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.

St. Peters, MO – The American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association announced the winners of its 2017 Nationwide Media Contest. Presented for excellence in motorsports journalism, photography, broadcasting and books, the annual contest selects the top three entries for each of the 22 categories.

“LandSpeed” Louise Ann Noeth was recognized seven times: 4 First Place spots, 2 Second Place slots and 1 Third Place nod. All first places were for magazine writing: Feature, News, and a pair in the always-tough Technical categories. Demonstrating her indomitable competitive spirit to delve into several competition segments, her business reporting covered Road Racing and the red-hot emerging Electric Racing. Noeth’s photography showcased three racing sectors: Land Speed, INDYCAR and Drag Racing.

Of particular note, women journalists dispatched all contenders in the Magazine Technical category, swept the online technical category.

“I am well pleased that we gals dominated the Online Technical Report category” said Noeth. “It’s more than simply liking racing, it’s KNOWING racing with all of its nuances and energized competitors that makes for a grand challenge when tackling the tech stuff. Way to go ladies!

And about my action photo sequence pacing Chris “The Golden Greek” Karamesines as he vigorously overcooked his top fuel engine in 3 seconds. My ability to capture the flaming, smoke-belching drama was a fluke imaged on my smartypants phone. All 65 slices were got whilst being bathed in the noxious nitro cascade. This was done with a phone people, a stinking phone, and one so new that I had no idea that keeping my finger depressed on what passes for a shutter button meant the technological beast kept firing. I discovered the images – all in focus – about an hour later rolling through the captures in the NHRA/Gateway press room. What a pro, eh?

To read the winning entries, please click on the links below.

Clicking on any of the photos will enlarge them for full-screen viewing.

NHRA, INDY and Gateway Motorsports Park! I appreciate your support!

 

FIRST PLACE

Magazine Feature

“Rev Up Revenue in the Road Racing Market”
Performance Racing Industry Magazine

Magazine Technical

“Digging Into the Latest Dyno Developments”
Performance Racing Industry Magazine

Online Media Technical Report

“Energy-Efficient Racing: A Blistering Future Pace”
Performance Racing Industry Magazine

Magazine News

“Seven Key Developments in EV Racing
Performance Racing Industry Magazine

SECOND PLACE

Print Photography Action

“Saving the Bonneville Salt Flats”
Save the Salt: SEMA

Online Media Photo-Action

“Top Fuel Saganaki: Destruction in Three Seconds”
www.landspeedproductions.biz

THIRD PLACE

Online Media Photo – People

“Tony Kaanan’s Hot Afternoon Pitstop”
www.landspeedproductions.biz


TOP FUEL SAGANAKI Copyright 2017 Louise Ann Noeth | All Rights Reserved

 

Tony Kaanan’s Hot Pit Stop Copyright 2017 Louise Ann Noeth | All Rights Reserved

 

Saving the Bonneville Salt Flats Copyright 2017 Louise Ann Noeth | All Rights Reserved


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