Goodenough Fights Back and Prepares For Monadnock Opener
When the 2006 True Value Modified Racing Series got underway
last season, little did veteran driver Rob Goodenough know he would
have something in common by seasons end with two Boston sports
stars, a Red Sox pitcher, and a top draft choice of the Boston
Goodenough, Sox hurler Jon Lester, and Bruins center Phil
Kessell, were diagnosed with cancer. The shocking news came hard
when reported, Lester with lymphoma at age 28, and Kessell at age 19
with testicular cancer.
Last July, Goodenough, age 39, a mainstay on the traveling
racing circuit, started feeling uncomfortable. He tried too not let
it affect his home life, his work efforts at his family auto repair
and tow shop, and his weekends driving the # 01 modified. But over
time Goodenough realized something was not right. “Some weeks I
would be racing in agony and some weeks it would not be that bad, I
hoped whatever was going on would stop but that was not the case,”
said the former pro stock racer.
Privately concerned, Goodenough kept his worsening medical
condition to himself not wanting to share it with friends, his race
team, and those that surround him. In November, it was time to face
reality. The pain had become unbearable. Doctors determined that he
had testicular cancer. One of the most curable forms of the disease,
it is generally found in young men in their late teens to mid 20’s.
Each year 8000 men are diagnosed. Said Goodenough, “I thought to
myself I’m too old for this, it really can’t be happening.” Rob will
turn 40 in July, a year after his ordeal started. He underwent
surgery in November and followed up with four weeks of radiation
treatment. A couple of those sessions left him not feeling well, but
he was able to pull through it, stay working, and continue to focus
on the upcoming season. The best news is he has a 98% chance of full
The 2007 season will feature a whole new look for the second
generation driver. He will pilot a former Bruce Batchelder racer,
last owned by pro stock standout Russ Hersey. A deal was done in an
off season swap, the Goodenough pro stock for the Hersey Troyer
modified. Todd Patnode has been tabbed to drive the Tim Creamer #
01. “They decided to make a change, so we’ll do something
different.” said Goodenough. And different it will be. Gone will be
the familiar car number 01, Creamer/Patnode will carry those digits.
Goodenough contemplated the # 1NH but computerized scoring will not
recognize letters so his new racer will be numbered 6, an old
uniform number from his hockey playing days.
Longtime friend Roy Blake will join the new effort as crew
chief this year. “I’m really glad to have him with me,” Goodenough
said. “Rusty Ball has been a big help ordering parts and helping me
get ready for practice day at Monadnock.”
Goodenough hopes to run most, if not all, of the 2007 season.
Sponsorship money will be the deciding factor. “I am attached to
modifieds now. I don’t see me in anything else,” he stated, adding
that he looks forward to opening night at his home track, Monadnock
Speedway April 14.
When Goodenough takes the green flag for his new season, he
won’t be alone in terms of a fresh start. Phil Kessell is back on
the ice in Boston and John Lester is in training camp with the Red
Sox. Family, prayers, support, and friends made sure of that.
Source John H. Spence Sr./True Value
Modified Racing Series PR
March 9, 2007