(Stafford Springs, CT)—For SK Light veteran Jay Goff, the 2016 season at Stafford Speedway will mark the end of a long career. Goff began his career in 1977 in the Street Stock division at Stafford and he made the transition to the Late Model division before an injury and desire to raise a family halted his racing after the 1989 season. Goff returned to racing in the SK Light division in 2007. Goff has been racing in the SK Light division ever since and he is the division’s all-time leader in starts made with 155 starts heading into this Friday night.
“I always said I wanted to race into my sixties and I’m turning 60 this year and it’s time to let the younger kids do their thing,” said Goff. “Not that I needed to end exactly at 60 but over the last 5 or 6 years 60 was my target date and I’m also going to retire from my professional career. It’s been 10 years now in the SK Light division so it’s been a long time. I raced from 1977-1989 and then I got injured in the last race of the ’89 season plus I was going to take a break from racing in order to raise my family.”
Goff is currently enjoying one of his best seasons in the SK Light division. Goff is third in the points standings and he has 4 top-5 and 11 top-10 finishes through the first 12 races of the season. Goff is hoping for one last trip to NAPA Victory Lane before he calls it quits on his career and he is happy to be ending on a high note after a tough 2015 season.
“I’m comfortable with my decision,” said Goff. “I had such a terrible year last year which made it really difficult to come back this season. But at the start of the year we said lets go out and have fun and whatever happens happens. We’ve had a pretty good year and we’d certainly like to get on the podium and win a race one last time but I can definitely say I’m hanging up the helmet on a good note. Every week we think we can win a race and another win would be very exciting for me, my family, and everyone who helps me out with the car.”
After raising his family, it was his son Aaron who helped Goff get the itch to get back behind the wheel again after taking a hiatus from racing between 1990 and 2006.
“When my son Aaron started racing, I wanted to race with him and that is what got me back into racing,” said Goff. “He started in the DARE Stocks and then had an opportunity to race SK Lights with help from Wendell Killcollins and Willie Hardie and in helping him out I got the itch to start driving myself again.”
While Goff acknowledges that it will be hard to walk away from racing, he is at peace with his decision and he is looking forward to working with his grandson Austin, who currently races in the Tiger B division of Wild Thing Karts on Monday nights at Stafford.
“I’m definitely going to be working with my grandson with the Wild Thing Karts,” said Goff. “My family really enjoys racing and it’s something that we can all be engaged with. We’re still not sure what we’re going to end up doing with my car. The hardest thing will be the fans. I really have a large fan presence at the track and the fans are all very supportive of me. A lot of fans come up to me at the fence and wish me luck and we get a lot of positive support from fans on Facebook. I think most of the fans already know that this is going to be my last year and they want me to come back for another season.”
“I’d like to thank all the fans who have supported me over the years and the sponsors who have helped me,” said Goff. “Chris and Ed over at NAPA Tolland have been a big supporter of mine, Personal Touch Landscaping, Troy Hazen came over from Willie Hardie’s team and helped me out a lot, my son Aaron, Wayne Wilson has been a big help at my garage during the week over the years, Team 78 Publications has been great with buying me tires, Rob B’s Plumbing Service helps me out with gas every week, and most of all I have to thank my wife and family for allowing me the time and personal finance to go racing. I couldn’t have done this without their love and support. I’d also like to thank Mark and Lisa Arute for putting on a great show at such a first class facility and Ben Dodge and Matt Buckler for their efforts every week announcing the races.”
While Goff may not retire with a championship like Peyton Manning did this past season in the NFL, he is ready to walk away from the driver’s seat with his head held high.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.