Vintage car racing season ends suddenly in Kent for Seattle driver

Jim Bushnell enjoyed racing his vintage Porsche and returned in late April to Pacific Raceways in Kent to open the 2022 season.

But during his qualifying race on Saturday morning, April 23 at the track, Bushnell, 63, of Seattle, died in a fatal crash. He died from multiple blunt force injuries, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office, which ruled his death an accident.

Bushnell’s Porsche reportedly collided with another car, left the track and rolled over, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office. He died at the scene.

Pacific Raceways President Jason Fiorito and General Manager John Ramsey did not respond to several emails from the Kent Reporter for comment about the fatal crash. The track did not post anything about Bushnell or the crash on its website or Facebook page.

Pacific Raceways, which opened in 1960, is at 31001 144th Ave. SE, in unincorporated King County but has a Kent address. The track’s opening weekend was April 22-24.

The King County Sheriff’s Office reported that the crash occurred at about 10:15 a.m. April 23. A Sheriff’s Office spokesperson referred questions about the crash to Pacific Raceways officials. KIRO-TV reported April 23 that a man had died in a rollover crash at the track.

Bushnell was a member of the Society Of Vintage Racing Enthusiasts, a Seattle based nonprofit racing organization with members throughout Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Montana and British Columbia who are owners and admirers of older sports cars. The April race on the 2.25-mile track in Kent was its first of the 2022 season.

Bushnell grew up in Olympia and went to Olympia High School, according to his Facebook page. He was a member of University Unitarian Church in Seattle.

“We are deeply saddened to report the tragic death on April 23 of Jim Bushnell in a race car accident at Pacific Raceways in Kent,” the church posted April 28 on its website. “Jim was a former treasurer and board president at UUC in the early 2000s.”

Bushnell and his husband, Ray Gruenewald, were also active in the Eliot Institute at Seabeck on the Hood Canal for many years, according to the church’s post. The church holds numerous camps at the site.

The family plans to have a memorial service for Bushnell at the University Unitarian Church in June or July.

“We extend heartfelt sympathies to Ray and to their families,” according to the church’s statement.

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Article Source: Kent Reporter