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.
MAGAZINE COLUMN WRITING 1st place “From the Demonizers to Humanizers,” Goodguys Gazette, January 2012 / Fuel For Thought column
PHOTOGRAPHY – PRINT PEOPLE 1st place “Missoula Mile Man,” China Auto Pictorial, July 2012 / Photo of land speed racer Rex Svoboda in feature article
PHOTOGRAPHY – ONLINE PEOPLE 1st place “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.”
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:
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.
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.
PHOTOS AND ART
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!
THE BONNEVILLE QUESTIONS
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?
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.
I spent the morning and half the afternoon listening to America’s brain trust talk about how they were making tomorrow better by working out today’s problems in federal laboratories all across the country. This was the annual meeting of the Federal Laboratory Consortium whose organizers had asked me to give the keynote luncheon presentation on land speed racing. As a mere high school graduate who only got college education by sneaking into classes at the Illinois Institute of Technology, impressed doesn’t begin to explain my thoughts about hanging out some of the best brains on the planet, but let’s just say I slept easier that night knowing knowing these people were on our side.
What bothered me was how nearly every one of these brainiacs cried about how hard it was to get, and hold the attention of, young people — part of an outreach program every lab has to encourage students to take up study paths in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The idea is to keep the educational pipeline filled with future candidates for the labs. Places like NASA, NIH, DOD, CDC and US Air Force Academy.
I sat in one audience after another listening to their elegant tales of woes and thought to myself, “I’ve never met a kid, boy or girl, that wasn’t fascinated by a land speed racing machine, they ought to use the fastest cars, trucks and motorcycles on earth as the teaching metaphor so the kids won’t get bored and tune out.”
At a cocktail party that evening I mentioned my thoughts to a number of giant brains who introduced me to Caroline Hardman from the National Network of Digital Schools, part of Lincoln Interactive, an “e” learning company in Ohio and Pennsylvania. The result? It was an educational speed record where we went from concept to contract in a few weeks. As I write this we are a few weeks from completing an 18-lesson study course for middle schools students that will not only provide a comprehensive accredited educational curriculum, but expose kids to a broad spectrum of technical and scientific career paths. This Cutting Edge Science educational course, Engineering the Future is meant to be a “captivating” primer to the whole engineering field, to expose students to the many segments available to them, not to try to teach them to be any one segment of the profession.
The number of graduates in these fields in recent years is scary short of what this country needs. In fact, there is direct relationship between the end of the US Space program and the dramatic fall-off of engineering degrees in the country. The”bleed-over” effect has slammed Great Britain as well. That’s why Richard Noble’s 1,000MPH Bloodhound project is touting education over the record-setting goal. Well, that and because road racer pal Paul Drayson also happens to swing a lot of political torque as the UK Minister of Science and asked the boys to help bolster the educational needs of the nation.
Helping me do this the same fine thing here in the States are some very kind and generous people from motorsports, with particular emphasis on land speed racing. They are the “Subject Matter Experts” and while I could have written most of the content myself, it occurred to me the bigger vision was to have as many people in the sport take part so that in the end the very people who give the sport its vitality and its verve would vicariously teach the children.
On behalf of young students I am very grateful to all that the people listed below agreed to join with me to inspire young minds to take up science, technology, engineering and math courses. If we can inspire children when they are young, and full so many tomorrows, to take up a STEM study path, the whole world will be better for it. And by using land speed racing as the teaching metaphor, we ought to have a bunch of fun doing it.
I publicly thank the Engineering the Future Subject Matter Expertsfor their contributions!
LEGEND: Color-coded names denote a special racing achievement distinction for the individual.
200MPH Club Life Member – Class Record Holder
300MPH Chapter – Class Record Holder, also a member of the 200MPH Club.
WLSR – World Land Speed Record (WLSR) in excess of 400MPH, also a life member of the both the 200MPH Club and the 300MPH Chapter.
CRH – Class Record Holder
ODB – Owner/driver/builder
Eric Ahlstrom, Fossett LSR
Ron Ayers, Aerodynamicist, ThrustSSC, JCB Dieselmax, Bloodhound
Dave Brant, Race Car/Motorcycle Builder, Brant Engineering, BWS Streamliner, CRH 180MPH Class K/FS, 1998 SCTA Points Champion
Tom Burkland, ODB, 411 streamliner – WLSR 415MPH
Paul Carosa, VP Engineering, AC Propulsion, White Lightning Streamliner WLSR 245MPH
Dave Dahlgren, data acquisition Zen master, Engine Management Systems, CRH???
Bonner Denton, ODB,#3000 AA/BGMS, CRH 298MPH, Galileo Professor of Chemistry and Geosciences, University of Arizona
Ken Duttweiler, master engine builder, Duttweiler Performance,
Nord Embroden, WLSR holder, land yacht designer & builder, NORD Design
Pete Farnsworth,Builder, Reaction Dynamics, Blue Flame Rocket – WLSR 622MPH
Don Ferguson II, ODB, Ferguson Racing, CRH 302 MPH Class XXF/BFS
Don Ferguson III, ODB, Ferguson Racing, SCTA President
George Fields,ODB, Trackmaster Fabrication, Trackmaster Competition Coupe, CRH, 3??MPH
If you want to know more about the course, check out The National Network of Digital Schools that offers an impressive range of interactive coursework, developed by experienced educators and professionals, and supported by a network of certified Teacher Facilitators. This is dynamic curricula — for lifelong learners.
The Southern California Chapter of the Society of Automotive Historians announced the winner of the 2009 James Valentine Memorial Award is “LandSpeed” Louise Ann Noeth, Goodguys Goodtimes Gazette columnist and author of Bonneville Salt Flats. The award for periodicals is granted for Excellence in Automotive Historical Research was presented for her October 2008 column “The Science of Speed”
“The thing which impressed me about the article,” explained Chapter Director Bob Ewing, “was the importance of the physical records. Lots of people have anecdotes to relate about who did what and when, but to have actual physical evidence of the event years after it was over is something else again. A real human touch to the whole story.
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.
“Walt Sheehan is virtually unknown in land speed racing circles, yet he was directly responsible for all five of Craig Breedlove’s World Land Speed Records” said author Noeth of the winning column, “I am forever grateful to the Goodguys Gazette for providing monthly space the past seven years enabling me to tell wonderful stories of the worlds fastest cars, trucks and motorcycles. The Society of Automotive Historians Southern California Chapter humbles me with the honor.”
Noeth was first honored by her fellow SAH SoCal members when she was awarded the Valentine for her book: Bonneville Salt Flats in 2002. Known to her readers as “Landspeed Louise,” she became the first recipient of the award to be honored for both a book and an article in a periodical. “What’s an FIA World Land Speed Record Worth?“, which appeared in the Goodguys Goodtimes Gazette in October 2004, recounts her efforts to spur the FIA, which is nominally responsible for land speed record keeping as well as other aspects of motor sports, to officially recognize the efforts of competitors before they passed away. She again took periodicals top honors in 2006 with the September 2005 FUEL FOR THOUGHT column “Speedy Thoughts From Wally Parks”
Louise Ann Noeth founded LandSpeed Productions in 1984 because she got tired of people thinking she only did one thing. After years of freelancing she had developed a variety of storytelling skill sets that includes:
• Creative Writing
• Stock Library
• Fine Art
• Graphic Design
• Public Relations
A fancy moniker for what she does is “photojournalist”, but she prefers “storyteller” believing people relate better to a tantalizing tale than an “English Major” perfect new report.