT?????

  7. That sounds like a great idea for the SK & SKL. Take care of the people that support you week in and week out.

  8. Crazy thanks, I figured there was another mod show somewhere. Why not run this event with no conflicts with the VMRS and the WMT? Makes no sense

  9. Jebby Hill says

    Was there last night. The sk light series was the best of the night. The sks put on an entertaining show as well with drama for the 13th position. Great competition up front. The 80 lap event was eh. 6-7 good cars and the rest were not fast enough. It needed one more caution at the end to make it good. Keith Rocco was so fast at beginning of runs then kind of faded. Silk had the same issue as Rocco. The 1 car was great at the beginning and I’m not sure what happened. Goodale was the car to beat clearly and Chase Dowling just didn’t have enough to catch him. Overall, it was a solid night of action.

  10. Congrats to E. Goodale. He’s been a longtime competitor, needs this win for confidence. Hope it leads to better performance in other races.

  11. Racer28,
    Stafford’s event was scheduled last November. Lee USA Speedway and the Valenti Modified Racing Series made the decision in March to put a VMRS event against the event that was already scheduled at Stafford.

  12. So the observation is made that the front runners were OK but the back end off the pace. What do the numbers say.
    Fast laps don’t tell you everything but they’re an indication. Taking the 1-5 results and comparing them to the 14-18 place cars for the Open 80, the VMRS race at Stafford and the NWMT qualifying times for the Sizzler looks like this.
    The VMRS field was the strongest with only a .44% drop off in best lap speeds from the top 5 to the 14-18 place cars on average. The Open 80 difference was a 1% drop off and the NWMT qualifying speed drop of was 1.8%. Throwing in the SK race last night interestingly they dropped off 1% exactly like the Open cars did.
    Fast laps aren’t averages but I’m not seeing any big drop off compared to other series and divisions nor did I see it on the track considering the long run at the end. Maybe it was more name recognition then anything.
    What I also saw was Moeller take off at the beginning like he had nitrous then drop like a rock when everyone else got tires and he stayed out.

  13. Would Stafford’s “Open” events be better as twin 40s?

  14. I’m not sure what’s needed to fix the “Opens,” but I’ve been to both, and haven’t been impressed. It’s 5-6 good cars, then a bunch of “Vinnie Who’s?” I like the VMRS, but it’s frustrating that they chose to run a show last night.

    As Doug noted, Barrett tried to save his tires by sitting out most of his heat race. It was hilarious when the roving reporter interviewed Barrett later in the evening and asked if this was a strategic move, and Barrett had NO answer whatsoever — just a comical few seconds of silence. For this, and other reasons, Tommy, your MENSA application has been declined.

    Not that Barrrett was the only one to pull that little trick… Silk and Rocco did the same. and there were one or two cars that never ran heat races. This is utter crap. (Speaking of smart moves… Rocco blew that race bc HE DIDN’T KNOW where his pit stall was. He pulled into the wrong pit and then had to go back around the track so he could enter the RIGHT pit. It was a bush league move.)

    Today’s short fields mean there’s no real penalty for starting in the back. It pains me to say this, but maybe we should just line ’em up by time trials.

    All in all, it wasn’t a super enjoyable night at Stafford. Two 10-11 car Late Model races (combine the classes next year and go to ACT rules, dammit). A massive, massive wreck at the start of the SK Lite race. A messy SK race. They were LUCKY to have 13 cars left to run the TC memorial!! And a really badly stage-managed show.

    It’s a SHOW, people. And it’s a RACING show. It should move along quickly.

    I can’t believe Stafford actually makes a couple thousandpeople watch someone ride in the 2-seater for several laps, with no other cars on the track. How exciting for the fans. SMDH

  15. Where in the rules does it say you can’t sandbag? That is what it is called so how do you stop it? It is all part of the strategy you all talk about that makes it so exciting. You asked for it, you got it, and now you complain. Maybe a rule that says you have to run the heat race to be eligible to compete in the feature? Good idea for the race, needs a lot of thought and tweaking before they try it again.

    The comparison on the lap times and drop off, again comparing apples to jelly donuts since they are two different animals.

  16. It wasn’t that bad.. seemed liked you had a bad day to begin with.

  17. Disagree Humphry about donuts. Fast laps are a valid snapshot to compare the top down relative speed of the cars. Putting it in percentages is the common thread to compare one series to another. Obviously the lower the percentage the more competitive the field and that is universal. I think my snapshot showed no significant drop through any of the series except maybe NWMT qualifying lap times at least at Stafford in the Sizzler.
    Whether you’re a complainer or a complainer about complainers the important thing is the content of the complaint. You observed that I did not know how to recognize a Spafco chassied car. I don’t believe I ever claimed any expertise in that area ever. You on the other had are an expert yet you didn’t say how to identify the chassis.
    If a person pays the $30 and sees Barrett dogging it of course any patron has a right to complain. Does he have the right to do it……..apparently. Will it make him win fans……probably not. Does he care about getting new fans………almost zero chance. Uncool Tommy.
    Is it a complaint to say Williams and Berndt sandbagged in the Shootout. Clearly not because they did. Not only did I say I thought it could happen I also said it made sense from a points standpoint.
    Lately Humphry you are more of a complainer about complainers and a rules enforcer with zero tolerance to suffer fools. Usually negative and not in the fun, glint in his eye, feisty way the porcupine does it. I’m worried. It’s like you get no joy at all from racing any more. I hope that’s not the case cause you are a river that runs deep and one of my favorites.

