Around Rockford Speedway Rob Goodman is known as the driver of the #78 Bargain Hunter Sportsman car. What many may not know is that he splits his time between the historic ¼ mile track in Loves Park and tracks across the country as part of the crew of a NASCAR Nationwide team. Goodman is a key component to the crew at Danny Efland Racing, he serves as a mechanic and tire carrier on the #07. The 34-year-old driver also works at a Cadillac dealership in the parts department. Goodman grew up in Glenview, Illinois and began his racing career at the age of 23. He’s raced at several tracks in the Midwest including Freeport, IL and Crown Point, IN. Before coming to Rockford, Goodman raced weekly at the Sycamore Speedway. He now resides in McHenry, IL and was named 2009 Rookie of the Year for the Bargain Hunter Sportsman Division at Rockford Speedway.
Splitting his time between his driving career and Nationwide duties is not always easy. He often times has to miss Sportsman races to work at a Nationwide race, he’s even had to take a year or two off in the past. There’s a lot of work involved with being part of a Nationwide crew, it’s not just showing up on the weekends. Part of Goodman’s routine to get ready for his pit duties is working out several times a week to stay in shape. Racing is a very competitive industry and every second counts in the pits, the guys on the crew do what they can to make sure they have a competitive edge over the competition. Often times his duties in the Nationwide series constrain the times he can work on his Sportsman car. There are times when he must prepare his car a week in advance, because he won’t get back to Illinois until the day of his race with just enough time to load the car up and head out to Rockford. But working at the Nationwide level also has its perks. He’s learned a lot about what it takes to succeed at the top levels. Goodman tries to apply the same attention to detail and professionalism he’s seen at the Nationwide level and apply it to his work on his Sportsman car.
Goodman says the biggest difference between running on dirt compared to asphalt is, “The way the cars handle, on dirt you want the car to slide in the corners, on asphalt you can’t do that, you have to finesse it a little. And dirt tends to be a little more forgiving when you hit the walls”. Goodman has enjoyed racing at Rockford Speedway, he appreciates the professionalism that comes with NASCAR Whelen All-American sanctioned racing, as well as the friends he’s made and the respect the drivers have for one another.
If you would like to see Rob Goodman in the Bargain Hunter Sportsman or any of the short track racing action at Rockford Speedway visit www.rockfordspeedway.com or call the Speedway Box Office at 815-633-1500 for ticket information and special event dates.
This article was posted to the website on May 14th, 2010
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