Chas­ing the Salt at Bon­neville

Hot Rod - - The Return Road - [ Above: I’m not much for self­ies, but the Os­born and Fer­gu­son team made me do it. I’m clearly be­ing held against my will, thank y’all for the snap! Phillip Thomas Staff Ed­i­tor @tex­as­thomas

An­dre Young once wrote, “There’s three types of peo­ple in the world: those who don’t know what hap­pened; those who won­der what hap­pened; and those like us, from the streets, that make things hap­pen.” Hot rod­ders, as­suredly, are in the lat­ter group, and few races dis­play that bet­ter than the SCTA/BNI Bon­neville Speed Week. There’s so much to learn out on the salt when there are miles to run with the throt­tle welded wide open, from the un­end­ing pur­suit of aero­dy­nam­ics and horse­power to the seem­ingly un­stop­pable ca­pa­bil­ity of the hu­man body and mind. De­spite my job of trans­lat­ing ex­pe­ri­ences into words, I still strug­gle to find any that ac­cu­rately de­scribe Bon­neville—it’s a re­quire­ment on any bucket list to truly fathom.

Since 1949, we’ve passed the HOT ROD Tro­phy from racer to racer as a way to rec­og­nize this time­less chase. Wally Parks de­fined it as the fastest wheeldriven ma­chine through a scored fly­ing mile. Un­like most things at Bon­neville, the lit­tle guy swing­ing for the fences could take it home even if the ma­chine didn’t back it up like a record run—we un­der­stood hot rod­ding was imperfect. And we’ll tell you, to some teams, this tro­phy is more valu­able than the fuel in their tanks. Keep an eye on the next is­sue of HRM for more.

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