  18. 07Bulldog29race says

    Im not one to post on this blog or any blog for that matter, but need to speak my peace. First of all, congratulations to Eric on the win. That’s first things first. Secondly, my buddies and I have been going to Stafford for years to watch the weekly racing. We have seen it all and more throughout the years, and then some. It’s a good value for going out on a Friday night no matter if there’s drama or not.
    I’m buddies with the Anderson crew and owner, Ted, the 1, who raced and, lead 40 laps of the open modified race! Talk about exciting! Those who claim Moeller “sank like an anchor,” or, “sinking through the field”… well, it was due to an electrical issue. That’s why the kid fell back. Not because of nitrous, Doug. Unless you know, you should keep your comments to yourself. The kid pitted twice, FYI. This aspiring young man is our up and coming in racing. I briefly spoke with him and his team in the pits and the boy is a delight and has the utmost outgrowing personality and innocent smile to go along with it. More than I can say for many of the seasoned veterans. Think before before you post.

  19. “Rocco blew that race bc HE DIDN’T KNOW where his pit stall was. He pulled into the wrong pit and then had to go back around the track so he could enter the RIGHT pit. It was a bush league move.)”

    His spotter directed him into the wrong spot.

  20. 07Bulldog29race, telling Doug to think before he posts is one of the funniest things I’ve read around here.

  21. Doug, enjoy conversing with you as well matter of fact I would like to meet you at a race sometime for a cold one. Don’t take my sometimes abrupt approach to mean I no longer have a passion for or enjoy racing because I do. I am not into writing novels about a subject. I was taught to make my point in the first few sentences or first paragraph at most because after that people loose interest in what you are trying to say and your point is lost.

    That’s me, what you see us what you get so don’t take it personal.

  22. No concise doesn’t work for me humphry. Obviously, right? Although I’m limiting myself to wed and weekends for entries unless empty headed pot stirring D-Bag can’t control himself But what I will concede gladly is that you generate the most insightful sometimes downright profound two liners to be found here.
    Some beer, war stories and maybe some pic sharing. Super Stocks vs Streets and a modified lesson for me. Sounds good. Lets put a pin in that one.Glad to hear you’re at full strength.

  23. Thanks Bulldog for taking the time to get off you high horse and stroll among the rabble in the cheap seats to correct the ignorant. What should have been obvious is not that Moeller was using nitrous which is ridiculous. Nor that he ran out which is also ridiculous and unthinking. It was hyperbole to make a point that clearly hasn’t registered with you at all. What I was referencing was what I thought was something extraordinary. Moeller passing 1 or 2 cars in turns three and four and shooting out to a huuuuuuuuuuuuuge lead in the space of a lap. I can’t recall ever seeing that happen in top tier modifieds at the start of a race. So take a deep breath Mr. Literal, buy young Andrew an ice cream cone for doing such a great job and we’ll see if he can provide another nail biter Friday in the SK Lights similar to his performance at the Open with the other diaper dandies. Queue the tape. Did I see what I thought i saw?

  24. Fast Eddie says

    I wonder if Moeller’s adrenaline level was still pretty high from running the SKL race. Unfortunately that may have contributed to his fading back mid-race, along with not changing tires. Definitely a young talent worth watching. Congrats to #58 for the win, as well as the evening’s other winners! I thought there was some really good racing for position throughout the Modified fields, particularly within the top 10’s. Despite being closer to Lee, I’m glad I made the trip to Stafford; 70 Modifieds, one consi, two heats, 3 main events, and a shootout. WAY COOL AND WICKED PISSAH!!! My only suggestion would be for bigger shows, maybe drop the LM or LLM events for that night and run heats for the SK and SKL’s.

  25. Is this a new Doug? So many of them have said they are leaving these forums.

    Of all the people I have known, I have only met one or two named Doug. Strange there are so many here.

  26. Shawn – how about an article on the LLM/LM car counts at Stafford, including comments from the Arutes re: plans/options for the future (combine, ACT rules, etc.)?

  27. OK the tapes in. Moeller started outside fourth row in eighth. From the green he was on rails on the outside and it took him three laps to bolt into first and then he was off to the races so to speak. He recorded his best time on lap 15 and it was the second best of the race. It was remarkable. If he hadn’t had that electrical issue the Bulldog referred to it would have been interesting to see how good he could have done.

  28. Rafter,
    Working on it actually.

  29. Shawn – Great! Thanks.

  30. Nope Diaper Dareal it’s just me. One Doug. Well plus your admirer RickyinMass and WeldingWonders. Yup changed my mind clearly. Spoke with fork tongue. Lied. A shameful moment indeed. But I know being the forgiving soul you are you’ll find it in your heart to forgive me.

    Enough about me, how about some fun from the D Bag file. One of your gems circa 9/23/16 you may get a chuckle out of.
    “Didn’t LFR sell/lease the LFR house car to the 01 operation? Yeah, I think so. Looks like it anyways. The 01 runs an LFR. The LFR number and sponsors were visible under the 01 paint.
    Why doesn’t the 01 LFR run with the 2, 44, 8? Just saying’.
    Darren, the 89 of Matt Swanson is SPAFCO sponsored and Kenny Barry of SPAFCO is the Crew Chief.
    Given the implosion of LFR, they probably can’t afford to run a house car, and had to sell off the house car to raise cash. That’s probably how the 01 operation ended up with it.”

    Last sentence. LFR imploding. Can’t afford to run a house car. Whoa. Was that epically wrong or what? Turns out you don’t belch genius and fart rainbows like you think you do.

  31. The most perfectly timed question ever from Rafter and a four word response teaser that I know many of us can’t wait to see appear.

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