This page is dedicated to Texas Region members who have passed away.
Texas Region lost a long time member, friend, and ambassador to the motorsports community on Jan 10, 2022. Kurt Janish passed away unexpectedly, leaving a huge hole in our world and our hearts. Even if you didn’t know Kurt, you were likely impacted by his work. He was the go-to fabricator for the region trailers, modifying and improving them to improve our event management. He also touched many national championship winning cars, both physically and as counsel for other builders. But much more than his technical prowess, it was his willingness to help anyone who needed it that defined him. I started this tribute with the idea of trying to summarize what his friends were sharing about him, but quickly became overwhelmed with the outpouring of praise, anecdotes, and stories. I decided that I would just copy what I could here so everyone would be able to see. This is by no means comprehensive – there are far too many social media posts to capture them all – but these really stood out and I thought they would be great to share. – Matt Lucas, TX Region SCCA RE
I searched for an hour and just don’t have many pictures of him outside of his race car, but that’s probably they way he would have want to be remembered. A great competitor, excellent driver, but also a giving person – he’d give you the shirt off his back. We stored our trailer at his Wylie shop for many years – there was no way to go out there and not get caught talking to Kurt for an hour or two! He did fabrication work for me and countless other racers, never charging as much as he should. Super detail oriented, hard working, and gone too damn soon. I will drink a Coors Light in his memory. You will be missed, Kurt! – Terry Fair
So tough. Trying still to come to grips with another amazing person that passed away to young, too soon. Kurt was an amazing guy in his own right. He did incredible fab work for us. He would take us to the little diner in town with his mom. She became a part of the family along with Kurt. He would offer advice or just shoot the breeze. I am honored to have some of his work so well done, so perfect in our race car trailer. You cannot tell it was not there a decade ago when the trailer was built. I will see his smiling face and feel his warm, hardy and friendly handshake everything we go in or out. He will be there cheering us on. I am diminished in his loss but was a vastly better man by having known him. – Keith Marx
Kurt was one of the friendliest and most helpful people that I’ve ever met. RIP my friend. – Henry Lin
He kicked some serious butt in C/P. He’s a big loss for the autocross community. – Dale Blankenship
Tough news to hear this morning. Kurt Janish stored my truck and trailer while we were relocating Texas even though he had never met me before. Solid man with a great heart. – KJ Christopher
Wow. One of the best guys in autocross. Don’t even know how many things he taught me over the past 20 years. Always willing to help, giving, and an incredible competitor. He will be sorely missed – Alicia Rizzo
Such a great loss of competitor and friend. He serviced my trailer last year, and just like you said, with much attention to detail and not charging as much as he should have for the time he spent. I’ll forever cherish the time I did spend talking to him at his shop as I’m sure many others will too. – Kelsey Karanges
Kurt was one of the great ones and will be sorely missed. Condolences to his family. Godspeed Kurt. – Doug Wille
This is heart breaking to hear. Kurt was such a wonderful person and a great friend. I remember meeting him at the Mineral Wells Prosolo after my transfer case blew up. He was driving around his golf kart with Tommy Saunders’ old wet tires on it. He helped me on multiple projects, and even lent a hand repairing a competitors car that was tearing the chassis up at Nationals. With his help, we welded bracing in to make it survive the weekend. He was a great guy. – Mike Brausen
There was not a pretentious bone in his body, and he treated everyone with respect. He loved to meet people, and his work assignment at Nationals the past few years was one of several Paddock Patrol members, patrolling the vast amount of paddock and the 1000 to 1500 people encamped for the week. He did it because he enjoyed the encounter, and of course, more than half those folks knew and respected him. This is a sad time for those who knew him. GodSpeed Kurt. You are missed already. – Phil Osborne
We lost a great person last night, Kurt Janish. He was a salt of the earth, coat off his back, friends are like family fellow. – Steve Eberlein
I lost contact with him after he moved north of town. I’m sad to hear of his passing. Definitely one of the best guys to grace this earth. – Lou Gigliotti
One of the nicest guys I’ve ever met – Tim Boesche
Kenny was a Texas Region member since 1982.
Most of you will know Kenny from his extremely well-driven (and immaculate) autocross cars, most recently Miatas of various generations. In addition to being an avid local and National competitor, Kenny was involved with the club as our webmaster, solo school instructor, and ambassador for both the sport and his local autocross clubs. His long-time love for motorsports and desire to serve led him to volunteer for numerous positions. He had a big impact on how the world viewed North Texas motorsports as the webmaster for Equip Rapide and the Southwest Division of SCCA in addition to TX Region.
It is difficult to quantify the impact that Kenny had on our club. He was involved in many ways that were not directly visible to most members, but his influence and quiet demeanor shaped so much of what we do. Covid restrictions kept us from holding our annual banquet for the 2020 season. At the banquet we present several awards that are given to recognize contributions by members. One of those awards is the Engelman award, given to TX Region members who consistently go out of their way to give and to help others. The Engelman is very unique and is not awarded every year. First presented in 1989, the recipient list is quite distinguished with names of leaders and volunteers who have made great impacts on our Region. For 2021 Kenny Baker is the recipient of the Engelman Award. Kenny has been described as a man of few words, but he really made those words count. He touched so many people as a driver, coach, advisor and friend. Kenny’s quiet personality couldn’t contain the fierce competitor in him, though. If you competed in the same class as Kenny you likely got beat.
Kenny will be dearly missed by everyone in the motorsports community.
Many of you knew Sasha as our Asst Regional Executive for Road Rally for most of the 2000’s, but he was much more than that. He was very active in the management of TX Region and the Southwest Division, serving as Regional Executive, the Southwest Divisional Road Rally Chairman, a Road Rally Safety Steward and Safety Steward Instructor. In his role as ARE and from his seat on the National Road Rally board, Sasha helped build Road Rally programs in other Regions – offering his expertise and experience to new programs. In 2013 his dedication to the sport was recognized when the national Road Rally Board presented him with the Regional Road Rally Achievement Award. Additionally, he was awarded the Tony Predock award in 2016 for his efforts that were far above and beyond the call of duty at a Divisional level. Always quick with a smile and encouraging words, he was dedicated to making sure participants in his Rallies had a great time! Sasha held a lifetime membership with the SCCA, first joining us in September of 1967. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. Sasha will truly be missed.