Anthony Nocella Parts Ways With Russell Goodale Owned Whelen Modified Tour Team 

Anthony Nocella (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

Chemistry between driver and team is the magical mystery potion that everybody in motorsports is forever searching for. 

When it comes to veteran driver Anthony Nocella and veteran team owner Russell Goodale, both agree today that finding that chemistry between driver and team couldn’t happen for them on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. 

Nocella and Goodale confirmed to RaceDayCT Tuesday they have parted ways on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. 

Nocella ran five Whelen Modified Tour events for the team, the last coming Saturday at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va.

“Things haven’t gone too well for us besides qualifying [second] at [New Hampshire Motor Speedway],” Nocella said. “That was really the only good thing. Other than that, things haven’t been too good. So we just decided that we are going to part ways.

“I was hoping it would work out good. Russell is a great guy. He’s got a bunch of good guys on the team. They’ve got great equipment. Even two races he ago he went out and bought a brand new race car. I’ve got to thank Russell for a great opportunity. We had all the equipment, it just wasn’t working out too good for whatever reason.” 

Said Goodale: “It just didn’t seem to be a good fit for him. He’s a great a guy and a good racer. I don’t know what we’re doing wrong here, but we’ve got to figure out. But he was great. I appreciated his effort and we’re friends. He’s got a great [family] team behind him and I wish them all the luck.” 

Nocella ran his first event for Goodale in the Jersey Shore 150 on July 8 at Wall Stadium in Wall, N.J., finishing 12th. Over five events for the team Nocella had an average finish of 13.6. His 10th place finish in the 15-car field in Saturday’s event at Langley was the first top-10 for the team with Nocella. 

“For whatever reason we couldn’t really hit on anything that worked too well for me,” Nocella said. “It wasn’t a lack of effort by anyone, the chemistry just wasn’t there.”

Nocella started five of the first seven events this season on the Whelen Modified Tour schedule with his family owned car. He said he will turn his focus back to the family car. He will not compete in Saturday’s Whelen Modified Tour event at Oswego (N.Y.) Speedway. Nocella sits 11th in the Whelen Modified Tour driver standings despite only running 10 of 12 events this season.

“We’re going to go through the schedule and decide where we want to go between some [Whelen Modified] Tour shows and [Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series] shows and Open shows.” 

The 30-year old Nocella has 67 career Whelen Modified Tour starts dating back to 2015. He scored his first career series victory in July 2022 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. 

Six events remain on the Whelen Modified Tour schedule this season, including Saturday’s event at Oswego. Goodale said his team will withdraw from the Oswego event. Goodale currently sits ninth on the Whelen Modified Tour owner’s standings.

“We’ll see if we can get somebody for the rest of the season,” Goodale said. “But right now, that’s up in the air.” 

The Goodale owned No. 46 team began the 2023 season with rookie Justin Brown behind the wheel. Brown had an average finish of 16th over the first seven events of the season before parting ways with the team and being replaced by Nocella. Brown’s best finish with the team was a 13th place at Lee USA Speedway in Lee, N.H. on May 27. 

The Goodale owned team had three victories with driver Craig Lutz, with one coming in 2019 and two in 2020. The team shut down from full-time competition following the 2021 season. Timmy Solomito recorded an eighth place finish driving for Goodale in the Phoenix Communications 150 at Thompson Speedway in August 2022. The team returned to full-time competition with Brown to start this season.


  1. You can have the best driver and the best team but when you don’t know how to set up the car or the crew chief doesnt go in the right direction then the car goes nowhere and you end up with an unhappy driver and team and then chemistry goes out the window with that and it sounds like one of the two things with setup or crew cheif led to the car going nowhere. Because something happened tomake the chemistry dip. It didnt just happen by itself.

  2. Loud cheering from the 01 garage.

  3. Hillary 2024 says

    Another gift and step closer to an amazing season of finishing perpetually last for a top 10 in the standings for the 01. What a joke. I’m sorry but I guarantee that for women like West, Fuller or Anderson, they can’t possibly look up to Fifield for inspiration. Or even Shilosky who is winning almost all her bandalero races at the bowl, if her dream is too race on the tour someday, she would be her hero? It’s a shame the tour couldn’t produce anyone better.

  4. He’s a heck of a fella that Anthony Nocella. Most of us like the guy, at times watching him fly, pulling off a win when the odds seemed slim.
    When you think of it he’s a lot like Fifield. No that’s not true at all I just thought we had to mention her in every comment recently.
    11 starts for Danny Watts (82) in 2021 with a couple top 5’s thought he’d stick with that team but no, Watts on to Lutz. Only five races in his own car in 2022 but great results 1,3 & 5.
    “Chemistry” the publicly acceptable term for the fail but it was surely something more specific that would reflect negatively so “chemistry” it is.
    Ideally what you want is Austin Beers. All the years with Rob Summers no magic, nor Solomito’s stint as well Whatever Beers and his supporters brought to the 64 both financially and technically cast a spell over the team.
    Turning a pumpkin into a regal carriage ready to transport Beers to the grand ball and perhaps the thrown you never know.
    It’s always nicer helping to support a team financially and driving as opposed to carrying the full load. But maybe Nocella and his folks are just racers that are meant to do their own thing, go their own way and get the most success taking that route.
    Everyone likes Anthony Nocella and now we get to root for one of our favorite underdogs again in the well recognized 92.
    Sorry all you Pick 6’ers you won’t have Nocella to cash in on the Heartbreaker any more in the 46.

  5. While I’m not poetic Doug, agree. Pick 6’ers all over the 46. Just from the surface, not sure if we though Nocella got his break, or just wishful thinking. I’m always torn with Nocella, if I should pick him, or Johnson, if Johnson is in Ole Blue.
    And I won’t mention……..

  6. Capt. Mike Qbvious says

    Sometimes a situation that looks like it should work on paper just doesn’t work in practice. It can turn out the people involved have different goals, ways of thinking, approaches to strategy, or justclashing personalities. Either way, it adds up to a team being less than the sum of its parts.

    It’s no different than an NFL or NBA “super team” that underachieves because the players and coaches, individually talented as they may be, don’t mesh well together. I think of the early 2010s when the Los Angeles Lakers assembled a team that included Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, and Metta World Peace. Everyone and their dog picked them to win the Western Conference; instead, they barely made the playoffs and got swept in the first round. It wasn’t anybody’s fault per se — it’s just another example of how the games (and races) aren’t played on paper. Hopefully both Nocella and Goodale are able to find a situation that better suits them.

  7. Football picks plug.
    Capt mike, reminds me of the year the pats got ocho cinco. Big expectations, big flop, cause he could not get the pats playbook. Good point.

  8. Yukon Jack says

    The 46 needs to do something. Nocella is a winning tour driver. Craig Lutz is a winning tour driver yet they both would rater not race than drive that car. The 46 won races 2-3 years ago. What happened since then? New Fury car seems to run worse for some reason. Seems they have a lot of sole searching to do before Russel sells everything. AGAIN.

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