With the laps clicking off in the Musket 250 Saturday, it appeared that both Eric Goodale and Ron Silk would be contenders all the way to the checkered flag.
As it turned out, neither of them would have a say in who won the biggest race of the 2019 Whelen Modified Tour season.
After most of the field had made its final pit stop, Silk and Goodale were running first and second on the track and had somewhat broken away from the rest of the field.
Goodale, who had tried but failed to take the lead several times, saw his opportunity to get out front coming off of turn four with 28 laps to go. The only wrench in Goodale’s plan was the slow No. 45 car on the frontstretch taking up a lane, driven by Timmy Catalano.
“I got a great run coming off of four, and I thought we had much more time before we caught up to the 45 there,” Goodale said. “I had to make a split-second decision. I chose to go to the bottom, and I couldn’t get the car woed up to stay out of the 85.”
Seconds before the two collided, the caution lights came on for a yellow flag that was not incident-related. It was too late, however. Goodale was already committed to the corner.
Goodale’s No. 58 slammed into the left side of Silk’s No. 85, sending the two up the track and into the turn one wall.
The fact that the pass would have been all for naught was extremely aggravating for Silk.
“My spotter called out that the yellow was out,” Silk said. “There was a lapped car in the middle, and I guess we split around him. I was out of the throttle and he just drove over me. I don’t know what to say, the yellow was out… I think we had a car that was capable of being in position to win for sure.”
The incident is likely the death knell for Silk’s title hopes in 2019, as he now trails series leader Doug Coby by 64 points with only two races remaining this season.
Goodale wasn’t any less frustrated than Silk.
“It sucks,” he said. “I think we probably had the best car here today and just made a wrong split-second decision… Just disappointing to have such a good car and have something so stupid be the end of it.”
Both Eric Goodale and Ron Silk will head to Stafford next week for the Fall Final, likely with the sole goal of winning in mind.