“Save The Salt”, the volunteer land speed racing group formed to protect the famed international speedway, recently hosted a CBS Network News crew at the Bonneville Salt Flats – at least what is left of it. . .

For those who missed the live broadcast, the show is available using the hot link below.
The Bonneville segment is just over eight minutes in length.
CBS NEWS: Debate Rages Over the Future of the Bonneville Salt Flats

On Saturday, October 5th, 2019, CBS This Morning aired a report on conditions at the Bonneville Salt Flats. The CBS network news crew spent two days on the salt in mid-September observing the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association’s “World of Speed” event where they spoke with more than a dozen racers, officials and spectators about the unchecked decline in salt crust thickness — essential to safe land speed racing and record setting for amateur motorsports.

I was grateful for the high level of professional journalism demonstrated by CBS This Morning co-host Jeff Glor, producer Dan Ruetenik and cameraman Roger Masterton who conducted interviews with USFRA President Dennis Sullivan and Veteran land speed racer Rick Vesco, both of whom have donated countless hours to the effort to restore Bonneville.

It is my firm belief that restoring Bonneville will require the support of the American public and America won’t support something it doesn’t care about. America can’t care about something it doesn’t know about. That where CBS helped change the conversation and this report was the first national news report about the decline salt crust conditions essential to same amateur motorsports.

Historical racing footage was provided by Pete Farnsworth, builder of the Blue Flame Rocket Car, Danny Thompson shared clips of his father Mickey’s original Challenger runs, Al and Jane Teague’s Spirit of 76 streamliner, and TEAM Vesco of the 500MPH Turbinator along with film clips going back to the 1950s.

Save the Salt is working with local, state and federal government officials and the mine lease holder to implement a 10-year Restore Bonneville program. It will dramatically increase the amount of salt being pumped onto Bonneville after potash is removed. The current pumping program has helped stabilize Bonneville, but the infrastructure must be upgraded in order to restore this historic landmark. In early 2019, the State of Utah appropriated $5 million to the restoration process, contingent upon receiving $45 million from the federal government and other sources. The program will be administered by the State of Utah in coordination with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

For more details: www.savethesalt.org

3 Aug, 2019  |  Written by  |  under Motorsports

If you want to see tire screeching, big-screen heart-thumping race car battling go see something else. This ain’t it.

What you’ll get from this film is a splendid, honest portrayal of Garth Stein’s book that explains – in the most believable way – precisely what motorized competition is all about. And it ain’t sponsorship.

Here, direct from the thoughtful, passionate, discerning mind of a dog, the audience learns what it takes to be a winner on the race track. Any race track.

There is a refreshing lack of razzle bedazzle Hollywood crazy stunt driving. In fact, the many multimillion dollar race cars are merely respectful window dressing, allowing the more important aspect of the absorbing 109 minute story to be delivered one believable, welcome bit at a time. Frankly, anyone who ever earned a checkered flag will cheat themselves by NOT seeing this film. The rest will come away knowing their time was well spent. This is a story well told.

There is no fidgeting, no boring bits, or eye-rolling stupidness. This film is an invitation into the head, heart and mind of the world’s top race car drivers.

Interestingly, most of the profound comments from Enzo the dog (voiced by Kevin Costner) come straight from real deal racer/instructor Don Kitch Jr who has driven the talk for decades. The guy understands lefty-righty grab the pedal almighty just like he understands how to breathe.

And about the storyline. . . Milo Ventimiglia plays Denny Swift, a determined, talented road racer who earns his living wage in a Seattle auto repair shop but drives for glory on the weekends seeking a chance join the professional ranks. He gets the girl, and another girl before all hell lets loose, but Swift never lifts thanks to Enzo.

Stein was sincerely influenced by a National Geographic show about dogs in Mongolia. Having spent extended time in the Steppes of Asia, that aspect of the tale resonated with me on several levels.

This film is a grand cinematic journey that some might want to take more than once. I will.

Review by “LandSpeed” Louise Ann Noeth | Copyright 2019

Once more, Host Mark Greene invited me to be a guest on Cars Yeah. I love the guy who’s motto is” Inspiring Automotive Enthusiasts™

It was a great opportunity to educate listeners about the dire circumstances facing all the amateur land sped racers out on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Learn why motorsports worldwide can thank the Bureau of Land Management for decades of mind-blowing mismanagement.

• The interview is now live on Cars Yeah, iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, and Stitcher.

• If you can, please share this interview on your website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media with this link: Cars Yeah

LISTEN HERE: http://carsyeah.com/ourportfolio/1116-louise-noeth/

There came a surprising, unexpected phone call early this year, It was an invitation to join four other women in celebration of the International Day of the Woman. The ladies all work in the automotive and motorsports industry and all that was expected of us was to talk about our daily lives, each a different journey in male-dominated professions.

I’m ready at the drop of a pin to talk up land speed racing, but jabber on about myself? Not so much. It was the same for the other gals as well. Not a mantle we easily picked to carry.

This March 8th gathering took place at the Larz Anderson in Brookline, Massachusetts. It is America’s Oldest Car Collection and while the place carries a man’s name, Isobel Anderson was as good, if not a better driver, than her husband. She would have to be better, think about all the clothing “baggage” a gal was required to wear back her day. And the girl was a society taste-maker to boot, so dressing well was required, not optional.

This live storytelling event was billed as “Women’s Motormouth” A Vehicle of Human Experience and I was privileged to share the stage with  Samantha Briody, Sally Dawson, Dawn Hayes, and Jody Perewitz.

