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  • The November meet was one for the ages. Perfect weather, temps in the high 70s - low 80s and NO wind. We won't talk about the low temps at night, it is the high desert in the fall after all. The SCTA reports 150 entries. An average turnout these days. The end of the season tends to keep those not in contention for the Championship at home. The veteran dry lake racers will show up no matter what.

    The El Mirage 200 MPH Club welcomed three new members at the meet:

    Brian Gillespie driving the Hasport Hondata G/BGMS entry ran a great 200.9 record which got his club membership, and vaulted him into the points lead for the championship early on Saturday morning. More on Brian later. Keith Pederson got a turn at the wheel of the White Goose Bar Racing roadster. The Waters Manghelli Romero entry ran in F/BFR class this meet and Keith pedaled her down the track at 205 for a merlot colored hat. Keith's record means that all White Goose Bar principles who are driver types are now members of both clubs. Ed Umland, who is familiar with readers of Hot Rod magazine ran his B/BFRMR at a touch over the 240 minimum, 240.481 to be exact. Congratulations to all three, this brings the total of new club members to six for the year. Not bad for a season which had two events cancelled due to wet course conditions.

    Other records set this meet include:

    Robert Sights Jr with his G/BFMR at 180.105. Dennis Mariani had his new, ex-Seth Hammond, ex Bob Button E/BGMR out this meet and set a new class record of 206. It was hard to find Dennis in the pits because the big hauler was missing. The roadster was on an open trailer, a couple of crew members and some beer - just like the rest of us do. Greg Waters had his chance in the WGB roadster on Sunday and bumped Keith's new record up to 207. Don Ferguson III, D 3, to most all of us ran in XXF/BFR this meet using the Ferguson Ardun heads and SCoT blower repop. D3 ran a great 180 record. The team also had the #76 streamliner out testing their new Hondata engine and driveline combo for some serious records next season. The very successful Youngblood family brought their G/BStR to California from the home in Utah. I have seen them run two roadsters to several records at both Speed Week and World of Speed. The car is tuned by son JD and driven by his sister, the lovely Ali Ercanbrack, noted as Hot Rod Ali on the side of the trailer. Chet Thomas from Northern California is running the 511 Street Roadster as campaigned by Cummins Beck Davidson Thornsberry recently. Chet used John Beck power to set a new AA/StR record of 194 on Sat. He was on a super 200 pass Sun. until the trans would not shift into top gear. Good things to happen next year. Bob Jucweic continues to set records in the Cohn Jucweic Monza, this meet in the E/CGAlt class at 180+. Miriam Macmillan also continues to impress with yet another record in her H/BFCC entry, the Hondata CRX car, this time at 209.3.

    I mentioned Brian Gillespie before. Brian set a 200+ record on Sat. got club membership and moved into the points lead. As the other contenders fell away Hasport Hondata was the champ on Sat. night. Anticipation was as high as the sun on Sunday when it was the last chance to catch Brian and the points lead. Early on Brian made a pass and lost control of his car. The resulting tumble destroyed the car and Brian was air lifted from the area. Good news, Brian has injuries that will heal and retained the season championship for cars.

    The motorcycle impound had four new records to close out the year. Cathy Butler rode the ACAT/Butler/Erion/Hobbs 650-P-P entry to a record of 171. Jeannie Pflum was on the Pflum and Wagner Racing 1000-A-F bike and upped the class record to 194. John Noonan was on the 1350-APS-BG entry of Big CC Turbo/Noonan and set the class record and Top Speed of the Year for bikes at 250.669. Kenny Schaefer was on the Schaefer & Chambers 1650-A-PF entry and set the record at 182.

    This covers the final event of the season. Number one points was Hasport Hondata as I mentioned. Number one motorcycle is Ralph Hudson once again. Top speeds for car and bike were Dave Davidson in the 911 Blown Fuel highboy at 253.394 and John Noonan on the Big CC Turbo/Noonan Hayabusa at 250.669. Both of these speeds were set at the November event.

    Detailed results for the season can be found at: www.scta-bni.org

    Everyone have a great holiday season and put your thinking caps on so I can report on your successesnext year.

    Dan Warner

  • Tom

    Bill Hoddinott: All right, Tom, we're getting near the end of the story but it's time for the $64,000 question, the answer to which all the Burklands fans world-wide want to know! ARE YOU GOING TO RACE YOUR STREAMLINER ANYMORE??????

