Why do we love cars? Why is it that we know nearly every make and model of vehicle on the road? Why is it that the sound of an Italian V8 or the low-down grumble of old muscle cars excites us? There are many answers to those simple, thought provoking questions.
Some of us love the automotive world because of the engineering aspect. It can be easy to have the best time of your life working under the hood of your favorite car. Some love their beauty and the way artists have sculpted such brilliant shapes. We love them because of the freedom and speed they represent.
Luckily for people like us, there are events that can give us that sense of speed and the freedom to drive as fast we want with no laws to worry about. Two events that are coming up allow anybody to come and take their machines to the limit. The Texas Mile 324 and the World of Speed 2010 at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
UPDATE 08/26/2010: This article has been updated to include another top speed event. Check out the information on the Mojave Mile!
Hit the jump to read on.
The Texas Mile
The Texas Mile started in 2003 and has grown like wild fire. People come from all around the United States and Mexico to try and take their cars to the absolute limits on the fastest and one of the most challenging mile runs in the country.
Drivers flatten the pedal for a one-mile run to see how fast they can get their machines to go. After the mile is up, they have a half-mile in to slow down and come to a stop. It doesn’t matter who you are either. This event was made for driving enthusiasts, motorcycles, street cars, racing cars, and land speed racers. Basically, all are welcome to take the mile test.
Of course, there are rules that must be followed. In order to get on the list you must register online and pay a non-refundable fee. Once open slots come up, you will be notified and are able to participate.
The mile run will take place on October 22nd through October 24th in Goliad Country Seat in south Texas. That is 45 miles southwest of Victoria and 152 miles from Houston. The actual event will take place at an airstrip on Airpark Road. The waiting list is getting full so be sure to hurry. If you can’t sign up, don’t worry, there’s always next time.
Salt Flats of Utah
If you live on the west coast, Utah might be a closer drive than Texas. The Utah Salt Flats Racing Association is hosting the World of Speed at the legendary Bonneville Salt Flats in September. If you choose to wait until next year, the Southern California Timing Association will host their own speed week in August.
For those of you who are unaware of Salt Flats, here is some neat information. The Salt Flats are a densely packed saltpan in northwestern Utah and it’s the largest of all the flats around the Great Salt Lakes. The smooth surfaces are perfect for speed runs at the Bonneville Speedway. The Speedway is located neat Wendover, Utah and is 10 miles long.
The event will take place between September 15th through the 18th and you must sign up very soon. You can visit the USFRA club website to fill out an entry form and a car and motorcycle inspection form.
Last year, a few drivers really hit some super speeds, with the fastest being 308.492 miles per hour. We doubt that your production cars will be able to hit those speeds, but cracking 150 shouldn’t be tough for some.
If you’re looking for lodging there are four good hotels in the area. There is a Best Western, a Days Inn, an Econo Lodge, and a Super 8 Motel. They might not be as fancy as the Ritz Carlton, but it doesn’t really matter when you’re on the flats all day.
To get to the Speedway, take Exit 4 off I-80. Proceed North on Salt Flats Rd for 1.2 miles, then turn East at "The Bend in the Road" (stay on the only paved road). After that, just proceed East for 2.7 miles to the end of the road.
Sometimes we think Californians get to have all the fun. Except, of course, for their insane emission laws and crazy police officers that will take your vehicle away if they suspect it’s modified. Let’s not forget their traffic as well. Actually, we don’t think that at all.
To try and break the normal routine of hour-long traffic delays, speed lovers can head to the Mojave Air and Space Port, a private airfield in the sand filled desert. The wonderful speed facility has a 12,000’ runway that will allow drivers to hit speeds of 250 miles per hour, if their car can go that fast. The event is very similar to the Texas Mile, as this isn’t a "max your car out run". The chances of you being able to max out your road car in one mile is very slim, so this is more of a longer quarter mile test.
The event is open to all cars and motorcycles, just be sure you have a fire extinguisher, and the organizers hope to host an event a few times a year. Please be aware that there are different rules for different machines, such as convertibles and motorcycles. This year’s event will be taking place on September 25 through the 26. Visit the Mojave Mile website, or call (661) 824 2433, for more details.
If you live on the eastern seaboard, there are groups that will cater to your speed needs. The East Coast Timing Association holds functions at Maxton, North Carolina.
The North Carolina event takes place at a World War II air base runway. The course is one mile in length and it has a concrete surface. If you like speed and live on the east coast, join up with the ECTA. It will only cost you $50 per year and you will be able to get into all these events for free.
No matter which event you want to attend, be sure to stay safe, drink plenty of water, and have a blast.