In the audience of some 150 people was Tim Baer, who writes for the the Motorcyclist’s Post.  Tim was kind enough to allow me to post his report here and it includes some short bios of each of the gals. Read his report here: https://www.landspeedproductions.biz/wp-content/uploads/Motormouth2018.pdf

What hit me afterwards was that one of the gals had yet to be be born when I began my motorsports career running around the country racing jet cars in the mid 1970s. Listening to each of these woman was a joy. Every one of them spoke with conviction and purpose, it was clear they enjoyed what they did and when you are happy in your labors, most often you are also good at what you do.

Dawn came to her path through abject tragedy and has stoically taken sadness and brought joy to thousands by teaching them how to safely ride a motorcycle. Sally Dawson owns and operates her own auto repair shop. Guys work for her! Samantha is a service writer at a dealership, who even at her tender young age, has amassed a respectable brain trust of info to get her clients, in and out of the shop deftly. And then there is Jody. Most would be impressed with what this gal does 9 to 5 at her dad’s custom motorcycle shop, but when you mention that she throws a leg over two-wheelers on the Bonneville Salt Flats and has set numerous records. . ., eyebrows rise exponentially.

The message? I think I speak for all of us when I say, ignore the naysayers, if you want it, go get it, whatever the career you desire. Girls, ladies, know this: there isn’t car, bike, or truck that knows what gender is at its controls. The machine will simply respond to input. Be your best and time will take care of the rest.

Carbinliner leaves Bonneville starting line

Age is superfluous at Bonneville. Young or old, it is all the same: wide-eyed wonder of a regal place constantly swirled with a riot of color, cackling thunder ripping out of homebuilt metal magic and the indescribable feeling of being so incredibly lucky to be there, to take part, to bear witness to the heart of motorsport still so pure and so welcoming.

 

You marvel that it exists at all.

That’s what coming to the Bonneville Salt Flats for the first time does to most everyone. It doesn’t matter what you might have read, heard, been told or watched, the real deal is a gargantuan knockout. Some freely admit this while others pretend not to be affected.

Oh, but pity those liars in denial for they rob themselves of pure joy, of being immersed in the saline speed dimension. Such people remind me of some teenagers that are so wrapped up in image and showing off the latest trendy thing that life’s most important parts rocket past them.

Forget the speed machines for a moment and simply consider the place. It is such a place that astronauts use the salt’s splendid immensity and stark, shimmering whiteness as a landmark whilst orbiting the earth.

Such a place that if you get your butt up and out of bed before the sun and manage to be present for the fiery orb’s awakening then you will be treated to unexpected grandeur, a brain-stretching vista that often invokes a dose of humanity humility wrapped up in a personal outpouring of thankfulness.

There is something inviting about being reduced, put in your place, made to understand how stinking small and insignificant you are in relationship to the planet. It made me feel honored to be there and later, it made me very protective of the place which is why I am intensely annoyed with the BLM for not being likewise invested.

If you drive out from Salt Lake City you get a good sense about the place as it requires you cross the salt to arrive at the access point just outside Wendover UT/NV – take your pick there are two of them with the state line painted right down the main drag.

If you have lots of coin, and few brains, you can try to access the salt from the interstate but make sure you have cell coverage or a working CB because when you get stuck you will be stuck like nothing else you’ve ever encountered.

Spinning your wheels only drives the vehicle deeper into the plastic-like mud that has been trapping things since well before the Conestoga wagons got mired. The salt flats are thick in the middle but thin out to practically nothing on the edges.

And yes, it is salt, just like the stuff that comes out of the shaker at home. Taste it. Most everyone does whether they admit it or not.

Driving in the from the south, on Highway 93, is a ‘peek-a-boo’ way to see the salt as the mountains rise and fall giving you only a hint of the place here and there along the road until it opens up and wows you as you near the Wendovers. The most dramatic way for salt virgins is from the West as the Silver Island mountain range blocks the view of the salt until you pass through the Wendovers and take the #1 exit.

sunrise on the salt Sadly, the roadside dramatic reveal has somewhat withered. The immense salt playa has shrunk, the bright white salt that once hugged either side of Interstate 80 is patchwork now, dirty in other spots mixed with the mud, or absent altogether and the ubiquitous sagebrush has moseyed back onto the plain.

I’ve seen this happen in just the past 20 years, but worry not, there is plenty left to astound you and for most racers to try their luck upon. Let’s talk about those racers, those wonderful, marvelous, inventive amateur folk who put on the best damn mechanical circus in the whole wide world.

Know this: You can be one too. Yes. You can earn a time slip driving your own car, truck, or bike at some events. Just try that at Indy or Daytona.

I don’t care if you don’t know a spark plug from a wheel hub, walking through the pits and staging lanes up to the starting line is a visual treat on multiple levels. Watching the speed machines roll off on a run, or flash through the mile-markers is an eye-candy spectacular. Lucky you if you get to see a parachute blossom.

There are hundreds of cars, trucks and motorcycles in race ready form, each the dearly held dream of someone about to face the truth of the timing clocks.

None of these speed machines come to the salt all by their lonesome. Each has a team, a few are big deals, but most are a small gatherings of like-minded speed hopefuls who will be delighted to tell you darn near anything you might want to ask of them.

This is the core of land speed racing, what gives the sport its fantastic edge over every other form of motorized competition on the planet: the people!

Be bold, walk up astarting line aerialnd introduce yourself, ask them about the machine, who designed it, built it, drives it and THEN ask how fast it goes.

This is a welcoming sport in an inhospitable place. Be assured, it experience will last long after you return to “normal” life. If you experience an unexplained sadness or sense of loss, you have been afflicted with “salt fever” and the only way to medicate away the symptoms is to return as soon as possible.

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