Eric Goodale Leads Whelen Mod Tour To Stafford For NAPA Spring Sizzler

(Press release from Stafford Speedway)

Eric Goodale (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

(Stafford Springs, CT)—Fresh off of his Whelen Modified Tour season opening win at Martinsville Speedway on April 8, Eric Goodale finds himself in an unfamiliar position as the Tour prepares to invade Stafford for the NAPA Spring Sizzler® on April 25.  For the first time in his career, Goodale sits at the top of the WMT points standings but that won’t change anything about how Goodale or his #58 GAF Roofing team prepares for the Sizzler®.

“I’ve never led the points before, but at this point in the season it doesn’t really make a difference,” said Goodale.  “It certainly helps, but it won’t change anything about how we approach the race.  If it was the last race of the season, it would probably change my mindset a little bit but for right now we need to show up to the track and win races.  Without a mechanical issue or getting caught up in an accident, I feel like we’ll have a top-5 car for the Sizzler.  We’ve been really good at Stafford and we’ve shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times getting caught up in some bad situations, but we definitely have speed at Stafford and if we can hold everything together we should come out of there looking ok.”

Goodale’s Martinsville victory gives his team some early season momentum heading to Stafford, which is a track that Goodale has won at in both Modified Tour and Open Modified competition. 

“It definitely gives us a shot in the arm any time we can win a race,” said Goodale.  “Especially at a track like Martinsville.   With that race being the season opener, everyone was hyped up and had their best stuff out there.”

While Goodale likes coming to race at Stafford, that wasn’t always the case for the Riverhead, NY native.  A lot of testing and a good crew has helped him flip the switch for the positive.

“It took me years to figure Stafford out,” said Goodale.  “In the beginning of my career, I hated Stafford and I didn’t like going there.  Back in the day Stafford was a track where we knew going into the season that we were going to have 4 races there so it was important to run well there.  We did a lot of pre and in season testing and I finally figured out how to drive the track a little bit better.  Fortunately my crew chief Jason Shephard has a good setup in the car that allows me to drive the car like I want to and turn some good lap times.  I know Stafford is hard to learn so when I see other guys struggling I tell them they need to keep after it and it’ll come to you.  Stafford is probably the track we’ve tested at the most in my career and now whenever we want to try something new we like to go to Stafford because we know we run well there and we can see how the new setup compares to the old setup.”

Much like Martinsville was a track that Goodale had on his list of races to win, a Stafford NAPA Spring Sizzler victory would also rank right at the top for Goodale.

“The Sizzler is a big race that I’ve wanted to win for so long,” said Goodale.  “I finally have a win at Stafford but it’s not a Sizzler win.  It would be a little different feeling if we can win the Sizzler and between the facility and the Arute family, Stafford feels more like home than a lot of the other tracks we go to.  A Sizzler win would be over the moon exciting for us.”

As much as Goodale feels like he will be among the favorites to win the NAPA Spring Sizzler®, he points to the cars of Justin Bonsignore, Doug Coby, and Craig Lutz as strong contenders.  Coby has 12 career Stafford wins and Lutz scored his first career WMT win at Stafford in the 2019 NAPA Fall Final.  Past WMT Champion Bonsignore has yet to win at Stafford in 38 career starts, but Goodale says that it’s just a matter of time.

“Obviously there’s the two mainstays with Doug [Coby] and Justin [Bonsignore],” said Goodale.  “I know Justin hasn’t won at Stafford yet but I hadn’t won at Martinsville until this year.  The best part about winning the Martinsville race was passing Justin for the lead.  That felt really good because he’s so fast everywhere we go.  Along with Doug and Justin, Craig Lutz is going to be good.  He has a win at Stafford and those 3 teams all have their stuff together and when they’re firing on all cylinders, they’re tough to beat on any given day no matter what track we’re racing at.”

Goodale might want to refrain from making any bets with his crew members about winning the Sizzler as he made a pre-season bet with his team that if he won Martinsville, he would get the entire crew grandfather clocks to match his winning trophy.

