Vintage car racing season suddenly ends in Kent for Seattle driver

Jim Bushnell loved racing his vintage Porsche and returned to Pacific Raceways in Kent at the end of April to open the 2022 season.

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

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

Pacific Raceways chairman Jason Fiorito and managing director John Ramsey did not respond to several emails from The Kent Reporter to comment on the fatal accident. The track hasn’t posted anything about Bushnell or the crash on its website or Facebook page.

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

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

Bushnell was a member of the Society Of Vintage Racing Enthusiasts, a Seattle-based nonprofit racing organization with members across Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Montana and British Columbia who own and admire sports cars more old. April’s race at the 2.25-mile Kent track was the first of the 2022 season.

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

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

Bushnell and her husband, Ray Gruenewald, were also active at the Eliot Institute at Seabeck on the Hood Canal for many years, according to the church message. The church holds many camps on the site.

The family plans to hold a memorial service for Bushnell at the university’s Unitarian Church in June or July.

“We express our sincere condolences to Ray and their families,” the church statement said.

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