Friday, September 13, 2019

Jessi Combs, Woman's Land Speed Record Holder Dies in Oregon Crash



North American Eagle 1,000mph Land Speed Record racecar. Photo by North American Eagle Project. (Image source: hemmings.com)
As another racer perishes in their pursuit of Ultimate Speed and glory. Whilst some say Bad things come in Three's...

Yeah, know we're All still supposed to be enraptured over that Scintillating? Portland IndyCar race held Labour Day weekend, which is why I partially decided to hold this story back. And then that same weekend in Belgium, at Spa Francorchamps, Anthoine Hubert Died in a Formula 2 Crash.

Alas, I found it somewhat ironic to learn just a week prior to Indy Cars arrival in thee Rose City, the News that Jessi Combs had Died in the Alvord Desert in Southeast Oregon, August 27th. Which presumably Y'all have heard about by now, Righto?


Having first come across the News when listening to Car and Driver magazine via my NFB Newsline for The Blind telephone service, I had Zero Clue over who Jessi Combs was? Not to mention that she was known as The Fastest Woman on Four Wheels!


Yet when I heard the words North American eagle, (NAE) Claxon Bells started sounding loudly, as I know that name! As it was none other than No Fenders Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary Ellen who introduced me to this unique Land Speed record project when she saw said vehicle on the I-5 Highway north of Seattle nearly a Decade ago, Wayback in 2010. For which I noted this briefly, albeit in Part 2 of another of my never ending No Fenders tomes.


Not to mention that I've had Thar Official Website in my No Fenders Racing Links section for nearly as long...


Although somehow I missed thoust Memo? Since I'd ARSE-Sume that originally this ex-F-104 Lockeed Starfighter Fighter plane was configured in the traditional three-wheels Jet Rocket-car layout. Since it was originally envisioned to re-capture the Land Speed Record (LSR) currently held by Andy Green aboard the ThrustSSC, by going an astounding 800mph!

Alas, I got busy 'N quit following the project and therefore had NO clue that Jessi Combs at the controls of the Eagle Rocket-car, which was now sporting four wheels had Broken the Women's Land Speed Record Wayback in 2013 on the exact same Alvord Desert.

As Combs shattered the existing record then held by lee Breedlove since February 11, 1965, wife of some LSR Jockey named Craig. Having set the record aboard the Spirit of America Sonic 1 at Bonneville at 308.5mph. Before Combs went 90 miles per hour faster, when going  398.95mph on October 9, 2013!

Although I cannot find any definitive technical details upon the NAE Supersonic Speed Challenger, other than it measures some 56-feet long, weighs in at over 7 Tons! And is propelled by a General electric J-79 jet engine with Afterburner producing up to 52,000 Horsepower.


Combs, along with NAE Founder Ed Shadle next set their sights upon besting two current Land Speed Records, the Women's Overall and the Single engine records in September, 2016.

As Shadle, who ultimately drove to a speed of 515mph in the Eagle, aborted his record attempt after experiencing steering issues during testing.

Meanwhile, ironically combs was  attempting breaking Kitty O'Neal's current Land Speed Record made on the very same Dry Lake-bed in Oregon Wayback in December, 1976! Which I only learned of last year when Kitti "Flamed Out."


Yet Jessi's attempt was ultimately Derailed when she made a One-way pass at 477mph before going Off-course into some stray Cacti, promptly ending that year's record attempt!

Next, in 2018, Combs and Crew were back at it once again at their familiar testing grounds in Oregon - while making another record run at 483.227mph. A parts failure allowed a Door Hatch to open, allowing Debris to enter the Eagle's engine, curtailing any further record attempts towards Besting O'Neil's elusive record.


Sadly, Combs Death comes on the Heels of NAE leader Shadle's Death in September, 2018. And these two major events, including the wrecked vehicle and the Team's always Scant  Finances would seem to put a Damper upon the continuation of the project, which is just pure Speculation upon my part.


Although History would suggest that eventually some Female, or Females? Will ultimately Break the current Women's Land Speed Record's, since there seems to be a distinction between the Overall Speed record and Four wheels Speed record? The latter Combs Broke after it had stood for nearly a Half Century...

