NASCAR driver will display area fallen soldier’s name on carPublished 5:05pm Friday, April 12, 2013
Local auto racing fans might notice a familiar name on Kurt Busch’s ride at the Sprint Cup Series in Kansas City, Kan., on April 21.
A decal of Corey Goodnature’s name will be displayed on Busch’s No. 78 Furniture Row Chevy car during the race.
Goodnature was a graduate of Albert Lea High School and a decorated U.S. Army Chinook helicopter pilot. On June 28, 2005, he died in a crash on a mission to save a team of Navy SEALs under heavy fire in the mountains of Afghanistan.
Goodnature will be honored at Kansas Speedway as part of an Armed Forces Foundation program that honors fallen heroes.
“It’s just a little way of giving back to the men and women who have given so much to our country,” an Armed Forces Foundation spokesman said. “We hope to keep it going.”
The foundation dedicates each NASCAR race to an American soldier. Soldiers are nominated to the foundation by email, Facebook or Twitter.
Goodnature’s uncle, Jim Partlow of New Jersey, submitted his name to the foundation by email.
“The foundation emailed him back a few days later and said they chose Corey,” said Don Goodnature, Corey’s father said.
Corey and Don had never been to a NASCAR race. Now, the Goodnature family has been invited to Kansas City to be honored guests.
Don said he is planning the trip with his wife, Deb, his daughter, Amy, and her husband, Ben Purdy.
“We’re getting tickets, parking passes, hot passes to get us down in the pits and an opportunity to go to the driver’s meeting,” Don said. “It should be an exciting deal.”
The foundation spokesman also mentioned the Goodnature family will get to meet Busch and take a photo with the car.
Corey’s passing still weighs heavy on the hearts of those in the Goodnature household.
“He was my best friend and just a great guy,” Don said.
Corey will be remembered during the national broadcast on Fox at noon on April 21.
He is survived by his wife, Laurie, and sons Shea and Brennan.