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.
“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.
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.
“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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