Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Salt Tails Part One: Being famous for the wrong reasons

I have not made the great trek to the salt of Bonneville myself yet, but to those who know what I am talking about they will understand my feelings about it.  

Every hot rodder plans to go at some point, I am no exception.  

The funny thing is even without going yet the salt has touched my life.  I have a few "Salt Tails" that I will be putting up on my blog from time to time.  

First up is my buddy that got his 15 minutes of fame (so far) upside down. 

My good buddy has an uncle that is in the 200 MPH club.  He and his uncle are eat up with all things SCTA and now he has salt in his blood.  

He started going out with his uncle to the Bonneville Salt Flats and it was decided that a family tradition should continue and the goal was to get him also in the 200 MPH club.

My buddy drove the very same Camaro his uncle drove to get his record.  The first year they went back out in it they made a good stab at getting him ready for the big run.  

The next year Hot Rod Magazine was running a Camaro in the same class and he and his uncle were doing a good job of making the Hot Rod car play catch up.

He could have possible ended up in the 200 MPH club but lady luck decided to get fickle.  

An ill wind lifted the car and that was that.

The event was filmed and tends to be shown over and over again on the net and in videos about Bonneville.

Now, being his buddy I give him a hard time for the wipe out.  In all seriousness I am glad he walked away and it has not scared him in the slightest bit.  He will continue racing.  

The problem is thanks to that video he gets labeled a fool or a driver going beyond his skill level, mostly by bench racers that never have been on and will never race on the salt.  The salt is a mysterious thing and from all accounts you have to do it to understand it.

Strangers will sometimes mention when they see him that he is the guy they saw on YouTube or some other nonsense.  Some people have actually said some pretty lame things about him to me knowing we are close friends and it amazes me considering they know little about that they speak of.

This is all negative foo foo.  But from his incident I have seen an amazing thing.

The amazing and awesome thing is the community of people who run at Bonneville.  

Not one of them have ever said an ill word about the event other than "when are you going back?"

The Hot Rod guys that day he was running against being class acts asked him how he was.  

From what he told me everybody checked on him and treated him like a good friend.

In the time since the accident I have seen famous people who run at Bonneville and 200 MPH club red hat wearers come up to him and start talking salt with him out of the blue at car shows.

The salt community has grown over the years and yet it is still a community of people who all seem to remember each other and act like they have all known each other for years.  

They are a rare breed and something special.  

My buddy should be going for another try with his uncle this year.  A new Camaro is almost ready to roll.

Below are some pics of that day that has made him sorta famous for the wrong reasons to the wrong people and bound him even more to a brotherhood of sorts.

If you can ever make it to the salt, go!  

Yes, I know...strange words from somebody that has not, but I have seen the community and the sport at it's best and even if I never make it one must appreciate it! 

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