R.E. Goodson Construction Co. To Ride Along With Jeremy Clements At Darlington Racewayby Hunter Thomas May 7, 2021 0 comments
DARLINGTON, S.C. – South Carolinians love standing around a grill smoking meat and talking about racing, and believe it or not, that’s how Jeremy Clements made a connection with his new Darlington-based sponsor, R.E. Goodson Construction Co.
During Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway in February, Clements’ friend and sponsor, Scott Ward was parked next to R.E. Goodson Construction co-owner, Eddie Goodson and his wife, Carolyn. Goodson is a former NASCAR Xfinity Series driver who has run in eight races between 1991 and 1993. Goodson also found quite the success racing locally and regionally. Clements, who is a native of Spartanburg, South Carolina stopped by the campsite to visit, and before you know it, the whole group was sitting around a grill exchanging old racing stories.
“I met Eddie and his wife Carolyn at Daytona in the infield,” Clements said. “They were there for the first two races, and one of my partners, Scott Ward with One Stop convenience stores was there with his wife, and they had their motorhome in the infield, and they were parked beside them. We’d go over there and visit with Scott, and they became friends, and I started hanging out with them.”
Clements continued and said, “Eddie is a helluva grill master. I like grilling, so I was picking his brain. He likes to smoke a lot of meats, and I like that, too. We were just kind of bonding over stuff like that, and then he told me that he used to race, and he used to race against a lot of guy I used to race against, too.”
R.E. Goodson Construction is located just over five miles from Darlington Raceway. The company’s logo was on Clements’ car at Martinsville and Talladega. It will also be on the car on Saturday at Darlington during the Steakhouse Elite 200. Late on this season, the company will also adorn the majority of Celments’ No. 51 Chevrolet in September at Darlington during the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW Help A Hero 200. Even though there is nearly a 29-year difference in age, Clements and Goodson have actually raced against some of the same drivers. While the sponsorship does help spread word about the construction company, Goodson really wants to help the young driver who he says has a lot of potential.
“He’s kind of the underdog, you know,” Goodson said. “I just kind of want to try and help him out. He started racing when he was so young. I think we run against Jeff Smith and that crowd way back in the dirt days.”
Goodson continued and said, “As big of age difference it is in mine and his age, it’s kind of funny that we raced against some of the same people.”
Goodson really enjoys Clements’ driving style. He says that Clements has been racing aggressively, and that is a good thing. So far this season, Clements has earned three top-10 finishes in the first eight races. In fact, he currently sits eighth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series standings.
“I’ve noticed his driving style,” Goodson said. “He’s pretty aggressive, and I like that. I’ve noticed his driving at Talladega, and I’ve noticed it pretty much every race this year. He’s been able to get upfront. He’s been making good horsepower this year. I’ve seen him move a few fellas out of the way, so he’s pretty aggressive. He could do a lot better if he had the right backing.”
Clements is extremely proud of his team’s efforts this season. He has been competing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series full-time since 2011, but the family-owned effort has its challenges while competing against the top teams. In fact, Jeremy Clements Racing only has four full-time employees.
“I really think this year, we’ve done the best-ever so far,” Clements said. “We’re sitting eighth in points, and man, that’s just phenomenal after eight races, so we’re in there with all of the big teams, but we’re definitely the best, smallest one there is right now. It’s really special to me. Over the off-season, I was able to bring in Mark Setzer (crew chief), and he started working full-time over the off-season, and he has definitely helped our program. All of our guys are just clicking. We only have four full-time employees, and then we build our own racing engines, Clements Racing Engines here in Spartanburg.”
Darlington is Clements’ home state track, and he has very high hopes heading into Saturday’s race. Last year, he finished 12th in the spring race and while running well in the September race, Clements experienced an issue that forced him to finish 32nd. His best finish at the track, Too Tough To Tame came in 2016, when he finished eighth. Clements calls Darlington both, fun and challenging. He really likes that Darlington is a driver’s track.
“Darlington, I always look forward to racing there,” Clements said. “It’s a really fun, challenging track. I put fun and challenging together for that track. You have a lot of fun, and man, it really puts your skills to the test. I always look forward to running there, it’s a driver’s track. You can really hustle the car, and tires obviously go away really quick there, and you can do things that you couldn’t do at other tracks.”
Clements will start 12th in the Steakhouse Elite 200.
Tickets are still available, and the race will broadcast live on FS1 at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Photo Credit: Jeremy Clements Racing