It’s with a heavy heart and great sadness that we report the passing of Iowa racer Joe Hunt today. Hunt, 27, was competing at the Coffeyville Street Drags in his Blackhawk Trans Am when he was involved in a high-speed accident. The Coffeyville event is a sanctioned, legal street racing event conducted annually by the small city in Kansas, which is complete with barriers and safety personnel on-site. According to multiple eyewitness accounts, just before 3 p.m., Hunt lost control of his car at the finish line and made contact with his opponent, sending him into a utility pole at an estimated 120 miles per hour. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Kind and humble, Hunt quickly became a friend to all of us at Horsepower Wars and to his fellow competitors in the $10K Drag Shootout. He was the face of Team Midwest Mayhem, leading the five-man group into season two of the show through a popular vote. Under his guidance, the team made a gamble to utilize a nearly bone-stock 4.8-liter LS engine in its Junkyard Dog Oldsmobile Cutlass — Hunt himself putting his years of engine-building talent to work to massage the bullet for the winner-take-all competition.
Through his street and no-prep racing exploits dating back to his teenage years, Hunt became a well-known figure throughout the midwest and beyond, and his infectious personality endeared him to even his most fierce of competitors. And so it’s no small surprise that social media has seen an outpouring of remembrances for Hunt in the wake of his passing today.
Said Hunt’s close friend and Midwest Mayhem teammate Brad Vasko:
“Yesterday this world lost a great guy. Joe was always willing to help out in any way possible. He was was one of those genuine guys. One that if something was [expletive] up he voiced his opinion. He was dedicated at what he did and never gave up. Every weekend him and Joey were out testing to be the best. When he called me and asked me to be a part of Horsepower Wars I was so honored. His quote that sticks in my mind is him saying, “We are not here for a long time, we are here for a good time.”
Godspeed Joe Hunt you will never be forgotten
The family of Hunt’s longtime girlfriend have set up a GoFundMe account to assist in hiring legal counsel to honor Hunt’s wishes by awarding her their home and belongings. You can donate to those efforts here.
From all of us Power Automedia, Dragzine, and Horsepower Wars, we offer our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Joe Hunt. It goes without saying that the $10K Drag Shootout won’t be the same without him, and he will be forever missed by those of us who knew him.