CHARLOTTE, NC (February 22) – Hal Goodson is what you might call an “old school” racer. He learned that in order to succeed in racing, you have to be able to do everything yourself, from working on the racecar, driving the hauler to the track and racing on the weekend. These are things that have been instilled in Hal Goodson from the beginning. Goodson’s father, Howard, was a constant in victory lane throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s at the speedways of the Eastern Carolinas. That same winning ethic was passed to Hal at an early age as he had to balance racing with his studies at The Citadel and even had to keep an eye on the clock so as not to miss his college curfew.
“Yeah, it was pretty interesting back when I first got started,” said Goodson. “When I was racing in the 6-Cylinder division at Timmonsville and Lake View back in the 80’s I had to make sure I got back to Charleston in time to make curfew.”
From his beginnings on dirt, Goodson moved on to Super Late Model racing on asphalt and quickly became a winner at the Myrtle Beach Speedway and in Concord Speedway’s legendary Big 10 Series. The next step for Goodson was the NASCAR All Pro Series and racing against the likes of Jody Ridley, Mike Cope, and Bobby Gill. Goodson would go on to win 13 races and claimed the championship twice in 1995 and 1997. From there Goodson raced in the USAR Pro Cup Series and won eight more times. Goodson left the touring scene and found a great opportunity to return to his roots when the Dillon Motor Speedway re-opened in 2007. He has competed regularly at Dillon and won the Seneca SuperTruck championship in 2008. But Goodson’s heart has never really left the Super Late Models that brought him so much success throughout his career. Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Super Late Model owner Jesse Lynch was looking to fill the seat of his #0 Dodge Charger and looked no further than Goodson. In the pairs only race together in 2007, Goodson was challenging for a top ten finish in the Piedmont Pride 125 at the Caraway Speedway before a problem relegated him to a 15th place finish. Goodson looks to race the full PASS South season in 2009 starting with the season opening South Carolina Clash at the Dillon Motor Speedway on March 14th.
“I’m so happy to be able to run some more,” said Goodson. “I’m happy there is a series like PASS to run these cars. This is what I grew up racing before I went to All Pro and Hooters. I’m just glad there is something new and fresh out there. I’m going to try to run as many as we can.”
For those unfamiliar with the PASS South Super Late Models, when you see the sleek, fast cars you might think it would take a healthy budget to race these types of cars. But, in reality they are quite a bit cheaper than their bulkier, heavier cousins, the Late Model Stock cars that are so popular throughout the Southeast. The funny thing, says Goodson, is that the basic design and concept of the PASS South cars is not much different from when he first began racing Super Late Models.
“I started in this type of cars in the late 80s,” said Goodson. “The cars haven’t changed much. The setups have changed, but it’s the same basic cars; they just look a little different. I’ve never been a big fan of Late Models (stocks), which are big around the Carolinas. I’ve driven them a couple of times, but I never got into them. Super Late Models are a lot of fun. That is why I enjoy Super Late Models so much. These cars put on some of the best racing on short tracks anywhere. They are the most fun cars out there to drive.”
While fun, Goodson knows he has a job at hand and with his keen knowledge of the Dillon Motor Speedway, don’t be surprised to seem him contending for the win in the South Carolina Clash.
The PASS South Super Late Models kick off the 2009 season with their second trip to the Dillon Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 14th with the 4th Annual South Carolina Clash. Last year’s race was contested in August and was won by Woodstock, GA’s Justin Wakefield. Action kicks off on Friday, March 13th with gates opening at 1 PM and practice from 2 PM to 6PM. On Saturday, practice will be from 11 AM to 1:30 PM, qualifying will be at 2:30 PM, and racing will start at 3 PM. In addition to the PASS South Super Late Models, the South Carolina Clash will see the debut of the PASS Late Model Trucks. Late Model Truck regulars from Dillon and throughout the Carolinas will race for 75 laps in the Nation’s newest touring division. Dillon Motor Speedway is located on SC Highway 9 just off Interstate 95 exit 193. For more information go to dillonmotorspeedway.com, racewithpass.com or proallstarsseries.com .