Speedweek Wrap-Up

Speed Week 2011 – Bonneville Salt Flats Summary

Being out on the Bonneville Salt Flats for Speedweek is an amazing experience like none other. I always return with way too many pictures then I can post to the web and way too many thoughts than I can convey in my stories. So here it finally is – Grease Girl’s Speedweek Summary and Salt Flat Favorites for 2011!

Record Breaking Summary

This 63rd Speedweek saw 160 records broken – 93 for cars and 67 for bikes. 21 new members gained entry into the 200 MPH Club, 6 of those being the 300 MPH Chapter.

Any of you less familiar with land speed racing may be surprised to find out the entire point of the sport is breaking a record! You aren’t racing against another opponent on the course or anything like that – you’re going in a straight line trying to go as fast as possible and break the record in the particular class racing in (The class takes into account engine size, fuel used, and the cars body design.)

Favorite Experience


Walking around the pits for someone who is on their path of learning about mechanics is akin to a physics student being able to go back in time and spend a week with Albert Einstein. The veterans are out there, putting their skills to the test. Ingenuity reigns, as cars try set ups and find solutions that may have never been done before. Every stop in the pits is an opportunity to learn something new.

Each year I’m there it gets harder to resist begging a team to entrust me with turning a wrench on their race car. And each year I’m there I resolve to one day build and bring a car of my own. Even though I haven’t reached that level of knowledge yet, I’m never disappointed by the willingness of salt folk to take time out and explain something new to me – sending me off with much more knowledge than I came with!

Favorite People


Its fun to see someone I love and who loves cars just as much as I do get to experience the salt flats for the very first time, so on the top of this list, is my boyfriend. He’d never been to Bonneville and he totally fell in love with it.

It was also a huge treat to return and catch up with friends made in previous years. The crews of: Norris Anderson’s #898, Old Stud Racing, Slippery Stude, and more. Then of course I’m always humbled to check in with the fabulous women in the 200 mph club such as Betty Burkland and Alison Dean-Volk. (I still haven’t forgotten about writing stories about these amazing ladies!)

Not only old friends were seen, but new friends were made. Specifically Skip and The Hudson Boys, Greg and his record breaking Salt 2 Salt Studebaker, and the whole team at Speed by Spectre.

Favorite Picture


While everyone was fretting that a storm over the salt would ruin chances of racing, to see the clouds roll in at the end of the day was a beautiful sight. Thunder boomed and lightening flashed over the floating mountain. The storm hit in force but luckily went by quickly. Rolling onto the salt the next morning looked like a real lake for a moment, but soon the water parted and dry salt appeared. In the process, I snapped this picture which is so perfect it almost looks like a painting.

Favorite Hot Rods


Being at Bonneville brings many more cars to look at then just those that are racing. It’s a rolling car show all week really, as roadsters and hot rods cruise the few miles between the pits and the starting line. I couldn’t seem to just pick one…so here’s a few on the top of the list.


This very cool old skool bellytanker didn’t appear to be racing – it was hanging out in front of the Monster booth (they give out free drinks!) Already in love with bellytankers, the nice blue color, moon discs, and cute little body of this one made wish I could tuck it under my arm and give it a hug!


This Hudson is in lieu of any Studebaker’s in this favorites list…I’ve already covered the Studebaker’s pretty thoroughly in my Speed Seeking Studebaker’s series! This Hudson Hornet still runs its Straight-8 and is just a really neat car!


I already shared one picture of this gold beauty. But everytime I look at it I smile, all that gold rolling over all that white. What looks to be a near show-quality car speeding down the salt tells me that people are still willing to actually *drive* their cars!


I couldn’t help sharing this one again as well. With a lot of obvious thought put into it – from the little sculpted rat on the radiator cover, to the small “hairs” sticking out of the tail. This rat rod isn’t an excuse to get away with shoddy workmanship, this one is just pure giggle-worthy.

Favorite Thought


Or maybe I should call it favorite dream. I’m not going to be able to continue just attending Speedweek as a Spectator. I want to build a car. I want to drive down that flat expanse of salt and see how fast I can go. Maybe not by next year…but eventually.

Thanks for following along with my on my salty journeys! If you haven’t made it out to Bonneville for racing yet – move it upwards on your list! If you need to see more from the salt – catch a couple more stories I posted over on MyRideisMe.com…

Happy Trails,

4 Responses

  1. Jesse

    I love the camaraderie shown at speed week in every picture I see. Sure, it’s about trying to get the best time you can, but it’s not a cutthroat competition. It just seems like so much fun, and I really hope to make it down there one of these years.

  2. Justin McKinney

    Was looking at pics of old cars to try and get an idea of what I would like to build next and absolutely fell in love with the gold car from your speed week update. Not sure but from the angle it kinda resembles a packard, not sure though could you please tell me the make and year. If known for sure. Thanks.


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