Setting The Scene – Whelen Modified Tour At Oswego: Eric Goodale – “I Want To Win A Damn Race”

(Press Release from NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)

Eric Goodale (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)

Eric Goodale might be fifth in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship standings, but he isn’t letting that number put him at ease. He wants to win. Badly.

The Riverhead, New York, driver has two top five finishes in the first 11 races of the season, but he scored both of them at the beginning of the season. He wants to turn it around when the Whelen Modified Tour returns to Oswego Speedway on Saturday for the Mod Classic 150 presented by McDonald’s.

“We’re having our best points year, which is cool, but not cool, because I’ve been really disappointed in our finishes this year,” Goodale said. “Two years ago we were contending for wins on the regular. That’s why you race, that’s why we show up. It’s fun to do, and I love and enjoy doing it. At the end of the day, you show up to win the race. We just haven’t been putting ourselves in position.”

RACING-REFERENCE: Eric Goodale’s 2019 Season

The last two races definitely haven’t been what Goodale was looking for. At Stafford, he was running inside the top 10 on the final lap when contact sent him into the wall, forcing him to not finish. At Thompson, the team struggled and finished outside the top 10.

“We just haven’t had the speed in the cars — we haven’t deserved to win based off our speed. Jason (his crew chief) and I have worked together a lot. It’s been a hard year. We’ve had some solid finishes to walk away with and have a good ride home, but at the end of the day, not winning races is getting old really quick,” Goodale said.

“We got wrecked at Stafford and totally destroyed the car we’ve been racing with and we had to bring out the backup car at Thompson and we had a lot of issues. That was a tough race for us and it set us back a lot.”

Oswego Speedway | Classic Weekend Schedule

For now, Goodale is looking forward. He has two consecutive top five finishes at Oswego, and he’s hoping that this Saturday’s event pans out the same way.

“We’re pinning a lot on this race to get our ship back together,” Goodale said. “I can tell you that we are not lacking anything off the track, we’re doing everything we need to do. Some of it is probably me as a driver, some of it might be the car. Everything isn’t quite working the way I know that it can. We are looking at every aspect of what we are doing to see if we can find the little bit extra. We have a few tricks up our sleeve.”

Oswego is one of the venues on the Whelen Modified Tour schedule that Goodale says is unlike any of the others. Saturday’s race puts the series on the big stage as part of the track’s annual Classic Weekend, which also includes major Supermodified events.

“It’s fun, and it’s bumpy as (expletive),” Goodale said. “You have the raised interior wall all the way around the track that keeps you honest. It’s really easy to get pinched in there with your left-front. There is no nicking that wall — you can completely tear the left-front right off your car. It adds a whole dynamic.”

“It’s also two completely different turns. Everyone feeds on the bottom in turns one and two, but in three and four, everyone wants to enter on the bottom and you push up the hill. You want to run the bottom, but you don’t have much grip. It’s tough. That’s where the opportunities for passing happen.”

With five races left, Goodale’s chances of winning the Whelen Modified Tour championship might be slipping away. But he has one major goal in mind, and all his attention is towards it.

“I want to win a damn race,” Goodale said. “The points will take care of itself, and I want to finish top five in points. But I honestly just want to win a damn race.”


  • The leader of lap 80 in Saturday’s Toyota Mod Classic 150 presented by McDonald’s is going to earn some extra cash. Through a fundraiser organized by Carol Haynes and racing photographer Fran Lawlor, $2,480 will be awarded to the leader of that one lap. The original idea was created by Mary Hodge, longtime racing photographer and wife of Howie Hodge, who passed in 2017, to celebrate Howie’s 80th birthday. Mary passed at the beginning of this season, but Haynes and Lawlor are following up on her wishes.
  • As first reported by RaceDayCT, Chase Dowling will drive the No. 82 for Danny Watts, after Watts and driver Woody Pitkat parted ways earlier this week. Dowling has five starts this season driving for Jamie Tomaino, where he’s finished on the podium twice. Pitkat had one victory driving the car at Wall Stadium Speedway in May.
  • Amy Catalano is entered in her attempt to make her first career Whelen Modified Tour start at Oswego. Catalano attempted to qualify at Stafford Motor Speedway on August 2, but missed the field. She’s a modified regular in New York and has multiple NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track titles to her credit.

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