Bonneville Salt Flats: the Fastest Place on Earth is being updated and republished to mark the celebration of 100 years of racing on the salt in 2014. I have joined forces with the University of Utah Press to publish a book that will now include another decade plus of racing action. Much of the original book will stay the same, but I am picking up the action in 1998 and adding to the historical record concluding with the close of the 2012 racing season.

BWFSteamliner SM 100th Anniversary Edition of Bonneville Salt Flats in Production NOW

I am looking for not only interesting highlights from each year, but also top quality photographs and speedy personal tales from the racing community. The window of opportunity was very small, but I have gained an extension to include the 2012 racing action.  Unlike the first book, this edition will held to a higher standard and be suitable for scholarly academic use. The manuscript will be delivered to the University Press in December where it will undergo an exhaustive review, fact-check and edit. The full-color, hardback book will be printed on high-quality glossy paper and will contain more than 200 photos scattered throughout a manuscript, I’m guessing here, some 200,000 words, prose and captions.  I invite anyone who is interested, to respond to the questions listed below. Those that do will assist in making the history of the Bonneville Salt Flats that much richer a story for all the world to read.


Original negatives, slides, glossy photographic prints & high-resolution digital files only.

I am not able to use any photos printed on home computers as these photos will not reproduce at an acceptable quality level. However, such images are welcome for my reference files. To be considered for inclusion to the book a digital image file must be a minimum of 7×10 inches with a 300dpi resolution and submitted via CD or DVD in PC format.  I have ftp capability for those who want to go that route and know how to transfer large files through Skype’s IM process. Original slides, negatives, glossy photos, and original artwork submissions are most welcome. I will scan the items and then return the originals together with a CD of the submitted materials as an expression of gratitude for contributing to the historical record.  All materials will be carefully handled during processing and returned to you promptly. Please send answers to the question to me via this website  contact page and if you have photos, send me your phone number so we can talk about what I still and want.

I have left the starting line. Let’s go through the lights together!

Please understand answering questions does not mean it will be used in the final manuscript. All of it will be read and folded into the storyline, sometimes as reference to understand a situation or explain a procedure, other times your exact wording will be used, the deciding factor is how your contribution fits into the cadence and rhythm of the overall story.

 1. When and why did you go to Bonneville?  If you went back, why? How long?

 2. Describe Salt Fever. Do you have it and if so, how did you become affected?

 3. With what speed machine(s) have you raced? Please indicate class and power train configuration.

 4.  Any records?  What are they?

 5. Bonneville 2 Club members:  describe the day you got your hat.

 6. Describe your most challenging/thrilling run at Bonneville, please include as many details about the actual driving experience as possible.

 7. What contributions, if any, have you made to the sport?  Please describe in detail. (volunteer service, technical advancement, sponsorship, et al)

 8. Who made the biggest impression on you at Bonneville and why?

 9. Define Speed. What does it mean to you?

 10. Anything else the world ought to know about you, the team, the car, sport?



Happily, mainstream media is starting to recognize the tremendous efforts of land speed racers — the fastest people in the world!

The  a  7-minute segment on Mike Cook’s Bonneville Shootout Saturday,  November 5th at noon (EST), part of the NASCAR nationwide pre-race show.

Can’t wait? No problem, watch the fast-paced, energy-laden mini-saga here:

Rocky Robinson, the fastest rider on 2 wheels at 376MPH didn’t wait; he checked in with me saying, “Just watched the ESPN video of the Shootout. Awesome job. Wish I could have stayed around to be part of it. I sure hope you are coming back next year. If me and the team decide to come back, we’ll get her right, I promise.  Love your work.“ 

Well, I love you too Rocky! you, the team, the bike, and especially Tricia who gets scared crazy when you’re thundering across the salt but stands by you nonetheless! What a gal!

Look for the Poteet & Main’s Speed Demon, Charles Nearburg’s Spirit of Rett, Richard Assen from New Zealand, Rocky Robinson and Mike Akatiff’s Ack Attack, Leslie Porterfield, Mike and Terry Nish running for their glory story of speed.

I’m included as well, waxing with affection about the greatest motorsports venue on the planet, the place where more records have been set, lost and regained at higher speed than any place on earth — all done by amateurs, on shoe-strings budgets to test an idea, a hope, to make a dream come true. This where the age old question is put and answered, How fast will it go?” with every run across the salt.


George Poteet in the Speed Demon Streamliner

20th International Automotive Media Awards

“Fuel for Thought”

Published in Goodguys Goodtimes Gazette

Gold to Louise Ann Noeth




The 20th International Automotive Media Competition concluded June 20, 2011, with the presentation of the 2010 International Automotive Media Awards (IAMAs). The event was held at the Automotive Hall of Fame, Dearborn, Michigan, in conjunction with the North American Concept Vehicles Awards. This was the fourth year of the combined awards program: IAMAs and NA Concept Vehicle Awards. The program and the venue received numerous compliments.

The International Automotive Media Competition, a function of the International Society for Vehicle Preservation, is a peer-judged awards program to recognize excellence in all forms of automotive media. Judging of entries for this year’s IAMA honors was conducted among works presented during calendar-year 2010. The competition recognizes work done in print, online, video, radio, and public relations or marketing campaigns. Gold, silver, and bronze “foundation” awards are the result of peer judging against an absolute 100-point standard. For example, Gold medal entries earned between 97-100 points in the competition. Each work is judged on its own merits against a scale. Entries must meet a minimum standard to qualify for an award. If no entry in a category meets the minimum standard, no award is given. The entries do not compete each other and are only judged by the quality of the work. Some categories have multiple winners of the same award while other categories might not have a winner even though entries were submitted. Simply entering work in a category does not guarantee an award or that the entry will even be recognized.The IAMA program is administered by the International Society for Vehicle Preservation, based in Tucson, Arizona.

