When Gary Goodell, one of the driving forces behind the Miss GEICO team, died in February at age 71, the offshore powerboat racing world lost one of its most colorful and passionate figures. To celebrate his legacy and contributions to the sport, his former colleagues and friends have scheduled an event in his honor during this weekend’s American Power Boat Association Offshore National Championship Series season-opener in Cocoa Beach, Fla.
Gary Goodell (at the helm station of his Caveman Cigarette) was a key member of the Miss GEICO owners group—and one of offshore racing’s most dedicated supporters.
Goodell’s celebration of life event is set for Friday, May 20, in the Thunder On Cocoa Beach race/dry pits in Cape Canaveral. (The physical address is 726 Scallop Drive.) The memorial happening, which will begin at 3 p.m., is open to racers and fans.
Scott Colton, Goodell’s longtime friend and fellow owner in the Miss GEICO team, released an announcement this morning.
“As you all know, Gary loved what he achieved with Miss GEICO and his race team, so we thought it would only be fitting to remember him at the first race event of the year in Cocoa Beach,” the announcement read. “It will be an informal gathering where we can share our favorite memories of our beloved Gary. A life so beautifully lived needs to be beautifully remembered.”
A well-known figure in offshore racing’s religious/spiritual community, Jim Black will lead the celebration. Following the event, attending teams will head to the Friday night street party in Cocoa Beach.
“We are flying in his wife, Karen, for the weekend,” Colton said. “We don’t know if she has ever seen a boat race other than one in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. She and Gary were originally from New Jersey.
“Naturally, we will have the music of ‘The Boss’ playing in the background,” he added.