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NORRA Sad to Announce Two Deaths in Separate Incidents

NORRA is sad to announce the loss of two competitors in separate incidents during the 2024 Mexican 1000. NORRA creates strong bonds through our shared adventures and life’s daily struggles. There are no words to describe the sorrow we feel when we lose a member of our tight-knit community. Brent Yeardon from the number 301 Jeep Cherokee team racing in the Vintage Short Wheelbase 4×4 class passed away from an apparent heart attack in Valle de Trinidad during stage one of the event. He is remembered by his family, friends and teammates Larry Trim, John Koeth and Sarah Koeth.

“Brent Yeadon was co-founder of TrailReady brand of products in 1997. He was my friend and business partner for 33 years. He was an outdoorsman and adventurer, and this was his 4th Mexican 1000 riding with me. Brent and I built the popular 1969 SC/Rambler AIR James Garner Tribute car together that we raced three times to Cabo and is now part of the Stardust Collection. Brent was devoted to his faith, family, friends, and employees. He will be greatly missed.” Larry Trim

Tragedy struck again during stage five of the event when Johnny Kaiser lost his life due to an accident on the course. Like Brent, Johnny had deep ties to NORRA and the entire off road racing community. Few knew Johnny better than his good friend Kevin Smith. “It’s a tough time …a big void right now. Johnny and I have both been racing off road for 35 years. We grew up together and have been like brothers since we were 8 years old. We were best friends. Johnny and I have been doing NORRA for the last few years except this year. We built a purpose built NORRA Chenowth Class 1 car to resemble the Bob and Robby Gordon cars of the late 80’s. We won two NORRA Mexican 1000 races and one NORRA 500 together. We were undefeated in the three starts that we did with our car. Johnny was truly the best navigator. We made a heck of a team during our NORRA races. Johnny raced BMX, Desert 1600 Cars, Mickey Thompson Stadium Super 1600 and USAC Midgets. He was USAC rookie of the year during his midget career.”

“Johnny was a master fabricator and a man of perfection. He defined the art of race car fabrication and the way it should be done. Johnny learned from his father who started in the performance jet boat industry. John Sr. was a perfectionist as well. Alpha Marine eventually turned into Alpha Performance Technology where Johnny built custom choppers and off road cars. The famed Alpha Class 1 car was a buggy that literally destroyed Trophy Trucks when people said a buggy couldn’t beat one. The Alpha car is still racing today. Johnny and I were born and raised in Arcadia California. Johnny eventually moved to North Carolina about 10 years ago to be closer to the racing arena with Robby Gordon. Johnny worked on Robby Gordon’s Indy car, NASCAR and Trophy Truck program. Johnny was a very huge asset to Robby’s success through the years. His wife Melissa was an integral part to his success. I will forever be proud to say Johnny was my best buddy and I enjoyed all the crazy and wild things we did together” said Kevin.

We want to thank Larry Trim and Kevin Smith for sharing their thoughts with us at such a tough time. The NORRA Mexican 1000 is referred to as “The Happiest Race On Earth” but certainly not when we lose such precious individuals in their pursuit of racing and adventure. Everyone at NORRA and the entire off road racing community extends their condolences to all the families and friends touched by these tragic losses.

The NORRA Family