In Memory of Jett Field

Jett Field, driver of the Jett Force jet dragster and former Top Alcohol Funny Car racer, passed away Tuesday, July 8, from injuries sustained in an accident at Spokane (Wash.) Raceway July 5.

Funeral arrangements for the Pocatello, Ida., native will be posted as soon as we receive them. 

"Jett had performed with us on several occasions during the last two years, with his most recent appearance taking place at The Strip on Saturday, June 14," said Chris Blair, LVMS' director of drag racing operations.  "We were joking at the last event that he had made so many runs at The Strip in the last two years that we should make him ¿the official jet dragster of LVMS.¿  He always went out of his way to make the show better. His last pass at LVMS was the last-minute match race we put together between his jet dragster and an alcohol funny car that brought the crowd to its feet.  He was a good friend and a great racer. He will be missed."

From the Idaho State Journal -- July 9, 2003:

Friends: Racer Field a character with character

By Danelle Miller and Connor Doyle - Journal Sports Writers

POCATELLO - News of Pocatello racer Jett Field's death Tuesday morning sent shock waves through the city's tight-knit racing community.

Described as an "icon" in local racing circles, Field's career spanned four decades and touched many lives in the Pocatello and Chubbuck areas.

"We'll miss him," said longtime friend and former crew member Blue Hayball. "He was a great ambassador for racing in Pocatello and the entire Northwest."

Field died early Tuesday after his family decided to remove him from life support. Field had been hospitalized in a coma since crashing after midnight on the final race Saturday evening in Spokane, Wash.

Accounts of the crash point to it occurring after a malfunction with the chute on Field's "Jett

Field, known in racing circles as "The Idaho Kid," was well-known not only for his skill on the track but also his warmth off it.

"Probably the best thing I could say about Jett is he picked up any stray and made it his own," said Kevin Bloxham, co-owner of Precision Machine, the shop where Field had most of the work done on his "Jett Force" jet dragster. "It didn't matter if it was a dog, cat or a human. He took them under his wing and took care of them."

"He would do anything in the world to help you," said Ray Campbell, a former member of Field's pit crew and fellow drag racer. "If you needed a part, he'd take it off his truck if he had to so you could race. He was one of the nicest guys I've ever known."

Kathy Steinmetz, another prominent figure in Pocatello's racing circles, reminisced on Field's sense of humor.

"Jett was a character. He was a lot of fun to be around, always joking," Steinmetz said. "You might even call him crazy."

Friends said a crash like the one that caused Field's death are uncommon, but always a possibility.

"Every time we strap ourselves in, we know it could happen," said a visibly shaken Campbell. "It's not a hobby, it gets in your blood."

Dedication to his sport was one of Field's hallmarks, and he is considered on of the pioneers of the sport in the Pocatello area.

"All he ever wanted to do was race that car," said Hayball, whose father Norm raced with Field in the 70s. "Racing was his life."

"He was a good driver. He could drive a lot of tracks that other people couldn't," said Campbell. "At least it happened doing something he loved to do."

 

From the Spokane (Wash.) Spokesman-Review -- July 9, 2003:

Race car driver dies of injuries

A Pocatello, Idaho, man injured during a drag race at Spokane Raceway Park over the weekend died Tuesday morning.

Jett Field was going 250 mph in a jet-propelled dragster during the final races at about 1 a.m. Sunday when his safety parachute malfunctioned at the end of the two-lane drag strip.

The car slid sideways and flipped about six times. Field had to be extricated from the race car by firefighters from the Airway Heights Fire Department.

He was taken by ambulance to Sacred Heart Medical Center, where he died, a hospital spokeswoman said.