Kanab resident sets land speed record during anniversary week of son’s death

Robert Brissette at El Mirage Dry Lakes Meet, California, Oct. 19, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Robert Brissette, St. George News

KANAB – Kanab resident Robert Brissette set a land speed record at El Mirage, a land speed racing track in California on Sunday. Clocking in at 226.844 mph, Brissette beat the old record of 224.708 mph, set in 2008 by Kelly and Hall racing.

Robert Brissette's father, Bob Brissette, at El Mirage Dry Lakes Meet, California, Oct. 19, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Robert Brissette, St. George News
Robert Brissette’s father, Bob Brissette, at El Mirage Dry Lakes Meet, California, Oct. 19, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Robert Brissette, St. George News

“I am happy to have finally beat the record, and was doing it in part to get my dad the recognition he deserved. I had more fun watching him absorbing the atmosphere that he has always loved,” Robert Brissette said.

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A car Bob Brissette raced, Circa 1956 | Photo courtesy of Robert Brissette, St. George News

For the Brissette family, racing is in their blood. It all started with Robert Brissette’s father, Bob Brissette, who set a land speed record in 1957 at 205 mph in what’s called a “lakester,” a type of drag racing vehicle.

“Me and him have been doing this together since 2000. I need to give him the recognition because he supplied the engine,” Robert Brissette said of his father. “He built the engine. He’s 83 years old and he built the engine. Being able to do it with my dad, with him building the engine, kind of gives him the recognition again amongst the rest of the racers that he deserves.”

The record comes on the anniversary week of the death of Robert Brissette’s son, who died Oct. 23, 2011, from complications of post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in the military, on October 23, 2011.


Read more: Family tells son’s story to bring awareness for veterans with PTSD

Robert and Debbra Ann Brissette, St. George, Utah, Sept. 19, 2013 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Robert and Debbra Ann Brissette, St. George, Utah, Sept. 19, 2013 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

“I went from a real high from setting the record, to a real low from the anniversary. I was getting my son into the racing, and he had just got home from the Navy and had seen some combat. It was hard,” Robert Brissette said. “It took us almost 14 months for the VA to recognize what had happened to him and to present us a flag for his death. He was my firstborn. I had a picture in my driving suit breast pocket, I wanted to take him a long for the ride,” he said.

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10 Comments

  • Koolaid October 25, 2014 at 8:32 am

    ““Me and him…” Why do people say “Me and him” instead of “He and I”?

    • Driver 88 October 25, 2014 at 12:25 pm

      Give it a rest. Grammar Nazi. KOOLAID.

  • Rob October 25, 2014 at 11:17 am

    you know, i know how to say it correctly, but for some reason thats how it came out in the interview. LOL

  • Rob October 25, 2014 at 11:20 am

    special Thanks to Ed Fenn for the uses of his car and Bob Brissette for the motor, i was just the nut behind the wheel

  • Random October 25, 2014 at 11:38 am

    This writer takes to cake of your staff who needs to take a few more writing classes. Such a shame to the awesome story plot.

  • Random October 25, 2014 at 11:38 am

    *darned auto complete ^^

  • Sherrell October 25, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    You WERE the nuts and bolts in the behind of the wheel, and doncha meen “durnt audio of te completion”, or some other … grammar audo-correction without erectiin. I meen, I spekin plane hear, here?
    Ed. ellipsis.

  • Zonkerb October 25, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    Hoo dat.?

  • sean brissette October 26, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    I’m proud of you dad and I know Steve is to

  • jeff January 21, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Could of done it with my eyes closed!!!!

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