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STAFFORD, Conn. -- Coming from the 18th position, Eric Goodale knew it would take a stout car for him to travel to the front in Sunday's NAPA Fall Final 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway.
When it came down to the final laps, Goodale had the car he needed to get the job done. The Riverhead, New York, driver scored his third career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win by passing Ryan Preece with just three laps remaining. The victory was his first at the half-mile oval.
"Stafford is one of those places that you dream of winning at when you're a little kid," Goodale said. "I came up here and watched races when I was a kid. To be here and finally win a race, we have so many races under our belt here and we have come close here so many times. It feels good to finally seal the deal."
Goodale's run to the front of the field after his qualifying effort was not an easy one. He maneuvered his way to the front and was working the back bumper of Preece for the race lead in lapped traffic when a caution at Lap 111 set up the final pit stops of the day. Goodale's team went to work to help get him out at the front.
He took the lead from Lap 120-125, but then lost it and had to follow Preece in the final circuits. A late move to the bottom of Turn Four got him the lead with just three laps to go and he never looked back.
Goodale beat Preece to the line by 0.389 seconds. Preece came up one spot short of sweeping the 2017 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races at Stafford. He led a race-high 115 laps. Ron Silk finished third, while Chase Dowling and Timmy Solomito rounded out the top five.
Justin Bonsignore was sixth, followed by Doug Coby, Bobby Santos, Craig Lutz and Kyle Bonsignore.
With just one race left on the schedule, four-time champion Coby has a 10 point lead over Justin Bonsingore in the championship standings. Solomito is third, 12 markers back, while Preece is fourth, 19 back from the lead.
The NAPA Fall Final 150 will air on NBCSN on Saturday Oct. 7 at 10 a.m.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to the track on Sunday Oct. 15 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, where the 2017 champion will be crowned.
Eric Goodale scored his third career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win on Sunday at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway. Adam Glanzman/NASCAR