    Tom Burkland: Bill, the answer to that question is... maybe. We might.. Our car has been officially timed at Bonneville at 450 mph so we know it has that potential. Our team is very proud that we have taken the FIA mile record at 415 mph, but it would be nice to have it up closer to 450.

    On the other hand, as we have said, TRACTION is our issue and any more speed depends entirely on getting the rare absolutely perfect course and weather at Bonneville, and it is SO hard to catch those times with a meet where you can run for FIA two ways. But the fact that I keep the car at my place nowadays, only 150 miles from Bonneville, does reduce the frustration of taking it down there and not being able to run it.

    Another consideration is that it is quite expensive to maintain and run this car, and the money comes out of our back pockets. More so than the cash expense is the sacrifice of the many dedicated crew members who give up their hard earned vacation time and spend their own transportation money to help us achieve these lofty goals. Mind you, not one of them has ever complained about this, in fact they look forward to it.

    There is always, of course, the safety angle hanging in the air. The FIA runs going toward I-80 can be a real courage check with almost no room for any equipment malfunction. The one hour turnaround process exposes the entire crew, not just the driver, to the safety risks of thrashing on a flaming hot car with no time to exercise caution. These factors definitely play into any decision to make another FIA record attempt at higher speeds.

    All that being said, if there was a fifteen mile hard flat surface provided by Mother Nature, you can bet we would be there to take advantage of it and go fast.

    At the moment, some of our crew guys have cars they want to run at Bonneville. And Gene is in the middle of building a vintage belly tank. He's also restoring a nice '56 Chrysler 300B.

    Bill: I well remember as a 17-year-old-kid in Minneapolis, a fellow in our neighborhood bought himself a brand-new 300B and I thought that was an absolutely gorgeous car. It still is! 354 Hemi with two four-barrels on it. Chrysler was riding high that year!

    Tom: So we'll just have to wait and see whether we take the streamliner out any more, Bill. But before we wind up this story, there's one more topic I want to cover with you that might help some other racing teams.

    That's about our 18-wheeler that everybody's seen at Bonneville. When it comes rolling in, I know most people think, "The Burklands must be multi-millionaires!"

    This transporter is about as special as the race car and comes from the same traditional backyard hot rodding approach. It looks great with Gary Stauffer's terrific paint job and those polished aluminum wheels. But here's where it really comes from. A 25-year-old Freightliner cab-over truck we bought for $4000 and a 45-foot Kentucky trailer we paid $4500 for. Both had a million miles on them when we started the rebuild process.

    We rebuilt them to reliable condition and titled and licensed them in Montana as a motorhome. Before we had this rig, we needed two one-ton pickups pulling trailers to get all our crew, equipment and race car to Bonneville. Our trip has numerous mountain passes, which were tough going up, and even tougher coming down the other side. Besides that, the pickups ate a lot of expensive fuel.

    Now, we can travel in the rig in comfort, put our car and all our equipment in it, and the gross weight is 53,000 pounds. The Freightliner was built to haul 80,000 pounds over the Rocky Mountains forever, so you see it is lightly stressed and gives good fuel economy.

    Bill: That's great, Tom. Just another example of the amazing amount of quality work and original ideas your team has produced over the years.

    But back to the question of racing the streamliner some more, if an old white-haired guy, with great respect, could comment. This topic reminds me of the memoirs of the great five-times World Grand Prix Champion road-racer Juan Manuel Fangio, which I have in the other room. He raced in the late 1940s and '50s, in the days when the cars were close to 200 mph, sometimes running on public-road courses, and the drivers had not even any lap belts in most cases, definitely no roll bars, and their helmets were pitiful by today's standards. Fire suits were un-dreamed of, even though the cars carried a lot of fuel and often caught fire in crashes. They raced in tee shirts.

    Fangio was badly hurt in one race in mid-career, out of action for months, but returned and continued for several more seasons. Finally, now in his mid-40s, he announced his retirement, returned to his native Argentina and opened up some car dealerships with his professional earnings.

    At the end of his memoirs he notes with wry amusement that fans would often come into his store to meet him and to pay their respects. This was fine, but he said some of them also seemed to feel disappointment that he had retired still alive. It was as if they felt his legend would have been more glorious if he had consummated it by a fiery death on the racetrack...

    Tom: Bill, that's a good story. We have lost some very dear friends over the years of land speed racing and hopefully some of what has been presented here will help others to not get into similar dangerous situations.

    Bill: Tom, I know all readers will agree with me that the Burklands history is an extraordinary one of tremendous efforts over many, many years, crowned with enormous achievements. An inspiring example that will live on forever at Bonneville. And I use these words with consideration and sincerity. They are not too much to say!