“I had to open my big mouth in the off-season,” said Goodale with a laugh.  “We have one of the lightest and most fun crews on the Tour.  We know how to have a good time and how to laugh.”

In addition to the NAPA Spring Sizzler®, Goodale is looking forward to returning to Stafford this season for the four Open Modified races, the the Call Before You Dig 81 on May 14, the Twisted Tea 80 on June 4, the Bud Light 80 on July 9, and the Lincoln Tech 80 on August 20.

“I’m real excited about the Open shows,” said Goodale.  “We got my sponsor GAF involved with Stafford with some sponsorship and billboards. I really want to put my best foot forward and try to win those races but our main focus is going to be the three Tour shows at Stafford.  Any time you can get laps at a track and figure things out it helps.  We’re running the same chassis now for the Tour and Open shows so we can take what we learn and apply it for the next race where in the past we were bouncing back and forth between chassis.”

The NAPA Spring Sizzler® takes the green flag on Sunday, April 25 but the 2021 Stafford season kicks off on Saturday, April 24 with NAPA Auto Parts Opening Day festivities.  General Admission and Paddock Pass tickets for the April 24 NAPA Auto Parts Opening Day as well as Paddock Pass tickets for the April 25 NAPA Spring Sizzler® are now available online at  General Admission tickets for the April 25 NAPA Spring Sizzler have sold to capacity limits but fans can sign up for ticket alerts if more tickets should become available.  Stafford Speedway remains under reduced capacity per order of the State of CT due to Covid-19 restrictions.  Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets as soon as possible to ensure a ticket to the event.

For more information, visit, checkout Stafford Speedway on Facebook or Twitter, or contact the track office at 860-684-2783.


  1. Let’s hope Eric has no more bad luck. He brings a great car, but gets into trouble on the track. He needs a break. Hope this is the year.

  2. 5000ish tickets apparently pre sold for the Sizzler. No room at the hotel it would appear as “Ticket Sales Paused”. A new more hopeful way of saying there’s a good chance state mandated capacity limits may rise.
    Goodale really should have a nickname like “Mr. Everywhere”. It’s amazing that team shows up just about everywhere and is competitive just about everywhere a tour type modified race is taking place. They know Stafford and have won there and have the fire power for the NHMS open. Great potential for them over the next 9 days.

  3. I certainly hope Stafford is responsible with COVID-19 safety protocols.

    The Thompson IceBreaker was not a good look for motorsports with regard to COVID-19 safety.

  4. Fast Eddie says

    Regarding COVID at Thompson, if you’re looking at race pictures taken from the infield with the crowd in the background, the crowd view and perception is very distorted. What looks like a packed grandstand in turn 4 was far from it. You were allowed to not wear a mask while seated if there was proper distancing in place. I was in that grandstand and there was reasonable spacing from one group to another, and I don’t think it was 25% full. Almost all people I saw put a mask on when moving around. The only way you will see an accurate view of the stands is if pictures are specifically taken of them. Straight on close pictures would reveal all the empty spaces, particularly from up top looking down. At a 45 degree angle 200 yards away when peoples’ heads are the size of a pin, the stands will look packed.

  5. “Let’s hope Eric has no more bad luck. He brings a great car, but gets into trouble on the track.”

    Agreed! That car is always fast and always great appearing. Sometimes he’s had bad luck, other times, he’s been the bad luck.

    I wish him well, as he’s got the tools and resources and skills to be a real factor, or even a series champ.

  6. In the last three NWMT seasons Goodale has started all 41 races and is a DNF in only 7. Of those seven one was an engine and the other an ignition. Considering the 58 is frequently in the heart of the most competitive portion of most races he’s done pretty well finishing races at least in the NWMT.
    He’s hot and did qualify on the pole in the one NWMT race last year at Stafford.

  7. I’m wondering… 💭.

    NASCAR has made it clear that there is a very prominent and strict mask 😷 and 😷COVID-19 😷 safety protocol. It is obvious when watching a NASCAR event. It’s in the news and seemingly a part of pre-race preparations.

    Since Stafford Motor Speedway has dropped the NASCAR sanction, what happens with 😷 COVID-19 😷 safety protocols at Stafford Motor Speedway during NASCAR events at the track?

