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Rally car driver Ken Block remembered as pioneer in racing community

Posted at 6:34 PM, Jan 03, 2023

GRANTSVILLE, Utah — A businessman, YouTube star and lover of extreme sports — these are just some of the ways Ken Block has been described following his death in a snowmobile accident in Wasatch County on Monday.

Dixon Hunt is the general manager of the Utah Motorsports Campus. He says Block came to the campus several times a year and even raced there on more than one occasion.

"We hosted our Nitro World Games for three years, and Ken was out here racing door-to-door with guys from Europe," said Hunt. "It's got this 90-foot jump over here — it's very technical."

On top of being the co-founder of DC Shoes and Hoonigan Racing, Block was an accomplished professional rally car driver.

"This was one of their many playgrounds and some of the many crazy extreme things that they did," Hunt said. "To know we will no longer see him out here, it's a sad day for sure."

Hunt says that track was a brainchild of professional motorsports competitor and stunt performer Travis Pastrana, along with the help of his friend Block.

"They wanted to build a series. It was just fun... That was rally cross," Hunt said. "This track, when it was built, was called the best rally cross track in the world."

The Wasatch County Sheriff's Office said Block died in a snowmobiling accident around 2 p.m. Monday afternoon in the Mill Hollow area of the county.

The 55-year-old action sports enthusiast, who lived in Park City, was reportedly riding on a steep slope when the snowmobile flipped and landed on him. Block was pronounced dead at the scene.

"He was a larger-than-life person," said Hunt.

Block's rally car racing career started in 2005. It was filled with plenty of highs, including rookie of the year honors and winning five X-Games medals.

While many may know him best for his racing career, it's who he was as a husband, father and person that may be best remembered.

"He would take time to meet his fans, you know, he had a huge following from his Gymkhana days, and rally cross and all the other things he's done, and so he was very, very approachable guy," said Hunt. "It's a big loss for the community, the state, the industry as a whole."

While the news of Block's death is still very fresh, Hunt says they plan to honor what Block did for the sport sometime later this year.