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

INDYCAR: Gonzalo Rodriguez, A Forgotten Driver



As why does Nobody ever mention the Uruguayan's Name when talking about Fallen Open Wheel Racing Drivers?

Sadly, it seems almost Universal, when anybody writes about Fallen Open Wheel Racing Drivers, the name Gonzalo Rodriguez is never mentioned. Which I find somewhat Odd since after all he drove very briefly for El Capitano', nee Roger Penske.


And I Don't think I've heard his name since a few years ago, when fellow Countryman Santi', nee Santiago Urrutia won what then was the Pro Mazda Championship in 2015, Karmically at the very same Racetrack over the weekend of Rodriguez's passing.

As today marks the Twentieth Anniversary of Gonzalo Rodriguez's Death during Saturday practice for the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART_ race at Laguna Seca Raceway, where the 27yr Old Uruguayan Died Instantly from his Injuries.


As I find the Video above to be very poignant in light of Anthoine Hubert's recent Death in Formula 2. Along with F2 racer Juan Manuel Correa being Critically Injured in the ensuing Accident, especially since it eerily denotes why Racers do what they do...

No Fenders turns 13. Will it be Lucky 13 or Shades of Others running No. 13?



Tomaso with Buddy Lazier, one of the Coolest, Friendliest and Amiable Persons I've Met! Hangin' Out in the IMS Flagroom, circa 2012, before the Speedway Closed it to the public. (The Tomaso Collection)
Or is it as Unlucky as Racing Cars running thou Shade 'O Green? As how'd that Double Negative turn outs for Yuhs Danica?

Today marks the 13th Anniversary of this "Award Winning" Blogsite No Fenders Born-on Date, or as thou late Esteemed Awntie' Harriet Christened it, Thy No Fenders BLOB! Which began Wayback with the Debutante No Fenders post revolvin' around Christian Klien, remember him?


And Speaking 'O Revolving, Revolver? Here's a 'lil Ditty I Stole from The Beatles, as sing It 'Ol Paul, Ah-One and Ah-Two...

I'm Fixing A Flat Tyre...
And Wonderin' where the Air's leaking Out from, to Stop My Mind Ah-wanderin'
Although It Really Doesn't Matter where the Hot Air goes...


Just wish the Freakin' light would make up its Bloody Mind on whether or not to be Bright, Dark, Hazy, in-between, Drizzlin', Hailing, ah-thunderin' or whatever else Mother Nature can throw at Mwah here upon thou Isle 'O Nofendersville; CRIKEYS!

As it's been another Wacky Year since moving South to Thy new bungalow-by-The-Sea, where thoust Winds are always Ah-Blowin' Mateys!


1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier's Autographed obtained at the IMS Flagroom. (The Tomaso Collection)
For those of Yuhs Hard Core Racing Afficandos; Err Aficionados, perhaps Y'all are way ahead of Mwah? Knowing of the latest Magically Delicious Lucky Charms Triumberant 'O Racing Drivers to carry Thee Number 13 on Thar vehicles?

As the names of Zachery Claman DeMelo, Pastor Maldonado and Queen Dan-Dan-Danica Patrick sprang to thoust Cranium...

Although I believe that Queen Danicker's now busy Hosting Award Shows. Oh Shit! That's right, I forgot she's become one of NBC's (Nothing But Commercials) Indianapolis 500 Expert Analysts; BARF!

Whilst 'Ol Walldanado' or Crashtor', take your pick, B-A-M! Err Pastor's now become a fairly decent Sports Car racer, albeit in the FIA's World Endurance Championship's lower tier LMP2 category.

And Sorry Zach', but You'll always be Zachary Claman DeMelo to Mwah. Although I can sorta guess why you shortened your name this year. Especially since Gory Speelchequor' always wants to change it to Demerol; YIKES!

Who's apparently Ski-Dattled' back to Montreal, or as 'Ol Awntie' Harriet would correct me, Mont royal! Apparently to continue selling shoes under his ZCD Brand? Since he left this year's Indy Lights campaign after the Indy GP weekend.

