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

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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?



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.

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