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Old 08-31-2019, 07:54 AM   #1
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Sad day in the world of motorsports

I guess the news hit me hard because I've been following Land Speed Racing since Art Arfons, Gary Gabalitch, Craig Breedlove, heck, stories of Sir Malcomb Campbell captured my imagination as a young boy. I've been going to Bonneville for years, driven LSR cars several times, and have been out to Alvord dry lake for a test session, where they were running the car last week before tragedy struck around 4pm Tuesday.



I've been interested more recently North American Eagle, about the time Jessi Combs joined Ed Shadle as a co-driver. Compared to the mega-funded UK based Bloodhound project, the converted F104 land speed jet car project is on a shoestring budget. The consummate underdog. Same as Craig Breedlove's Spirit of America program, compared to the Thrust SSC (super sonic car) enterprise that went on to break the speed of sound on land.



I never had the opportunity to meet her, but I can tell from her on-camera work (cable car shows), she was 'the real deal'. An amazing adventurer.


No star struck fan, I've had the good fortune to talk at length with Craig Breedlove in his Rio Vista shop, talk car design with the fastest man on earth Andy Green, chatted with Al Unser Sr., took a class from Fast Jack Beckman (before he made it big), even spent a few minutes with John Force. I've become friends with the guy who started ET mag wheels in the late 60's, and later owned an Indy Car team. If you've ever spent any time around those who have accomplished much, they all have this certain, calm, confidence about them, a wonderment of believing in achieving the possible, and a twinkle in their eye as though 'they have the secret to living a life worth living' and an excitement for life that is very contagious. I believe Jessi was also one of those folks. It's a sad day when one of those folks, pays the ultimate price.


So here's a toast to those who aren't content to watch the world go by, rather, to those who live life, those walk willingly into the line of fire, and accept the risks that come with it.

God's Speed Jessi
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Old 08-31-2019, 10:41 AM   #2
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From a post I made in another social group regarding Jessi Combs death.

"My father told me that if I live a while I'd have to watch people I admire and look up to die. I knew he would be right but I didn't think there would be so many."


Thanks TomsBeast for your words.


-Eric
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Old 08-31-2019, 11:28 AM   #3
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Truly a sad day. I met her the first time while she was in line for tech inspection at the Baja 1000 a few years back. She was quite willing to chat with her fans. The next time I met her, I was on the way to the King of the Hammers, and stopped to check the map, when she came out of a restaurant and came over to admire my van. She checked it out and really liked it, then posed for this photo. Despite her fame, she seemed like a regular gear head who enjoyed anything to do with off roading. She will be missed by all who knew her and her thousands of fans. I get a little choked up every time I think about her passing......
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Old 08-31-2019, 10:02 PM   #4
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Sad day in the world of motorsports

She was a special person that did what she wanted in a good way. She made everyone better not just herself.
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Old 09-02-2019, 04:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arctictraveller View Post
Truly a sad day. I met her the first time while she was in line for tech inspection at the Baja 1000 a few years back. She was quite willing to chat with her fans. The next time I met her, I was on the way to the King of the Hammers, and stopped to check the map, when she came out of a restaurant and came over to admire my van. She checked it out and really liked it, then posed for this photo. Despite her fame, she seemed like a regular gear head who enjoyed anything to do with off roading. She will be missed by all who knew her and her thousands of fans. I get a little choked up every time I think about her passing......

That's awesome, Jeff, thanks for sharing that
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Old 09-02-2019, 09:08 AM   #6
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Sad day when I heard about Jessi...and a sad year for me as one of the guys I considered the best of the desert racers, Rod Hall, recently passed away from some dread disease I'd never heard of before.

Rod was a perennial winner, whether in the Bronco, the Dodge pickup or the Hummer. Only guy to ever take the overall win in the Baja 1000 in a 4x4 rig. He had a shop in Sparks, Nevada and I had a GMC 4x4 van conversion with several problems the dealer couldn't figure out. I gave it to Rod and his crew; they got it done and I drove that van for another 30 years.
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