Alas, A la last year's riveting No Fenders B-Day shout Out! I simply cannot end the string on thou Number 13, and instead will attempt Humourin' Y'all for at least another Season, in honour of TK' Follow-your-Schnoz! Kanaan and 'Ol SuperTex', since Bloody Hell! My No Fenders Blog Traffic's sufferin' a similar fate in conjunction with A.J. Foyt Enterprise's Dismal 2019 IndyCar campaign...


A few assorted ticket stubs from various Portland International Raceway IndyCar races I've attended previously. (The Tomaso Collection)
And it Hit Me like A Two Ton Heavy Thing! Wherevers' Yuhs Are Geoffrey Tate; Hya! As I'll always be a Warshintonion' at Heart, Me Thinks, even after getting Priced Out of My Home State! Since I haven't Done any Headbangin', except upon Thy Keyboard in a long, long time!


Although suppose I sorta Sealed the Dealio last Fall when electing to forego attending IndyCar's return to Portland, Eh?

Whilst realizing when watching; Err listening to this year's Grand Prix of Portland; Hmm, still No Title Sponsor? That this year represents the first time since attending my inaugural IndyCar race at Portland Wayback in 1987; YOWSA! That it's the first time in 32yrs I haven't attended a single Car race!

Not to mention, albeit it doesn't happen nearly enough, especially now that I live just a quick Hop from thou Gory Pacific Ocean. That I'd rather be walking on the Beach than Stumblin' round a racetrack; But I Digress...

Pixie-the-Wonderdog; WUF-WUF! And Tomaso posing in front of Trenches at Washington's Fort Casey State Park, circa 2016. (The Tomaso Collection)
Ye Blogging Tribulations...
Even though loading my Gynormous No Fenders Posts become more 'N more labour intensive when I can  S-E-E what I'm Uploading on the Bloody Confuzer' Screen these Dazes! Especially with the lighting, or is It Thy Eyeballs? Uhm, Horrendous Glare, Darkness, constantly Shifting light due to the continuously moving trees Shading thou Windows; URGH!

I do still enjoy poondin' out my riveting No Fenders tales for Y'all on a weekly basis. Just not the constant Struggle to S-E-E what I'm typing. Since I Don't think I've mentioned I'm Blind lately, Righto Mary Ellen?


Tiny Bubbles and A Grass Shack...
Not to Toot Thy Horn too loudly, where are Yuhs 'lil toot? Even at my diminished Posting pace, Tuh-Duh! I've posted an amazing 4,000-plus posts here upon No Fenders a Gory 13 years later!  

And like Indy Cars OLD-est Blogger Geo. Phillips say's, I really No longer have any idea how long I'll run the string out and continue doing this Blogging Gig...

Especially now when My ever decreasing typing speed, combined with my continuously faltering eyesight makes Blogging more 'N more challenging each year even before thou Internetz', Blogger.com or Lucy', my ARSE-Steamed Screen Reader AIN'T acting up or Blowin' Ah-gasket; SHEISA!

Thus per Tipicali, like the Drivers say after every race, Thanks to The Fans for showing up here in Nofendersville and reading my eclectic scribblings upon No Fenders!

Whilst this Uber' eclectic mix 'N veritable Spin Cycle 'O finely honed Thomason' Tex-Mex Jambalaya of Wordsmithing wouldn't be possible without A-L-L of the Usual suspects continued yearly support.

Led First 'N Foremost by Mary Ellen, followed by Kuhnaidiun' lass Claire and Blogmeister' Miguel! Along with contributions from Offical' Photographer CARPETS', Snowbyrd MJ', Randal, Thy Moniker King' and the Florencians Jeannie & Stevoe'. With continued assistance from Clyde & Nelie plus the still Mega' Killer official No Fenders logo provided by Artiste Dave!


Oh Yeah, what would be the point without the countless hours of joyous affection from Thy Pixolator, Not Purolator Gory Speelchequor DAMN-IT! Aka Pixie-the-Wonderdog; WUF-WUF!

And lastly, Never Fear, A-LL 3 of my loyal readers, or is it too? I'm going nowheres for another year, groan; Hya! Since we All need a little Humour every day...


Arrivederci
Tomaso