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'Unique' Speed Week at Bonneville Salt Flats wraps up

By Morgan Wolfe, KSL TV | Posted - Aug. 15, 2020 at 5:55 p.m.

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WENDOVER — As we slow the spread, drivers at the Bonneville Salt Flats were speeding up towards setting land speed records.

The 72nd Speed Week just wrapped up, and it was one for the books.

“Well it’s sad,” said Speed Demon racer George Poteet. “Attendance is about half of what it is normally.”

Poteet is a legend amongst racers at the Salt Flats as he is celebrating 25 years of racing streamliners. This year, racing during the pandemic, is one he will never forget.

Neither will the people who drove across the country to attend, including the Purdy family. They drove out from Iowa and were happy the event wasn’t canceled.

Another attendee from California said it was a perfect day for racing.

“The weather has been nice and dry,” Michael Beam said.

Beam is an engineer who helped create what he calls the world’s fastest Tesla. They cracked a record close to 200 miles per hour on the 3-mile track.

Speed Demon broke a record on the 5-mile track whizzing up to 445 mph.

“Generally it is a nice, quiet ride. No stereo or air conditioning,” Poteet joked. “You sit there until the five mile marker and pull the parachute.”

Just as quickly as people raced to Utah for Speed Week, they were racing out.

The event saw around 200 racers this year, compared to an average 500.


Morgan Wolfe


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