For the past two years, the famed Bonneville Salt Flats have been without the roar of triple-digit engine noise. This week, thousands of drivers from around the world are back to break records and just go really, really fast.
The biggest story to come out of this year’s Speed Week on the flats is Danny Thompson hitting an average speed of 406.7 mph (you read that correctly) over two runs, which set a land speed record his father Mickey Thompson missed back in 1960 due to mechanical failure.
Here’s Danny Thompson’s story (emphasis mine) from KSL Utah:
This particular race had its beginning on 1988 when father and son made plans for a record run at Bonneville.
“Three months after dad and I made plans for a race, he was murdered. I made this run as a tribute to my father and my chance to go fast,’’ Danny said as crews worked on his streamliner.
Mickey Thompson, a racing legend, and his wife were killed by two men as they walked from their home in 1988. A former partner of Thompson’s was charged and convicted of planning the crime.
Danny Thompson has spent the past seven years updating the car and replacing old engines with two 520-inch Darin Hemis. At top speed, the car travels the length of two football fields every second.
No one has been able to race across the flats for the last two years, as race organizers were forced to cancel events due to thin salt conditions.
But an army of people have returned this week, with 12 records being set in just the first three days.
Sounds like a good time. Looks like one, too: