Ray Lee Goodwin grew up wanting to play baseball but his brother’s hobby changed all that. Jimmy Goodwin was fooling around with a supermodified at Kansas City’s Olympic Stadium and Ray Lee took notice. Soon he was racing too, and thoughts of a baseball career were left behind as Goodwin gained success on the racing circuit.
Racing against the tough Kansas City crowd, Ray Lee began having some success, which led to better rides. In 1966, Luther Brewer hired Goodwin and they had a banner year, winning the point title at both Olympic Stadium and Mid-America Fair Speedway in Topeka, Kansas.
Ray Lee drove for several car owners in 1968, before settling into the Charlie Williams and Gary Swenson car shortly before the Knoxville Nationals. Goodwin provided the upset of the year in leading the Nationals start to finish for the biggest win of his career.
Ray Lee was Eagle Raceway champion in 1970 and Knoxville season point titlist in 1971. In 1972 Goodwin ran the entire IMCA circuit and won the championship over Chuck Amati, Dick Sutcliffe, Earl Wagner and Thad Dosher.
Ray Lee was leading the Knoxville standings again in 1974, while driving for Leroy Kallweit when he suffered season-ending injuries at the Marion County oval. Goodwin signed up with “Speedy” Bill Smith for 1975, and was having a banner year until another crash at Knoxville with subsequent eye injuries forced him into retirement.