Ryan Godown keeps on winning and making big money this season. At Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, South Carolina, he took home $25,000 in a Short Track Super Series show. Add another $7,500 at Bridgeport Motorsports Park in New Jersey for a Super DIRTcar Series event. And then $5,000 at Port Royal Speedway in Pennsylvania for another Short Track Super Series race.
“I try not to look at the total amount we won,” Godown said. “My motto is you are only as good as your last race. So, I keep my head down and stay focused.”
Godown’s hot streak began at the end of last year. He won the Freedom 76 at Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pennsylvania. That brought home $30,000. Godown then won the Short Track Super Series Cajun Swing championship last fall. He attributes his success to racing for his own team.
“Matt Sheppard and Stewart Friesen do their own thing, with funding behind them,” said Godown. “I witnessed their success. I knew that was the direction I had to go to be in contention with them.”
Godown partnered with his friend and crew member of seven years, Mike Carlucci, to form Ryan and Mike Motorsports.
“I always felt I was as good as Friesen and Sheppard,” Godown said. “Now, I can see when I drove for someone else, it put me behind in learning. Driving my own equipment, with my own team, I am learning more.”
Godown also said he’s changed as a driver.
“I feel I am racing well this year,” said Godown. “Some years, I look back and I see myself as not being patient or being too aggressive. I guess I am maturing at age 46.”
Ryan and Mike Motorsports’ fleet includes five cars. Godown has two spec-head (358) modifieds for racing Saturday nights at Bridgeport Motorsports Park. He also has two open cars and a big block for specials and touring events. Godown’s son, Ryan Godown Jr., shares the shop with his two sportsman cars as well. (For more on his son, read “Ryan Godown Jr.: Setting Goals Drives Him to Success”.)
Ryan Godown said in addition to Bridgeport, he intends to follow the Short Track Super Series Elite Series and Southern region circuits. He’ll race other specials as his schedule allows.
“We work full-time jobs,” said Godown, who has been a landscaper for 25 years. “It is a weekly grind. If we feel like we are rundown or tired, it is not good. So ,we may take a race off and just stay home.”
The money the team earns from racing goes into the cars. Whatever is left over is invested in spare parts. Lately, Godown’s bank account looks relatively good, but he tries to remain grounded in what he has achieved.
“What we have done is incredible,” Godown said. “The key is to … never be comfortable. Racing constantly changes. The most gratifying thing for a driver and team is to have results for all the hard work that has been put in day in and day out, every week, all year long, for many years.”
This year marks the Outside Groove Director of Photography’s 51st year of covering auto racing. Adaskaveg got his start working for track photographer Lloyd Burnham at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway in 1970. Since then, he’s been a columnist, writer, and photographer, in racing and in mainstream media, for several outlets, including the Journal Inquirer, Boston Herald, Stock Car Racing, and Speedway Illustrated. Among Adaskaveg’s many awards are the 1992 Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Ace Lane Photographer of the Year and the 2019 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) George Cunningham Writer of the Year.