The Tickford Racing driver was third in an emotionally-charged opening race on the streets of Adelaide this evening.
While much of the focus was on the one-two for Walkinshaw Andretti United in Holden’s second-last Supercars race, the result was also a touching one for Courtney.
The 2010 series champion endured a nightmare build-up to the weekend when his six-week-old son Kobe fell ill.
He underwent surgery last week and was hospitalised until earlier this week.
Courtney only arrived in Adelaide on Thursday, two days later than scheduled, which means he missed part of the on-site lead-in, including the track walk.
He is also set to jet home tomorrow night after the race to return to Kobe and wife Tegan.
Speaking after his third place today, Courtney detailed how difficult it was to leave his family after such a tough week.
However he said the rapid improvement in health shown by Kobe made the trip a little bit easier to take.
“I always had to come because I have to put food in his mouth,” Courtney joked.
“It’s been a hell lead in. Personally it’s been something I’ve never have to deal with before.
“It was hard leaving. The good thing about it is that everything changed so quickly.
“When the surgeon said we’d see results within 24 hours, and within 48 hours you won’t even see the incision where they went in, I thought he was talking a bit of crap. But because they are so small and growing they just recover so quickly.
“He started putting on a good amount of weight and we’re out of hospital. Leaving was easier for me than it was for Tegan. She’s at home still and going to get the checks at hospital and stuff.”
“If it was this week it would have been incredibly tough. If it happened while I was away I would have been here and then straight away home. I was fortunate that it happened when it did.
“I don’t want to think about if it happened the other way around.”
Courtney said the emotion of today’s result was heightened by the recent run of bad luck for the #5 Mustang, which was badly crashed at both the Bathurst 1000 and the Gold Coast 500.
“The lead-in to the event was chaos, but then to have everything turn out as well as it did with my new little bloke and then get this result for the team with the chaos we’ve had with Bathurst and the Gold Coast… every weekend it’s been a full rebuild,” he said.
“To be able to reward them with a result is fantastic.”