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Bonneville Salt Flats Good To Hold Speed Week Races This Year

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iStockphoto.com - rez-art

Conditions at the Bonneville Salt Flats are good enough to support Speed Week races for the first time in three years.

Over the past two years organizers have canceled the event because of mud and rough salt. Bill Lattin is president of the Southern California Timing Association. That’s the group responsible for organizing the speed week races.

“It’s just a little sad that we’ve missed a couple years now, 2014 was a bad year" he says. "We were 100 percent setup, ready to race, and then mother nature rained so much that it was impossible to conduct any kind of speed trials.”

The mining company Intrepid Potash takes some of the salt by-product from its operations and pumps it back onto the Salt Flats. Lattin says the salt pumped out last year was bumpy and only created a thin layer of salt over the mud. This year the salt is strong enough to prepare a race track.

“I think the salt that’s been pumped out there is thicker now so we’re able to break off the high spots and fill the low spots and smooth it out better” he says.

Dennis Sullivan is the President of the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association. His race is planned for September, but he had to cancel a test and tune run earlier this summer because some of the areas on the Salt were too wet.

“It’s very fragile, the salt is quite thin, and with the number of vehicles we would have, we'd have support vehicles and crews and stuff" he says, "we felt it would be detrimental to the salt itself to have that many vehicles go over the wet fragile salt.”

Sullivan says as the weather warms up and the water disperses the salt will get harder and be safer to race on. 

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