Jethro Halbert, a ten-year AMA Pro Grand National racer from Puyallup, Washington, and older brother of leading GNC1 racer Sammy Halbert, died on Aug. 5 after first being in a coma and then a minimally conscious state for over 10 months after suffering a crash at the Calistoga (Calif.) Half-Mile last September. He was 29.
Even though it was widely known that his condition was dire, Halbert’s passing still brought shock and sadness throughout the flat track racing community.
AMA Pro Grand National Champ and series points leader Jared Mees posted this about Halbert on his Facebook page and it reflected what many of his fellow competitors were saying in social media about Jethro’s passing.
“RIP Jethro Halbert you will be missed every day. Have a lot of memories racing with you and have enjoyed them all. What a sad day. Thoughts are with the Halbert family.”
Jethro Halbert was a racer on the national flat track circuit since 2004. While he never won a national, Halbert scored a slew of top-five national finishes, including a podium at the Castle Rock TT in 2007. His best season was 2008 when he scored nine top-10 finishes (including fourth-place results at Springfield and Topeka) and was ranked sixth in the Grand National Twins final standings.
Jethro was the soft-spoken older brother of Sammy Halbert and you could tell when talking with him that some of his most enjoyable moments on the track were when he and his brother were able to hook up and race together.
Surviving Jethro were son Caleb, fiancée Ashley, parents Willy and Shannon, and brothers Sam, Andy and Zach.
Below is audio of an interview with Jethro Halbert, obviously happy that he and his brother had a good race together, at the national at the Vernon (NY) Mile in 2008.