Dirt Modified racers throughout the Northeast are seeing more money and resources invested into their sport. As a result, racers are packing their schedules with as many races as they can to put more dollars into their pocket. One of those racers with one of the busiest schedules for the 2018 season is Ringoes, NJ driver Ryan Godown.
Godown will be chasing upwards of four championships during the season, plus a pile of other races between three different teams. The main components of his schedule will be the Short Track Super Series North and South regions, the majority in Steve Searock’s No. 26 Small-Block Modified.
“We’re planning on doing the whole Short Track Super Series, North and South. A lot of it is going to be between the 26 Searock car and a couple with the 66, wherever the Big-Block is needed,” Godown told Speed51.com.
The Pennsylvania-based Searock team is going in well prepared for the full 18-race combined campaign of the STSS. In addition to the current car with a Small-Block “outlaw” engine, the team is putting together a second car for the rigors of the full season.
“Searock has a brand-new car that we’re building with another outlaw motor, but it’s not ready yet. Hopefully in another month we’ll have that ready to go, then we’ll have two outlaws on the tour. We got a lot of the north races that are far away, and we’ll have something in case something happens early. We’re preparing ourselves for the whole tour and anything unforeseen.”
In 2017, Godown ran only for the STSS South championship, finishing second to Ryan Watt in the final standings. But Godown was not a big factor in the title hunt until late in the schedule, only moving up to second in the last race. He is using 2017 as a big learning experience of what to do and what not to do in 2018.
“Last year we had a lot of new teams in the south we were dealing with. There were some races then I screwed up being too aggressive early in the year,” Godown explained. “Got to look back at that, see how it cost us, if we had finished in the top five instead of going for the win, we probably would have been a little closer to the lead. We weren’t up to second until the last night Georgetown. So, if there’s some nights where we can’t win but we can get second or third, that’s what we’re going to do.”
Speaking of Georgetown Speedway (DE), Godown did end the season strong by winning the STSS South finale at the half-mile oval in October last year. Entering this weekend’s season opening Melvin L. Joseph Memorial, Godown feels confident heading back to the “First State,” but different weather conditions and a new turn configuration with Georgetown’s banking are sure to shake things up.
“We’ll be running the same car we won with back in the fall, it’s been pretty good to us so we ain’t changing until it stops running well,” he said. “We do feel confident coming off the win, you always do. But it’s still a totally different time of the year, who knows what the tracks going to be with the new banking and timed hot laps. A lot of guys are going with a whole different suspension deal, so you don’t know if that’s going to be better, there’s a lot of variables. But that’s why we are bringing back old reliable.”
Godown will be running an open competition Small-Block Modified 30-lap feature Friday night in addition to the 49-lap STSS feature Saturday. While he is expecting to run both nights with the same Searock No. 26, the No. 66 Big-Block will also be on site as well, in case he feels it’s a better option.
Beyond his STSS schedule, Godown plans to run a number of Super DIRTcar Series and open shows, while also chasing track titles at Big Diamond Speedway (PA) and New Egypt Speedway (NJ) which he won in 2017.
“We are going to go back to Big Diamond with the Searock No. 26, again we have a new Troyer car coming. New Egypt we are going to run with the 66 guys with the Bicknell car there. We’ve been testing that new car for the last month, got a lot of confidence with that. Bridgeport Speedway (NJ) we’re doing some of the beginning of the year shows. The DIRTcar shows we’ll also have the Dieter Schmidt No. 5.”
Race fans can watch all 18 rounds of the Short Track Super Series North and South Region schedule live on Speed51.com starting this Saturday. All that is needed to watch is a single subscription to the Speed51 Network. To join the Speed51 Network today, click here.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com/MoJo Photos