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   The Chrome Horn - News




Polly Reid

Earlier in the afternoon when speaking with Eric Goodale from Riverhead, NY there was a quiet determination about what they wanted for the end result that evening- a win. And when the checker flag waved at the end of 35 laps, it was Goodale in the Heritage Wide Plank, Riverhead Building Supply Penske Shocks sponsored modified crossing the stripe for the victory in the 48th Annual World Series of Asphalt Racing at New Smyrna Speedway.
“We had such a bad night last night- my crew really needed a pick me up,” said Goodale who survived the caution filled event.

Following Goodale across the line was Ron Silk, Matt Hirschman, Andy Seuss, Ryan Preece and Spencer Davis.

Silk who dominated the first two nights of racing was leading the event when with 15 to go, under caution, had to suddenly pit for a left front flat. Silk came through the field to finish a solid second but was later disqualified for an unapproved tire change.

Goodale qualified fourth in time trials but started on the pole when the top four were inverted. Lining up next to Goodale was Ryan Preece, Tommy Barrett, Ron Silk, Chuck Hossfeld and Matt Hirschman the top six.

Preece jumped out into the lead at the green - Goodale tucked in behind Preece - it took six circuits but Goodale made his move to become the new leader. By lap ten, Goodale led Silk, Barrett, Preece and Hirschman.

Two circuits later, Silk got a run out of turn two, went low into turn three and out of turn four completed the pass on Goodale to become the new leader of the night.

At the half way mark the first caution waved closing up the field. Silk led the restart with Goodale, Barrett, Hirschman and Zacharias the top five.

Two circuits later, it appeared the field had settled into single file - Silk leading, Goodale, Hirschman, Barrett and Zacharias - when contact from behind sent Barrett hard into the turn two outside wall. Barrett ok, however his night was done. Meanwhile, Preece, Patrick Emerling and the 99 of AJ Winsted pitted.

At the restart, Silk, Goodale, Hirschman, Davis and Andy Seuss led the field back around only to be reined in by another caution on lap 20. Zacharias had spun around in turn three and four and as his car slid back up the track hitting the outside wall, JR Bertuccio was collected up, both rides done for the night.

Another restart, suspected fluid on the track, brought out the next caution, this time it was AJ Winsted with extensive damage as well as Al Emmarino - both done for the night.

It was under this yellow that Silk’s left front tire went flat - forcing a pit stop. “I had a flat tire, I must have ran over something from one of the wrecks,” said Silk.

Goodale inherited the lead and never looked back. “It was a shock when Silk pulled down into the pits,” said Goodale. “I was running scenarios through my head during the caution about what I wanted to do - I was better on entry and through the center but Silk was pulling me coming off - I was going through all sorts of game plans back and forth - that all went out the window when he pulled down pit row.”
15 to go - Goodale led the way with Hirschman, Spencer Davis and Seuss - Silk lined up sixth on the restart and quickly moved into third then passed for second with 11 laps remaining.

The final 10 laps clicked off quickly the top four breaking from the pack and at the checkers, Goodale held his line for his first World Series win of 2014.

“Our car started to get real tight in the middle of the center,” said Goodale. “I was having my own trouble on the restarts there. Matt got a real good run on me and I squeezed him down into turn one definitely a little bit.” Meanwhile, Goodale was aware Silk had moved in behind him in the closing circuits. “Ronnie, he’s been stout since the minute they unloaded off the track here.” Goodale thanked his crew and especially thanked his wife Amanda.

“It was a rough night for the modifieds,” said Hirschman. “We were doing alright. I got up to second but I didn’t have the preferred line and got pinned on the bottom and lost a couple of spots. We’re OK, hopefully the second half of this week goes good for us.”

It turned out to be a very eventful day for Andy Seuss. “In practice, the last run we were going to make, we made those extra laps and broke a rocker arm. It was a little bit of a struggle finding a rocker arm since we’re the only Dodge motor here. Luckily Bertuccio’s had one from when they ran Dodge in the past, I’ve got to thank them for loaning it to us. It was the right offset but the wrong ratio so the valve wasn’t open enough and it showed up on the race track, we were a little down on power but we missed qualifying and had to start last.

 We were up to second at one point, we had a fast car. We had a good run on Eric Goodale- I didn’t really time it right – I just had a really good run down the straight away and sent it in there and got into him, I’ve got to apologize for that but it worked out he went on to win. I got shuffled back to fourth- I guess now I’m third, that’s great after the day we’ve had. I’ve got to thank Dan Kurzejewski for letting me drive, Tommy for all his hard work, his right hand man Bob, spotter Charli Brown and my dad Steve for coming down and working his butt off – he has to go back to the snow now- I wish he could stay. To come out with a top three is pretty cool.”

There was a high damage toll for the evening- leaving the speedway for the night there were still crews working on their cars including the Chris Our 22. “It’s hurt,” said Brad Lafontaine about the car, “but we can race it again. We’ll get a better look at it tomorrow in the light. Chris will make the call about the last three nights here. We’ll put these races behind us and concentrate on Daytona.”

Chuck Hossfeld also registered a DNF, pulling off early in the main - a broken ground electrode - the team will assess today how extensive the damage is, specifically, if there are any engine issues.

The official finish posted, Goodale, Hirschman, Seuss, Preece and Davis take the top five. Patrick Emerling, Dan Watts, AJ Winsted, Al Emmarino, and Tommy Barrett the top ten. Jimmy Zacharias, JR Bertuccio, Hossfeld, TJ Zacharias and Silk finish out the order for the night.
Indeed the focus does shift - the next two days will be at Daytona International Speedway for the UNOH Battle of the Beach. Today, Monday, is parking and inspection only, no on track activity. A full schedule for Tuesday, the NWMT 150 lap event is scheduled to go green at 7pm.

Source: Polly Reid / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: February 17, 2014

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