PRI2015 Opportunities in Land Speed Racing

People of accomplishment rarely sat back and
let things happen to them.
They went out and happened to things.

On Saturday, December 10, 2016 PRI Magazine Editor Dan Schechner moderated a panel discussion with expert panelists “Landspeed” Louise Ann Noeth, Maxwell Industries owner Steve Watt, World Land Speed Record Holder Tom Burkland and Stuart Gosswein, SEMA Sr. Director, Federal Government Affairs. The panelists spoke on the state of land speed racing, business opportunities, racing team background, what it takes to go 400MPH as well as the hot topic of the ecological conditions.

Listening Time: 01:11:11


Contact: Louise Ann Noeth  |

Salt Lake City, UT – – Back-to-back years of wet weather, coupled with years of federal mismanagement, has created unsafe surface conditions and ramped up frustrations among the land speed racing community. Save the Salt Coalition and the Utah Alliance recognized that adversarial postures would contribute nothing to the restoration of the Bonneville Salt Flats, an Area of Critical Environmental Concern, and instead spent the past six months cultivating new, productive relationships with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Intrepid Potash-Wendover, and elected representatives on city, state and federal levels.

The result was an unprecedented improvement in communication and cooperation between the BLM and the land speed racing community. Numerous substantive conversations percolated a vigorous exchange of information, ideas and documents. Chief among them is the possibility of withdrawing all 10 mineral leases located north of Interstate 80 from future mining.

The racing community contends that Bonneville lost millions of tons of salt over many decades due to the leases. However, only three percent of Intrepid-Potash’s current annual production is derived from all 10 leases combined. The mining company is willing to abandon the leases altogether so long as no other competitor is allowed to take them over.

We have asked the BLM to investigate the appropriate process to withdraw the 10 leases from all future mining. Normally it is a cumbersome federal process that can take years, but we are working with both BLM staff and elected officials to speed the effort.

Additionally, we are patiently waiting for the delivery of the Bingham Report, a comprehensive engineering document commissioned by the Save the Salt Coalition and Utah Alliance with short- and long-term recommendations for restoring Bonneville. This document forms the basis of the land speed racing community’s position statement.

Among the action items will be: a plan to maximize the brine return program volume as well as control the brine return by creating a containment area; protect the already fragile salt surface from additional mud drift; closing the I-80 culverts to retain laydown brine flow; shift from voluntary to mandatory salt return; require measurement, monitoring, reporting, and analysis of the salt return amounts as well as salt extracted from areas that could impact the international speedway; actively evaluate alternative mechanisms and processes for salt return.

The Save the Salt Foundation (StS) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to restore the world-famous Bonneville Salt Flats. The Utah Alliance (UA) is a volunteer Utah-based advocacy group using its expertise and contacts at the local level to protect this Historic Place listed on the National Register. The Save the Salt Coalition (StSc) is an umbrella group comprised of automotive and motorsports companies and organizations with a vested interest in this national treasure. All three organizations are collaborating to keep the Bonneville Salt Flats available for future generations.

 “Refuse to settle for the status quo and defy the

powers who loathe to have it disturbed.”

with compliments to:  S. Hendrix

Performance Racing Industry (PRI) magazine Editor Dan Schechner will moderate a panel of industry experts in a discussion of the current state of land-speed racing. The speakers at this year’s PRI trade show seminar will focus on business opportunities generated by the sport for parts retailers, tuners, engine builders, fabricators and manufacturers. Panelists will also discuss the status of efforts to restore the Bonneville Salt Flats—the premier venue for land-speed records. The panelists include:

Louise Ann Noeth
Louise Ann Noeth

Steve Watt
Steve Watt
Maxwell Industries
(Speed Demon)

Tom Burkland
Tom Burkland
Burkland Family
Race Team

Stuart Gosswein
Stuart Gosswein
Save the Salt

Find out more information about this seminar.

To learn about the plight of the Bonneville Salt Flats, visit the Victory Motorsports booth (#7002) at the entrance to the exhibition hall or go to

Land Speed Racing Seminar
Saturday, December 12
8:00 a.m.–9:00 am
Indiana Convention Center, Room 239



As Utah Alliance member Rick Vesco listens, Roger Lessman explains the September 14th Tour route as Russ (L) and Eric (R) Eyres look on.