    I would go further and say that by rights, the Burklands should be in the Oval Office at the White House receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, for these remarkable achievements and contributions to American culture. And I would love to see a movement by your Montana Senators and Congressmen to make that happen. They are the most appropriate ones to do it!

    And, of course, many thanks to you, Betty and Gene for your hours of hard work helping to put this story together!

    Tom: Well, Bill, that's a lot to say. But thank you for it, and for your efforts on the project. Betty, Gene and I have enjoyed ourselves.


    Bill: (laughing) Tom, that's a GOOD question. No doubt about it, the Burklands are a RARE BREED!

    So what do YOU say, gentle reader?

    Copyright © 2009 Bill Hoddinott

    Back to Part 11 ____________________ The End
  • Landspeed Louise is working on a new edition of her famous "Bonneville Salt Flats" book - and is hoping for some help from us -- today's (and yesterday's, too) racers and workers at Bville. She sent the following release to me and asked that I put it up on the site. Please read through it (there's a second and third page that you'll need to click to find), and her contact information - - and most important, a list of questions which answers will give her the information she wants from each of us. Please have at it - and note the deadline, too. Thank you very much.


    to be part of

    100th Anniversary edition

    “Bonneville Salt Flats”


    “LandSpeed” Louise Ann Noeth

    Bonneville Salt Flats: the Fastest Place on Earthis 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 2011 racing season.

    This means I am looking for not only interesting highlights from each year, but also top quality photographs and speedy personal tales from the racing community.

    Every interview yields more names, more stories and more information to gather, people to contact and facts to check.

    The window of opportunity is very small.....

    In fuel classes, any approved liquid fuel may be used. Examples of approved fuels are: all alcohols and ethers, hydrogen, nitro methane blends, nitrous oxide, and unapproved gasoline.
  • Akron native Art Arfons, land-speed record breaker'Green Monster' builder icon in international drag racing

    Direct Link to orginal ArticleHere

    By Nate Ulrich
    Beacon Journal sportswriter

    Akron native and international drag racing icon Art Arfons died Monday at age 81.

    Mr. Arfons, famous for building cars called ''Green Monsters'' with his brother, Walt, was a three-time world land-speed record holder.

  • Active ImageToday, Dec. 2, 2007, the newly elected SCTA Board of Directors met to choose the Appointed Board of Directors per the SCTA Bylaws.  It was decided to "for now" scale down the board number to 12 ( with the president abstaining from voting, to avoid tie votes).  It was also decided to allow for additional members to be added as needed up to a total of 17.
  • Following is a partial list of changes to be made to Sections 1, 2 and 3 of the 2007 SCTA rulebook. These changes are a result of the SCTA Board of Directors vote at the Dec. 1, 2006 meeting. There were 16 members of the 17 person board present at the meeting.
  • $10,000 Donation Assures Historic Display
    Contact:  Michael F. Hollander, PCGCampbell, 310/224-4981 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Ah, it's just about here -- the day when we begin to write the number "2010" on each check and memo.  Let's make a couple of resolutions, one of which will be to try to quit writing "2009" on those checks by mid-May or so.  And let's really resolve to make 2010 the best, most rewarding, and safest year of racing we've each ever had.

    Many Happy Returns of the Day to everyone!

    Nancy and I hope your holiday is loaded with all of the good things you want - and no turnouts or blown engines or any of that bad stuff.

    Happy Holidays to you all!

  • The BONNEVILLE NW REUNION will be held Feb 13, 2010 at the Shilo Inn, Portland Airport property.

    The costs are the same as last year. Banquet tickets $48 and rooms $89.

    Friday night Ed Shadle will give a presentation about his F104 project.

    Glenn Freudenberger, the host, is working on several trips for Saturday AM.

    Saturdays speaker will be Bret Kepner, ESPN and Fox Sports on air personality.

    To contact Shilo Inn for rooms, call either the 800 National number or directly to the Portland number.

    The National number is 800-222-2244 and the local number is 503-212-7500. I just checked and there are rooms blocked for us.

    Make checks to Bonneville NW Reunion.

    To contact him: FREUD 11113 37th Dr SE Everett, WA. 98208

    Phone 425-422-6944.

