(Edition of Wednesday, February 23, 2022)
SPRING CITY, TN – Barry Goodman of Spring City, TN has been playing in the dirt for 35 years. Goodman threw dirt during the weekends at dirt tracks all over the Southeast, but during the week Goodman does it in the dirt in a way that might surprise many racing fans.
Imagine parking your vehicle in a supermarket or other retail parking lot in East Tennessee and exiting onto a clean asphalt surface. Chances are, the clean surface of the asphalt parking lot is courtesy of defender and three-time Mountain View Raceway Late Model champion Barry Goodman.
Goodman, 58, has been racing since 1986. He worked his way up from Go-Karts, to Super Stocks, to Late Models. He won track titles locally and he toured with a national series. Goodman stays busy because in addition to his racing endeavors, he has two “real” jobs.
During the day, Goodman works on construction in and around his Spring City base, but when the sun goes down and the stores close, Goodman gets behind the wheel of a different-looking vehicle with Goody’s Power Sweeping emblazoned on his sides. . While most people are asleep at home in their beds, Goodman roams the electric sweeping parking lots of East Tennessee.
Like many East Tennessee dirt track racers today, Goodman got his start racing in Go-Karts in 1986. After a few seasons in Go-Karts, it was on the big cars with a Super Street machine competing at Spring City (TN) Raceway in 1988. On the track, most riders are identified by number. These are numbers that many riders, including Goodman, have worn throughout their careers.
“My car number has always been 24, and I chose that number for several reasons,” Goodman said. “Ever since my dad started taking me to races when I was a kid in the 1970s, I was a fan of HE Vineyard, and his number was 24. The second reason I chose that number is that my daughter Heather was born on the 24th day of the month.”
Goodman and the #24 Super Stock were successful right out of the box. He finished third in his first race and his first win came in his third race. Despite being in the Super Stock “B” division, the guy who won most Super Stock “A” races was Marion Tipton of Spring City. Goodman caught Tipton’s eye and he took a liking to the Rookie driver.
Tipton said Goodman was one of the best young drivers and he took the young driver under his wing. Goodman worked his way to the top of the “A” Division in no time, and he began to travel quite a bit, racing at Atomic Speedway outside of Knoxville, TN and Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, TN, where he won a race in 1989.
Goodman moved up to the late model division in 1992 and fought for the championship at Wartburg Speedway in Wartburg, TN. He also competed in the Late Model Division on the track where he saw his first race as a young boy, the High Banks at Atomic Speedway where he won the track championship in 1999.
In 2004, Goodman settled down to return to his hometown track, Spring City Raceway, where he won the Late Model Championship in 2013. It was the final season for Spring City Raceway, which closed after the end of the season.
After the 2013 season, Goodman decided to take time off from racing in order to spend more time with his newborn daughter Lynsie. Goodman said it was time well spent and also gave him time to regroup.
“I made a commitment to race every Saturday night at Spring City Raceway, so after winning the championship there in 2013, I needed some time off to spend with my family,” Goodman said. “I had the chance to refresh my batteries, take a break from running and reassess where I was going in the sport.”
Goodman found a new series of affordable national tours in 2015 that matched where Goodman wanted to go racing. The Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model series was launched by Crate Racin’ USA founder Mike Vaughn in 2015.
The series included Dirt Late models equipped with the all-aluminum Chevrolet Performance CT525 race engines that were factory built and sealed to avoid costly modifications. The engine was based on the Chevrolet LS3 engine that came with the Corvette and Camaro. It cost less than $10,000 ready to race, a third of the cost of a built Super Late Model engine.
“I had never tried a national touring series before because of the cost,” Goodman said. “The Chevrolet Performance Super Late model series was affordable with the CT525 engine, and the eight races on the schedule were all within a few hours or closer to home. This series fit our racing budget perfectly.
Goodman was a regular in the Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series from 2015 to 2018. The end of the 2018 season brought another change to Goodman’s racing program in two different ways. Mike Vaughn sold Crate Racin’ USA at the end of the 2018 season and the new owners decided to discontinue the Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model series.
“I really enjoyed racing the Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series,” Goodman said. “The competition was tough on the race track, and I was able to learn a lot. It was also a tight-knit group of riders. We all ran on the roads together to and from races and we all seemed to get along well. I made a lot of new friends in this series. It was so affordable, and I hope someone makes another road trip series for the later models with the CT525 engine.
Also, after the 2018 racing season, Barry Goodman suffered a heart attack.
“Everything changed for me after the heart attack, but not necessarily in a bad way,” Goodman said. “I had to change my lifestyle, like what and how I ate. Although I never lost my drive to run, I knew that before I could run again, I had to get my health back. After used a Rocket chassis for a few years, decided to try a CVR chassis when I was ready to get back into racing.
You can’t keep a good runner down. Goodman recovered from the heart attack and was cleared by his doctor to return to racing in late spring 2019. Goodman had to overcome new race car bugs as he raced the tracks of the East of Tennessee in Charlie’s Used Auto Parts CVR, a chassis made in Lenoir. City, TN by Chip Vineyard Racing.
“We were only able to race 2/3 of a season, but once we got some electrical issues behind us we had a really good race car,” Goodman said. “We have heard that Kelvin and Susan Hampton are preparing to reopen the Spring City track, now called Mountain View Raceway. They made a lot of changes to the old track and gave it a real facelift. I was excited to race my hometown track again. When it opened it was the most beautiful race track I have ever seen.
When the 2020 season opened at Mountain View Raceway for the 2020 season, Goodman was there and became an instant favorite. By the end of the season, Goodman had picked him up where he left off at the old track in 2013. He was the 2020 Mountain View Raceway Late Model champion. So how did he overcome that? He came back to win the championship again in 2021 with four wins.
“I really like the new layout of the new track,” Goodman said. “The race was very different from the old track, and it’s more of a driver’s track. It doesn’t take much power to go fast on the new track. Because of that, we’re going to try something different for 2022 and go back to an old friend.
For 2022, Goodman will drop a Chevrolet Performance CT525 into its CVR chassis in pursuit of its fourth straight Mountain View Raceway Late Model Championship. Goodman thinks this motor is built for a track like Mountain View Raceway.
“The Chevrolet Performance CT525 engine produces more torque than horsepower, and with Mountain View Raceway’s tight 1/4 mile setup, it takes torque to go fast,” Goodman said. “I really liked the CT 525 engine. It’s not only affordable, but it’s also very reliable. Pretty much all we had to do was change the oil.
Mountain View Raceway will hold its first pre-season practice on Saturday, March 5 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The second pre-season practice will be on Saturday, March 12 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. The first race of the season 2022 at Mountain View Raceway will take place on Saturday evening March 26 and the first points race of the 2022 season will take place on Saturday evening April 2.
Mountain View Raceway where you can get “Your Thrill By The Hill” is located at 20626 Rhea County Highway (US Highway 27), Spring City, TN 37381. For more information call 423-405-8490 or visit Track web at www.mountainviewraceway.com. You can also like the Mountain View Raceway Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mountainviewraceway.