Tour participants examine a 16-inch deep hole dug at the 7-mile mark in a graphic display of salt crust loss on the high speed race course.

September 14, 2015 (Wendover, UT) – The Utah Alliance and Save the Salt Coalition met with a variety of stakeholder groups at the Bonneville Salt Flats (BSF) in Utah this week to discuss potential solutions for restoring the historic racing venue. The BSF has been in the spotlight following cancellation this year of five major racing events due to weather and deteriorating salt conditions.  In response, the Utah Alliance organized a tour of the area with government officials who oversee the BSF, mine operators, geologists, engineers, and other stakeholder groups.  The tour allowed the parties to then engage in follow-up discussions and begin identifying tangible restoration actions.

“Everyone displayed a willingness to come together to find a solution,” said Dennis Sullivan, Chairman of the Utah Alliance,  “There was a mutual respect demonstrated among the public agencies, private entities and racers.  We all need to learn more from each other as we all have specific observations and experiences that need to be combined with scientific data to provide a viable way forward.”


Utah Alliance Tour Guide Rick Vesco atop the Salduro Loop dike explains the erosion and point of original brine collection ditch.

The Utah Alliance and Save the Salt Coalition were joined by staff from: Utah Governor Herbert’s office, Senator Mike Lee’s office, Bureau of Land Management, Intrepid Potash-Wendover, Utah Department of Natural Resources, University of Utah’s Dr. Brenda Bowen, Brent Bingham, Mayor of Wendover, Utah, Councilman of West Wendover, Nevada, and a number of land speed racers.

The Utah Alliance and Save the Salt Coalition will next present a position statement to the stakeholders identifying a number of short- and long-term actions to be considered. Priority will be given to determine how to expand brine pumping and mitigate mud contamination.

IMG_9262 (1)

Save The Salt Treasurer and ‘defacto” geologist Russ Eyres updates tour participants on his 12-years of locating race courses and associated salt crust measurements.

“Although concerns about deterioration at Bonneville have existed for decades, today marked the first time officials representing government, industry and racers sat at the same table to discuss solutions,” said Doug Evans, Chairman of the Save the Salt Coalition.  “We are finally at the starting line in the race to save Bonneville.”

The groups indicated that no quick fixes existed to resolve issues related to the condition of the salt.  However, they believe that given the high level of cooperation, the historic, internationally famous speedway will eventually be restored to safe racing conditions.
The Save the Salt Coalition is an international group of businesses and organizations with a vested interest in the BSF.  Major LSR sanctioning organizations are members of both groups.  The two groups have partnered on the shared mission of restoring the BSF as the premier venue for setting world land speed records.  The collaboration allows experts within the groups to undertake specific roles and projects.
The Utah Alliance is a group of land speed racing individuals that live in or have connections with the State of Utah through employment or governmental agencies. The Utah Alliance works in Conjunction with the Save the Salt Coalition to “Preserve Our National Treasure – The Bonneville Salt Flats – As well as develop and execute a Comprehensive Reclamation Plan.”

Utah Alliance Leadership:


Racer Rick Vesco graphically demonstrates what the land speed racing community needs to safely race on the Bonneville Salt Falts; as he hammers with conviction the salt is not damaged at all.

DENNIS SULLIVAN – Chairman, USFRA President
RICK VESCO – Save the Salt Founding Member
LARRY VOLK – USFRA Founding member
GARY WILKINSON – Save The Salt Vice Chairman, USFRA
HUGH COLTHARP – USFRA Treasurer, USFRA Founding member
TOM BURKLAND – Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials
RUSS EYRES – Save The Salt Treasurer, SCTA/BNI Liaison

Utah Alliance Partners:

“LandSpeed” LOUISE ANN NOETH – Media Contact
TERRY NISH – Nish Motorsports, Research & Racing History
MIKE NISH – Nish Motorsports, Research & Racing History
RUSS DEANE – SEMA/Save The Salt Legal Counsel
ASHLEY AILSWORTH – SEMA/Save The Salt Legal Counsel
STUART GOSSWEIN – SEMA/Save The Salt Public Relations
CHAD BOOTH – AYL TV Salt Lake City, Media
Utah Alliance Supporters:

DICK ROSETTA – Utah Sports Hall Of Fame, Past Salt Lake Tribune Sports Editor
GREG MILLER – Director, Larry H Miller Family of Companies



SAVE THE SALT COALITION                            UTAH ALLIANCE

 Contact:   Louise Ann Noeth |    805.312.0893 |

BSF washed out 2009

Land Racing Advocates Join Forces for Bonneville


September 8, 2015 – The Save the Salt Coalition and Utah Alliance are working closely together as advocates for the land speed racing (LSR) community to protect the Bonneville Salt Flats (BSF). The following is a report on current actions.

The Save the Salt Coalition is an international group of businesses and organizations with a vested interest in the BSF. The Utah Alliance provides expertise and connections at the state and local level. Major LSR sanctioning organizations are members of both groups. The two groups have partnered on the shared mission of restoring the BSF as the premier venue for setting world land speed records. The collaboration allows experts within the groups to undertake specific projects.

The cancellation of four of the five major racing events for 2015 due to weather and deteriorating conditions has helped place a spotlight on Bonneville. As a result, the Save the Salt Coalition and Utah Alliance have already had extensive discussions with officials at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) which oversees the BSF, mining officials, geologists, engineers, lawmakers in Congress and at the state and local level. Numerous press interviews have also conveyed the plight of the BSF to the world via newspapers, magazines, websites and blogs.

Two educational meetings have been now scheduled: one for the public (Sept. 9) and another for elected representatives, government officials, industry and other interested stakeholders (Sept. 14).

  • Wednesday, September 9, 2015: A one-hour informational meeting
  • “100 years of Bonneville-Racing History from the Racers Perspective” presented by Louise Ann Noeth
  • 4PM
  • Totem’s Restaurant, 538 S. Redwood Rd., Salt Lake City.
  • Land speed cars will be on display in the parking area at 3:00 pm.
  • The public is encouraged to attend, and press and public officials have been invited.

The second briefing will take place on September 14th at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Representatives from the two Coalitions will conduct a private tour and present the racer’s perspective to government, industry and local community leadership.

The private tour will allow the parties to engage in follow-up discussions and begin identifying tangible restoration actions. Both groups have already identified a number of short- and long-term actions to be considered. They include expanded brine pumping, barriers to keep the pumped brine within the racing area, and targeted dry salt laydowns. Reaching consensus on actions to be taken will be assisted by BSF core samplings to be taken this fall and winter by geologists, and consultations with engineers and water experts.

Conveying information is also critical. Toward that effort, the Utah Alliance is creating a website repository of photographic, film and historical documentation about the BSF available to everyone. The website will be unveiled in the near future. It will be an additional resource for the main website which serves to keep the public informed of day-to-day actions.

For more information, visit

 Utah Alliance

Leadership: Dennis Sullivan (President USFRA); Rick Vesco (founding member STS); Larry Volk (founding member USFRA); Gary Wilkinson (Save the Salt; Vice Chairman, USFRA); Hugh Coltharp (Treasurer & founding member USFRA); Tom Burkland (Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials); Russ Eyres (Save the Salt; SCTA/BNI Liaison); Roger Lessman (Nevada State Govt. Liaison).

Save the Salt Coalition

Chairman: Doug Evans, Chief Operating Officer, Luken Communications

Public Information Officer: Louise Ann Noeth / 805.312.0893 /

Coalition Contact: Stuart Gosswein,

Members: ACCUS, FIA, American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), Blue Ribbon Coalition (BRC), Bonneville Nationals Inc. (BNI), Bonneville 200 MPH Club, Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials, Cook’s Land Speed Events, East Coast Timing Association, FIA Land Speed Records Commission, LandSpeed Productions, Luken Communications, Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), Off-Road Business Association (ORBA), Performance Warehouse Association (PWA), Save the Salt Foundation, Southern California Timing Association (SCTA), Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), Speed Demon, The Enthusiast Network (TEN), Utah Alliance, Utah Salt Flats Racing Association (USFRA), United States Automobile Club (USAC).


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