  • Cremation has taken place under the direction of Croxford Funeral Home and Crematory. His memorial service is 2 p.m. Sunday at First United Methodist Church.
    Gene left us on Dec. 8, 2009. We expect he's gone racing with his departed friends, or is beginning another great project.
    Gene was born in Great Falls on Nov. 1, 1936, to Carl and Phyllis Burkland.
    His brother Jack died in 2004, and his sister Bonnie Flanagan lives in Missoula. In 1959, he married Betty Hunter. They have two sons; Tom and his wife Linda and daughter Carly from Ogden, Utah, and Bill and his wife Barb and sons Nick and John from Clancy. Gene grew up in Great Falls, and graduated from Great Falls High School in 1954.
    Gene began his career with the Montana Air National Guard in 1956 and worked there for nearly 30 years, welding everything from titanium aircraft parts to tricycles and red wagons. When he retired, he moved into race car production and welding/repair work at his home shop. His love affair with cars began in 1951, when he bought his first car for $7.50. After investing in a $10 piston, he was ready to roll!
    During the 1960s, his was a familiar face at drag races across Montana, first with a 1932 Ford roadster, and then with a dragster. Classics Car Club, custom show cars, stock cars and dragsters grew into a Bonneville land speed racer produced and run with the assistance of hundreds of friends. In 1971, he took his home-built Studebaker and many friends to Bonneville for the annual Speed Week. He set a national record in 1978 at 255 mph, becoming the first Montanan in the exclusive Bonneville 200 MPH Club. His next car put his son Tom into the 200 MPH Club. Since 1986, Gene, Betty and Tom have been building and racing their streamliner. They set a National Speed Record in October 2004 at 417 mph and a World Speed Record in September of 2008 at 416 mph.
    Gene's life revolved around the love of his family and the friends he accumulated through his skill and creativity in welding, his love of cars and curiosity about everything. He was a magnet who drew people to his garage and he had that stubborn streak needed to see an idea through to the end.
    He began battling his lung disease in earnest in 1997. We're glad he's finally breathing easy, but we'll miss his ever-present smile.
    In lieu of flowers, please bring or send your favorite picture of you and Gene to Croxford Funeral Home, 1307 Central Ave. Great Falls, MT 59401.
    Donations can be made to "Save the Salt" c/o Russ Eyres, 3673 Millikin Ave., San Diego, CA 92122.
    Condolences may be posted online at www.croxfordfuneralhome.com and/or www.gftribune.com/obituaries.
  • The Utah Salt Flats Racing Association held its annual awards banquet Saturday evening, the fifth of December, at the Rainbow in West Wendover, Nevada. At least a half-dozen record torphies were handed out, and awards for many of the USFRA volunteers were made, too. The banquet featured a fine meal (that's why it's called a "banquet" not a feeding trough) - and a fine set of videos showing lakes racing from back in the 50s and 60s was playing during the social hour. The video gave mosgt everyone something to chat about as it proceeded. Chief Starter Monte Widdison played his usual role as Camshaft the Great and attempted to be entertaining at the same time he was being tall. He succeeded in the tall part, at least. . .

    Some outstanding achievements that were honored included Joe Amo's fastest mile speed -- of 272.610 miles per hour -- on a sit-on bike! Joe (who wasn't able to attend the gala event) was awarded the Jeff-Decker made "Flat Out at Bonneville" trohpy showing the iconic lakes racing image -- Rollie Free on his Vincent wearing just a swimming suit and shower cap, lying on his belly on the bike (in his attempt to get it over 150 mph). Congratulations from everyone, Joe.

    Jeff Decker's brass work "The Larsen-Cummins Streamliner" was awarded to owner Don Nuss and driver Scott Norris, whose A/FS was the fastest car at the meet - with a best mile speed of 337.187. They also earned Skip Higginbotham's "Fastest Quarter Speed" award. Skip and the award were stuck in Pahrump - so all we got to see was a photo version of the award.

    And then there's my favorite, Nancy Wennerberg, also known as Mrs. Seldom Seen Slim. (Disclaimer: Nancy's my wife so I get to brag about her, hey?) She not only received a trophy for her 202.307 record in the 1650 CC Production (motorcycle) class, but also, thanks to her fastest mile speed of 204.051, earned the Bud McManus-sponsored "Fast Lady Competitor of the Meet" trophy. The award is a 3-D laser-engraved crystal block. It's a bugger to get a good flash photo, so please be patient and I'll eventually take a good available-light shot so you can see this way cool trophy. Nancy joins a select group of lady racerrs, including Rhonnie Vesco, Betty Burkland, Mary West, and Kris Wright, that have been given this trophy. Nancy is the first racer to have won the trophy while riding a motorcycle.