    Who has the final say regarding 😷 COVID-19 😷 safety 😷 protocols, Stafford Motor Speedway or NASCAR?

    Stafford Motor Speedway needs to make sure the public is aware of the 😷COVID-19 😷safety protocols so people aren’t surprised when they get there.

  8. Let’s take a comprehensive look at the 58’s stats:

    14 years

    Started in 2008, only 2 races, the rest are full seasons.

    176 races

    4 wins

    28 Top5

    83 Top10

    3 Poles

    25,430 Laps

    226 Laps Led

    12.9 Avg Start

    12.7 Avg Finish

    145 Running at Finish (RAF)

    104 Lead Lap Finish (LLF)

    From 2014 to 2019, inclusive, the 58 finished the season in the top 10.

    2020 was a bad year.

    But, in that stretch from 2014 to 2019, there were plenty of races that the 58 was not RAF and not a LLF.

    2014 13 races 10 RAF 8 LLF Rank 7
    2015 15 races 12 RAF 11 LLF Rank 8
    2016 17 races 14 RAF 13 LLF Rank 7
    2017 16 races 14 RAF 12 LLF Rank 5
    2018 16 races 14 RAF 8 LLF Rank 7
    2019 16 races 13 RAF 10 LLF Rank 6

    Remarkably, the 58 finished in the T10 in those seasons. In that stretch, the 58 finished with one T5 and the rest T10 seasons… with all those races when it did not finish or did not finish on the lead lap. One can only think of what could have been had the 58 made it through the seasons with better RAF and LLF statistics. Instead of T10s, the 58 could have been finishing those seasons T5 and better.

  9. Of course dacellardweller had a great view of everything from his basement and will be happy to discount the reports from anyone who was actually in attendance. Thanks for your in person account Fast Ed.

  10. Earl wrote, “Of course dacellardweller had a great view of everything from his basement and will be happy to discount the reports from anyone who was actually in attendance. Thanks for your in person account Fast Ed.”

    Earl, please provide a citing and quote from this thread where Fast Eddie was was discounted. I can’t find it. Thanks in advance.

  11. Shows the true intelligence of dacellardweller when it comes to his reading and comprehension skills. 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

  12. I just have to say I really admire Goodale and it doesn’t even make any sense. Starting with him standing in front of a 2016 Trump poster. Good caption but still. Then there’s the fact he’s from that hell hole Long Island where they explode if they have to keep a thought to themselves. Just kidding. In laws from Long Island.
    For years that team shows up everywhere and may not win a whole lot but does win. They’re always in the mix. Goodale is a family man and seems to do that job fairly well as much as you can tell from social media.
    I just love that 58 team to pieces and love seeing them do well. If you could condense whatever the true racer was in the 70’s that went everywhere to race and embody them in a guy now it would be Goodale.
    If anyone says he can’t drive the heck out of a car or he’s a menace that would be completely ignorant as far as I’ve observed.
    58 to win at the Sizzler!!!

  13. Earl wrote, “Shows the true intelligence of dacellardweller when it comes to his reading and comprehension skills. 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂”

    Thanks Earl, I knew you were full of 💩 and blowing smoke, as always.

  14. Dacellardweller wrote; “ Thanks Earl, I knew you were full of 💩 and blowing smoke, as always.”

    Look who’s accusing someone of being full of 💩 and blowing smoke as always 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

  15. WeldingWonders says

    “ hate me because I’m beautiful and smarter than you.



    227 Stupid is as stupid does and says. Idiotic.
    228 Texas is run by idiots.
    229 Or he was an idiot.
    230 the GOP objected on grounds of their own idiocy
    231 Pure idiocy (Atomic Punk)
    232 Thanks Earl, I knew you were full of (Vulgar emoji)

    TOTAL INSULTS IN 2021 THROUGH DAY 108……………………………232




  16. 😷😷😷 darealgoodfella 😷😷😷 says

    So Earl, you still haven’t provided the citation of the alleged discounting of Fast Eddie’s first person account. Could that be because it doesn’t exist?

    Please backup your baseless allegation.

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