13 Nov, 2013  |  Written by  |  under Hot Rods, land speed racing, Motorsports

Greetings land speed racing speed fans. .  .

If you are waiting for the epic motorsports update of my Bonneville Salt Flats history book first published in 1999, please know it is a year behind. I wanted to include the full 100 years of land speed racing, not just sell a book during the 100th year. 

Bonneville: A Century of Speed published by the University of Utah Press will, hopefully, be available for sale sometime next year. I have been working on this massive chronicle for many years. It will contain several hundred thousand words and upwards of 1,000 photos.

Hundreds of interviews were conducted with world and national reBSF100OCT2013 art Bonneville: A Century of Speed cord-setters, sanctioning authorities, engine builders, high performance parts suppliers as well as hundreds of crew members. Thousands of images are being collected from public and private archives as well as directly from racers, families and friends. Original art has been drawn, or contributed by skilled, expressive artists including the work of Robert Seabeck, Tom Medley, Robert Rampton, Rex Burnett, Connor Lock and Stacy Becker.

The point is to reflect an in-depth land speed racing historical narrative that is (pardon me, Mr. Lincoln) “of the racer, by the racer and for the reader.”  Information is also being culled from articles I wrote for the New York Times, London Daily Telegraph, Chicago Tribune, dozens of automotive magazines  and of course my Goodguys Gazette column “Fuel For Thought” that has appeared monthly for the past 12 years dedicated to telling the story of land speed racing.

Because I’ve had numerous people contact me about another project scheduled to debut at the upcoming Grand National Roadster Show in Southern California, I must state that I have nothing whatsoever to do with this venture. I am not part of, nor have I contributed to the Save-the-Salt fundraising project that sold pages to racers, promoters and parts suppliers. 

Please be aware that although similarly entitled, my book and the fund-raising project are not in competition with one another.

One cannot buy pages in my book. This is a significant, historical retrospect that will be professionally edited and fact-checked by the university press staff, editors and distinguished reviewers. For a preview of what to expect, the Goodguys Gazette recently published my quick-study Bonneville summary in the October 2013 issue. 

 Click here to download the 18-page feature article: “Counting Down to a Century of Speed” 

Make no mistake, I fully support efforts to protect and restore the Bonneville Salt Flats. It is my considered opinion, based on countless hours of unpaid research conducted at numerous public and private archives throughout the nation, that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has failed in its mandated duty to protect the federal lands in Utah known as the Bonneville Salt Flats. That the flats are also listed on the Federal Register of Historic Places (Reference # 75001826) makes the failing that much more egregious. 

Today, the fastest speed machines are taunting the razor’s edge running on less-than-optimum surfaces made smaller, thinner and unsafe by years of unchecked mineral mining. The mining companies are not at fault. They are operating under a BLM approved, legal mining plan that fails to include any direct preservation or restoration directives. While the Salt Lake City BLM office is directly responsible for this debacle, apparently no one in Washington, D.C. seems to give a damn that treasured federal land is being legally and systematically salt raped. Gone are contenders for the absolute world record and now even slower (if you can call plus 400MPH slower) class hopefuls are feeling the pinch. If lack of oversight is allowed to continue unchecked, I firmly believe that land speed racing on the Bonneville Salt Flats will be severely curtailed if not completely halted for safety reasons within the coming decade. Unless, of course, Intrepid allows the racers to come and run on the north side of Interstate 80 on the where the salt is upwards of 10 feet thick after nearly a century of fetching salt off the Speedway for potash extraction.

– LandSpeed Louise



AARWBA2012 winner Rex web1 LandSpeed Louise scores 3 podium finishes at 2012 AARWBA journalism competition

Rex Svoboda after a high speed run on Bonneville Salt Flats









Hours before  the running of the 2013 Indy 500, the All American Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association | AARWBA announced that “LandSpeed” Louise Ann Noeth came away with three “podium” finishes for its 2012  motorsports journalism competition. The trackside awards breakfast held May 25, 2013 revealed Noeth scored a pair of first place and a third place for writing and photography all focused on land speed racing.

“From the Demonizers to Humanizers,” Goodguys Gazette, January 2012 / Fuel For Thought column

“Missoula Mile Man,” China Auto Pictorial, July 2012  / Photo of land speed racer Rex Svoboda in feature article

“Speed King of Queens,” NYTimes.com, October 2012 / Photo of land speed record-setter Eric Ritter

“It’s a sweet way to start the day,” said a delighted Noeth, “Land speed racing counts a few Indy champs among its ranks so it’s nice to get the nod at this great track. I am particularly pleased the judges recognized the enormous import of positive change demonstrated by the FIA towards the land speed racing community. I tip my pen and click the shutter on behalf of all those daring folks who seek big speed.”

AARWBA2012 winner Ritter web1 LandSpeed Louise scores 3 podium finishes at 2012 AARWBA journalism competition

Eric Ritter in the Vesco family streamliner on the Bonneville Salt Flats










All judging was essentially “blind,” where all credit lines had been removed, except in the Book, Racing Website, and Podcast/Webcast categories. Judges had the option to not make awards if they felt they were not warranted.

