MARTINSVILLE, Va. (April 8, 2021) – Eric Goodale had a grandfather clock in his house growing up and he hated it. He hated the noise, hated the chimes, didn’t like it all.
My, how times have changed.
When the veteran racer from Riverhead, N.Y. started the engine of his racecar on Thursday night, he wanted nothing more than the Martinsville Grandfather Clock awarded to the winner of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour’s Virginia is for Racing Lovers 200 at Martinsville Speedway.
And following a strong restart with 10 laps to go, Goodale held off a spirited charge from Tyler Rypkema to claim the coveted Martinsville Grandfather Clock and season-opening checkered flag of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season.
“This is Martinsville, the aura of it,” said Goodale, still drenched from the post-race celebration. “It’s all about the clock, one of the biggest trophies in racing, and to finally get one is sweet�� You have no idea how bad I wanted one of those. Now that that one is mine, I’m going to love it. I don’t care how many times it chimes or my fat foot sets that thing off. I’m going to enjoy it.”
Goodale plans to put it in his kitchen, after surviving all of the thrills, chills and spills of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour’s first Martinsville race since 2010.
When the night began, one would’ve thought that NASCAR Cup Series regular Ryan Preece was going to run away with the tantalizing timepiece. The 2008 Martinsville modified race winner started from the Mayhew Tools pole after breaking the Martinsville Speedway track record with a 101.768 mph lap in qualifying. The previous record was set in qualifying for a 1986 modified event, Greg Sacks had a one-lap average of 101.014 mile-per-hour.
Preece led the first 110 laps, which were interrupted by two red flags – one for an hour-long rain delay and another for a multicar pile-up on Lap 15. Preece’s dominance waned midway through the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 200.
Two-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Justin Bonsignore surged to the lead with 99 laps left. He looked primed to put the Martinsville Grandfather Clock in his trophy collection, but with 31 laps remaining, Goodale made a powerful move past Bonsignore for the lead and survived Rypkema’s late charge in the closing laps.
Bonsignore finished third, while Preece fell back to a 12th-place finish.
2021 NASCAR Season
Martinsville continues its first-ever three race weekend of night races on Friday, April 9 with the Cook Out 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cashrace at 8:00 p.m. and on Saturday, April 10 with the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 NASCAR Cup Series race at 7:30 p.m.
Martinsville will once again host the penultimate races of the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series seasons on Oct. 30-31. On Saturday, Oct. 30, Martinsville will host a doubleheader with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff race at 1:00 p.m. and the Dead On Tools 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff race at 6:00 p.m. The NASCAR Cup Series’ Championship 4 will be set in the Xfinity 500 on Sunday, Oct. 31 at 2:00 p.m.
The ValleyStar Credit Union 300, the nation’s biggest, richest and most prestigious NASCAR Late Model Stock Car race, will return for an evening of intense competition on Sept. 25.
About Martinsville Speedway
Founded by H. Clay Earles in 1947, Martinsville Speedway is the only NASCAR track to host NASCAR Cup Series races every year since its inception in 1949. At .526 miles in length, the track annually hosts two NASCAR race weekends featuring the NASCAR Cup Series, along with the NASCAR Xfinity Series and/or NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Martinsville Speedway also annually hosts the ValleyStar Credit Union 300, the nation’s biggest, richest and most prestigious NASCAR Late Model Stock Car race. For more information about Martinsville Speedway, visit martinsvillespeedway.com.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States and owner of 16 of the nation’s major motorsports entertainment facilities. NASCAR consists of three national series (NASCAR Cup Series™, NASCAR Xfinity Series™, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™), four regional series (ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series East & West and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour), one local grassroots series (NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series) and three international series (NASCAR Pinty’s Series, NASCAR Peak Mexico Series, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series). The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. NASCAR also owns Motor Racing Network, Racing Electronics, and ONE DAYTONA. Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit www.NASCAR.comand www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (‘NASCAR’).
Virginia Tourism Corporation is the state agency charged with marketing the Commonwealth as a premier travel and film destination. In 2019, visitors to Virginia spent $27 billion, which supported 237,000 work opportunities and contributed $1.8 billion in state and local taxes. To learn more about Virginia Tourism Corporation, visit virginia.org.