    The USFRA banquet featured quite a bit of entertainment, good food, good words, and best wishes from many -- including USFRA President Jim Burkdoll. He asked that members of the Bonneville 200 MPH Club who were in the room introduce themselves and tell one and all the year that they entered and the speed of their record that got them into the club -- so all four of us in the room did so. And then Jim went on to wish all the racers the best of luck and perseverance in their efforts to get into the Club and to set new records. It was a fine get-together to end the 2009 racing season - and set the stage for 2010. We'll see you on the Salt!

    By the way, if you'd like to see photos and join in the commentary about this event, please go to the L S R Forums section of this website and click on the "World of Speed 2009" topic.
  • The Utah Salt Flats Racing Association held its annual awards banquet tonight (5 December 2009) at the Rainbow Casino in West Wendover, Nevada. At least a half-dozen record trophies were handed out, and awards for many of the USFRA volunteers were made, too. The banquet featured a fine meal and a great set of videos showing lakes racing from back in the 50s and 60s was playing during the social hour giving most everyone something to chat about as it proceeded. Chief starter Monte Widdison held forth as the Great Camshaft (I think thats what he called himself) and attempted to be entertaining at the same time he was being tall. He succeeded in the tall part, at least. Some outstanding achievements that were honored included Joe Amos fastest mile of 272.610 miles per hour - on a sit-on bike! Joe (who wasnt able to attend the gala event) was awarded the Jeff Decker-made Flat Out at Bonneville trophy, depicting Rollie Frees famous 150+mph run wearing only a bathing suit and shower cap. The visual is probably THE iconic visual image of land speed racing. Congratulations, Joe. Jeff Deckers brass work The Larsen-Cummins Streamliner was awarded to owner Don Nuss and driver Scott Norris whose A/FS was the fastest car at the meet with a best mile speed of 337.187 mph. They also earned Skip Higginbothams Fastest Quarter Speed award. Skip and the award were stuck in Pahrump so all we got was a photo version of the plaque. And then theres the local favorite (as far as Im concerned cause Nancys my wife). Nancy Wennerberg, also known as Mrs. Seldom Seen Slim, not only received a trophy for her 201++ mph record in the 1650cc Production motorcycle class but also, thanks to her fast mile of 204.051, earned the Fast Lady of the Meet award sponsored by Bud McManus. The award is a 3-D laser-engraved crystal block thats a bugger to get a good photo using flash. Ill eventually take an available light shot so you can see this way cool trophy. Nancy joins a very select group of lady racers including Betty Burkland, Mary West, Rhonnie Vesco and Kris Wright that have earned the award. Nancy is the first racer to win riding a motorcycle. The USFRA banquet featured quite a bit of entertainment, good food, and good words and best wishes from Jim Burkdoll, the president of the USFRA. He asked that members of the Bonneville 200 MPH Club who were in the room introduce themselves and so all four of us did so. And then Jim went on to wish all racers the best of luck and perseverance in their efforts to get into the Club in the future. It was a fine get-together to end the 2009 racing season and set the stage for 2010. Well see you on the Salt! PS: The website is kind of clunky about having me post photos on the home page (where youre reading this story) so follow this link (or just go to the World of Speed section of the Bonneville section of the Forum on landracing.com. http://www.landracing.com/forum/index.php/topic,6756.345.html
  • Mojave Mile website is up -- Reserve your grid spot!

    New post by Mike Borders » Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:54 pm

    We are now taking reservations this week for grid slots. Entry forms aren't quite ready yet but will be soon. The Rule Book is available for on-line reading and download. Contact info is on the website, and I'll repeat the office phone number here: 702-614-6108.

    When the entry forms are ready, we will start at the top of our reservation list and take entry deposits, which will get you an entry packet. Group Leaders wanting to enter their teams should have all team member's names and key info handy when calling in. (Name, address, phone, email, and car/bike description.)

    Please help spread the word by notifying all of your forums and friends.

    See you in March!

    Mike B
  • Repeat the Feat
    El Mirage 2008

    After John Noonan & Bob Moreland made history last year as the only team to capture both the points championships for cars and bikes for the SCTA points Championship they decided to once again try for glory and repeat the feat in 2008 as well.

    This year started off great....
  • Historic record runs captured by motorsports partnership.

    SPEED Channel will broadcast the WORLD’S FASTEST MOTORCYCLE in 2 one hour segments on December 3,  and 10th 2006 at 3:00 PM eastern time.  Check your local cable or satellite provider for exact air time in your area.

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