ROBERSONVILLE - It's become the family heirloom, Chuck Godley's 1993 Mustang race car.
Chuck Godley was a championship winning driver at East Carolina Motor Speedway. A four cylinder Mustang was his car of choice on the track up until the day that he died off the track, just minutes from home on August 27, 2013. Godley's SUV slammed head on into an oncoming pick up on VOA Road in Washington, he died several hours later at Vidant Medical center.
Chuck's family remembers that day all too well.
"Somebody came up here and knocked on the back door and said 'Chuck's been in a wreck and it's pretty bad,'" Chuck's Grandfather, Velron Toler said. "They did everything they could for him. He died over there at the Greenville hospital."
Chuck's half-brother, Lee Campbell, took over the 93' Mustang Friday at the first race of the 2014 season. The car was painted Red, White and Blue, Chuck's favorite colors. Friends and family wrote notes to his life on the car. It had become a monument to his life. One of competition, of speed.
"I hate what happened, but he was young and he lived life," Chuck's mother, Charlene Martin said. "Whenever the helmet went on his head it was like he became a different person. It was get to the front, someway somehow."
Lee raced in the mini-stock division Friday, and though he finished fifth in a race of five cars, he knows a race car driver isn't great from just one race.
"I'll just have to get better," Campbell said. "Only thing I can do."
Troopers said the pickup truck that Godley crashed into had two people inside: 50-year-old Gregory Williams and 57-year-old Deborah Martin. They were injured but were expected to recover.
It's still unclear why Godley crossed the center line.