Photography Judge: Prof. Emeritus Susan Fleck, Pulliam School of Journalism, Franklin College

Magazine Column Writing – Prof. Emeritus Jerry Miller, Pulliam School of Journalism, Franklin College

 Interested parties may read the award-wining column at:



 The Southern California Chapter of the Society of Automotive Historians announced the winner of the 2012 James Valentine Memorial Award is Goodguys Goodtimes Gazette columnist and author “LandSpeed” Louise Ann Noeth of Creve Coeur, Missouri. The award for periodicals is granted for Excellence in Automotive Historical Research was presented for Dry Lakes Racing Hall of Fame which appeared as her August 2011 Fuel For Thought monthly column.

DLRHOF logo Winner for the 5th Time! 2012 Valentine Award from Society of Automotive Historians

 “I was particularly interested in the evolution of the idea of a Hall of Fame, and to see, in one place, the names of all those honored so far,” explained Bob Ewing speaking for the chapter , “It made me very happy to see the names of people whom I knew, such as Mark Dees, author of the book on Miller and co-founder of the Vintage Racing Association, local legend Ak Miller, and a fellow alumnus of my high school, Burke LeSage.”

 The Valentine Memorial Award is named for the late J.H. Valentine, at one time the recognized authority of automobiles built in Los Angeles. Always a strong supporter of the Southern California Chapter SAH, Valentine devoted his life to accurately compiling nearly insignificant data on early automobiles one by one. With no chance of personal wealth, he ensured that future historians would have a large quantity of priceless material. The Valentine Award honors authors whose automotive historical research is linked to people and events in California, but does not preclude significant historical milestones anywhere in the world.

  “The people, cars and motorcycles inducted into the Dry Lakes Racing Hall of Fame are not simply the speedy fabric of land speed racing,” said author Noeth of the winning column, “They represent the pioneers of the high performance community in this nation who doggedly demonstrate professional skills in an amateur environment. The honorees are peer voted giving greater weight to its membership. The Society of Automotive Historians Southern California Chapter humbles me with the honor.”

 Noeth was first honored by the SAH SoCal Chapter winning the Valentine for her book: Bonneville Salt Flats in 2002. Known to her readers as “Landspeed Louise,” she next became the first recipient of the award to be honored for both a book and a periodical winning again in 2005. She also picked up the 2006 and 2009 periodical awards. All the winning articles first appeared in the Goodguys Goodtimes Gazette.

5 Oct, 2012  |  Written by  |  under Motorsports

red eye Hines 1024x667 Gateway Motorsports Park   NHRA Midwest Nationals

Eddie Krawiec and Andrew Hines in the final round at the 2012 NHRA Midwest Nationals














It has been a long time since I covered a drag racing event. The track closest to our home closed just as we moved into the area so it was with great anticipation that I marched over the Mississippi River to Madison, Illinois and enjoyed some staggering energy output by the racing community. That two of the pro contests were decided by red lights added to the drama, topped by Courtney Force slathering me and Mick with rubber dust as I photographed her along the starting line rail before she whacked the wall — that clutch was waaaay wrong. Days later, I am STILL cleaning up the compound off everything we took out there.

It was very satisfying to watch Erica Enders earn a Wally in the GK Motorsports Cobalt — her 4th of the season! She had, however, won the whole event a couple days earlier from where I observed. On Friday, Erica had graciously agreed to meet, greet and show 11-year old Autumn Looney, daughter of our racing enthusiast friend Brian. You could see her young mind spinning as Erica showed her the interior, where she sat and how she shifted the car. Autumn was speechless. Erica invited us to stick around and watch them test fire the car.

Later that day, when Erica set low E.T. to earn the #1 qualifying spot, I thought Autumn would come out of her sneakers she cheered form the stands. This is mentoring in full force. A small, tender hospitality that will resonate with a young girl as she grows into adulthood. Who is to say what Enders gift will bring? This much is certain: Autumn has someone real to remember, someone who took time to let her into the professional racing world, Autumn knows it is possible for her to do the same should that be the path she chooses. The kid is a swimmer, she competes in the butterfly category and anyone who swims will tell you that’s one tough stroke to master.

Special thanks also goes to defending Pro Stock champion and new Bonneville 200MPH Club member Jason Line for offering up a pair of passes to Autumn and her dad for Friday’s qualifying.

Here are a few photos that resonated with me. Enjoy.

9 199x300 Gateway Motorsports Park   NHRA Midwest Nationals

Erica Enders Pro Stock Cobalt

EKrawiec burnout 208x300 Gateway Motorsports Park   NHRA Midwest Nationals

Eddie Krawiec burnout

nitro tuned cobra 300x194 Gateway Motorsports Park   NHRA Midwest Nationals

Nitro Tuned Cobra

Autumn Brian 210x300 Gateway Motorsports Park   NHRA Midwest Nationals

Autumn and Brian Looney

Daddy pays the fuel bill 300x199 Gateway Motorsports Park   NHRA Midwest Nationals

Daddy pays the fuel bill

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?


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