GODSPEED KURT CASELLI (1983–2013)
Kurt Caselli ( 43)
Ecklund ( 83) were
Ride in peace, Kurt.
You will be missed.
Kurt was always so nice
to Daryl’s sister, Larissa.
By Daryl Ecklund
Brother, we got a lifetime of memories out
of 25 years. I was only 3 years old when I met
my lifelong best friend, Kurt Caselli. He was the
bigger brother that guided me through life. It
feels like just yesterday we were cruising around
in the desert on our PW50s while our dads
watched over us. I would have never thought
that those fun times would lead Kurt to a life
of racing, and into becoming one of the most
world-renowned and decorated offroad riders the
world has ever seen.
At the Baja 1000 in November, the KTM
team was in the lead, with Honda hot on
their tail. Kurt, whose nickname was “Captain
America,” was chosen to run the last leg of the
event to bring home the win. Kurt was chosen
as the anchor for a reason. He was the star
player that never missed a shot. He seemed
invincible. But then every superhero has his
kryptonite. Kurt hit a large animal going wide
open in the Mexican desert. He suffered internal
injuries, which led to his tragic death.
When I heard the horrifying news, I was at
my disabled sister’s charity event. I broke down
right then and there. Without saying anything,
my sister consoled me. Kurt was her best friend
too. I still haven’t worked up the courage to tell
her about Kurt’s passing. I know that the news
will break her heart, and it will crush me all
over again. Death is something my sister does
not quite understand. She will not fully grasp
why she can’t see her dear friend anymore.
Fortunately, time heals. There will be a time
and a place when I can stay strong and tell her
about her superhero who is no longer with us.
When Kurt was on the bike he was a fierce
competitor. Thousands looked up to him. He
was idolized for his hard work, determination
and humble attitude. Off the bike he was the
most giving person I had ever met. He put the
biggest smile on my sister’s face, along with
thousands of others. He was one of those rare
individuals who made a huge impact on the
people around him. Kurt is a big reason why I
strive to be better in every aspect of my life.
Being side by side with him for all these years,
I had started to pick up what made him into
the champion he was. His father, Rich, instilled
in him to never give up from a very young age.
Kurt was taught to follow his dreams and reach
his goals. Never look back, and with hard work
comes success. I mention this because Kurt
would bend over backwards to help someone
make his or her dream into a reality.
In remembrance of Kurt, I suggest that you
write down what you would like to accomplish
in your life and attack it at full speed. Sounds
scary? It is. That was Kurt’s way. He always
said, “You should do at least one thing every day
that scares you.” It makes sense.
The world lost an amazing person in
November, and I lost the closest friend I ever
had. It has been a tough road, but knowing
Kurt the way I have all these years, I know he’s
rooting for me from heaven above to persevere.
I love you, buddy.