I would like to say thanks to a man who passed away yesterday. James Venable, who had a fairly important background to this sport and many of its stars died yesterday from cancer. He had been on off road racer and supporter of the sport since the 1970s, racing Bajas and then trucks, eventually building one of the most iconic trucks the sport ever saw with the Hay Hauler, a truck that launched Robby Gordon's truck racing career. Aside from desert racing, Jim was a fantastic business man with multiple businesses that aided the State of California and the U.S. Forest Service with his Hemet Valley Flying Service. He has provided pilots for aerial firefighting duties for decades. His company pioneered and perfected the fire retardant delivery system that was used in the C130 air tankers used across the nation. Jim was also a County Supervisor for Riverside County. He took care of his constituents and his local area. Many years ago, I had the privilege of meeting Jim at the Hemet-Ryan air tanker base (Home of Top Mud) where his company supplied aerial firefighting services for Riverside and Orange Counties on a daily basis. This was one of the busiest air tanker bases in the U.S. The fire engine I was working on was covering the station at the airport. I was walking down a path by the bone yard and saw the remains of what looked to be an old Baja bug race car many, many years old. Mr. Venable (at that time) saw me looking at it and came over and struck up a conversation. We talked about desert racing, his flying program, etc... After that, whenever I had a chance to be at the airport, I would look him up and talk fires, races, etc... He was always open and friendly. Later, after he became a County Supervisor, I worked at the fire station next door to what was built as the James Venable Community Center in Cabazon and got to see him at the grand opening. We again talked racing and he said he missed time out in the desert away from the politics and busy life he was living. He always had a smile and a glint in his eye. He was a very successful man in life, business, politics, and racing. I am glad I got to meet him and glad he made our sport better. Rest in Peace Mr. Venable. You can watch your planes from above now.