A top-five finish appeared to be within Eric Goodale’s grasp as the Bud Light Open Modified 80 was winding down Friday night.
With two laps to go, however, things turned sour in a hurry.
Battling with Matt Swanson for the second position, the two made contact off of Turn 2. Whether Goodale came up or Swanson came down is up for debate.
What isn’t is the slide Goodale took through the backstretch grass before he straightened his Modified out — finishing 13th overall.
The two confronted each other after the race on pit road. After some shoving between crew members, Goodale threw his No. 58 ground-pounder into reverse and left the scene.
Goodale put the blame squarely on Swanson for the contact.
“Just typical racing with him,” he told Short Track Scene. “He’s just racing over his head. He got loose off of (Turn) 2, came down and whacked me in the right front and didn’t even give me a chance to race him to the end there.
“Aggravating. You work your ass off all race, drive yourself through the field, put yourself in position to win the race, and somebody does something stupid.”
Swanson admitted to getting sideways, but was adamant there was no cheap shot.
“At the end of these races, the tires are burned up,” Swanson said. “Everyone’s loose. I got loose up off the corner.”
After the race, Swanson tried making amends with Goodale, but Goodale didn’t want to hear it.
“I tried to apologize, but he didn’t seem to want to accept my apology. I race him on the [Whelen Modified] Tour. I race him here, I race him everywhere the same way. None of us are really here to make friends.”
To Goodale, the clash was yet another instance in a long list of errors by Swanson.
“What’s he gonna say? He drives that way every week, so it’s nothing new,” Goodale said. “I should’ve expected it, but whatever. Not gonna do anything now.”
The two will try to put the incident behind them as they head to Loudon to race on the Whelen Modified Tour next weekend.