FUEL FOR THOUGHT has provided readers with updates and feature articles on the sport of land speed racing through the Goodguys Gazette on a monthly basis for the past nine years.

aarwba logo LandSpeed Louises Fuel For Thought Columns Earns FIRST Place in two AARWBA writing competition categories

May 28, 2011, Indianapolis Motor Speedway– The 2010 All American Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) Contest winners were announced at the annual breakfast held in the shadow of  the famed racetrack’s turn two. Now in its fourth decade, the annual competition attracts entries from across the nation as well as from around the world.

“LandSpeed” Louise Ann Noeth has earned two first place finishes: the first for Magazine Column Writing and the second for Magazine Technical Writing.  Both honors were awarded for her long-running, monthly Fuel For Thought column in the Goodguys Gazette“Attitude, Gratitude, and Talking Race Cars” which ran in December 2010 earned the Magazine Column Writing top slot in the nation. For the Magazine Technical category win it was the January 2010 column, “Brain-Bucket Beef,” that judges gave the nod.  gg top lt LandSpeed Louises Fuel For Thought Columns Earns FIRST Place in two AARWBA writing competition categories

AARWBA President Ms. Dusty Brandel noted,  “I  loved to see the lady journalists finally getting proper recognition for all their hard work.” In the male dominated motorsports world it is significant to note that women swept all three slots in Online News Reporting, finished one-two in three other categories and earned a total of 17 “podium” finishes overall for 2010.

16 May, 2011  |  Written by  |  under Journalism, land speed racing, Motorsports

When it comes to “car films” you can count really great ones on one hand. Add Boys of Bonneville to that hand. This wonderfully crafted documentary has absorbing historic footage combined with a fine cross-section of folks who speak with authority (Hugh Coltharp, Gordon E. White) and sometimes only awe (Jay Leno) about David Abbot (Ab) Jenkins (1883-1956) whom many steadfastly believe is the “Father of salt racing and his son, Marv Jenkins.

It was Ab’s dogged determination that put the Bonneville Salt Flats on the international racing map, not to mention the hundreds of speed marks he set there proving the salt’s worth.Meteror composite1 BOYS OF BONNEVILLE

Considering his limited resources, Jenkins racked up remarkable achievements. What distinguished him from his contemporaries was his precise use of local, “tribal” salt knowledge and unlimited guts. He was a deeply religious man who put his faith in God, and by God, he went far.

Jenkins was often oxymoronically called “The World’s Safest Speedster” because he set more world records than any other driver, past or present, yet he was prouder of his million-mile “no accident” street driving record than all his speed and endurance records combined. His watchwords were simple: Safety First.

Moreover, the vintage film footage shows first-hand what a relaxed champion he was — exiting his Bonneville Salt Flats racing machines after a grueling 24-hour endurance run as though he were climbing out of a limousine on Broadway.

It took several decades later to topple Jenkins exhausting, 48-hour endurance record. As for the marks that have fallen, it required the efforts of several drivers compared to Jenkins single-man driving shows. However, many still remain intact today.

One-time considered Utah’s “one-man public relations machine,” Jenkins racing fame got him elected Mayor of Salt Lake in 1940 without ever giving a speech, or spending a nickel on a campaign. He served until 1944.

Ab Jenkins was the certainly the first person catch “salt fever” and luckily he passed it on to succeeding generations with a need for speed. When Jenkins died at age 76, on August 9, 1956, the world was a little slower for him having done so.

pontiac n Ab BOYS OF BONNEVILLEIf the film has one flaw, it failed to clearly document that it was Jenkins and his son Marv’s super human driving efforts on behalf of General Motors Pontiac Motor Division that caused the executives to name the new V8 Fuel Injected 1957 model “Bonneville” when the pair set dozens of speed marks out on the salt. It is the only car in the world that “earned” its name and not simply “given” its name.

If it was a matter of total run time at stake, the comments from Donald Davidson would never be missed giving viewers another sumptuous morsel of achievement from two ordinary men who did extraordinary things.

Land speed racing continues today on the flats, it is an iconic slice of what remains of American frontier life, great daring-do with all the ponies now under the hood.

Marvin Jenkins BOYS OF BONNEVILLEWhen writing my book, Bonneville Salt Flats, I was privileged to be given unrestricted access by the Jenkins family to their personal files and photo collection. I spent several days in Noma and Marv’s in St. George, Utah home researching the the early days of the sport going through Ab’s entire career. It was a phenomenal collection of documentation, photos, letters and personal commentary of the era.

I came away thinking, “there ought to be a film made about these two” and now there is. Although the Jenkins name has faded away in motor sports, Director Curt Wallin has done a masterful job in resetting the consciousness level together with great editing and well-paced, informative writing that even a Hampton Socialite would be happy miss a nail appointment to see the film.

The film will be shown on the big screen in Wendover, Utah during the 2011 Speedweek and Pebble Beach in Carmel, CA,  the following week as well as during a variety of  film festivals, but will not be put into general distribution for too many reasons I won’t bore you with here. For more information about screenings near you, or how to buy the DVD, navigate to:

In the spirit of transparency, you’ll see my mug, or hear my voice in the film a few times. My only regret is not taking time to “powder my nose” before Wallin and crew filmed my interview at the Indianapolis Speedway Museum. Consequently, I look like I have just been dragged through the hedge backwards after spending a day in Gasoline Alley running around with Paula Murphy and Andy Granatelli (the guy makes the Energizer bunny look like  slug).

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