Views & Notes: November 2015 Edition | Performance Racing Industry
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Views & Notes: November 2015 Edition
By Dan Schechner on November 13, 2015

* Save The Salt: On the heels of a breakthrough meeting between land speed racing advocates and stakeholder groups in early fall, Save The Salt Coalition chairman (and SEMA chairman) Doug Evans declared, “We are finally at the starting line in the race to save Bonneville.”

In fact, the significance of this mid-September gathering at the famed Salt Flats cannot be overstated—nor should its urgency. Four of the five major racing events held annually at the BSF were cancelled in 2015 due to weather and deteriorating conditions. And while Mother Nature will behave as it pleases, conflicting reports over who is responsible for the dwindling Salt Flats—and even whether they actually are dwindling—have resulted in precious little progress toward preserving this National Historic Landmark.

That is, until members of the Save The Salt Coalition and the Utah Alliance (land speed racers with in-state connections) led government officials, mine operators, geologists, engineers and others on a tour of the area and follow-up powwow to begin laying out tangible action items, including brine pumping, targeted dry salt laydowns, and easing mud contamination.

Picking up the baton—and sure to provide lively debate—will be a panel discussion at the 2015 PRI Trade Show called “Opportunities in Land Speed Racing,” in which yours truly will engage some of the leading figures in LSR today about the state of the salt, how to get involved, and efforts currently underway to help restore this sanctuary of speed for generations to come. We encourage you to join us from 8–9 a.m. on Saturday, December 12, in Room 239 of the Indiana Convention Center.

* Double Down With The Musis: Without question, Pat Musi has propelled himself—and his ultra-successful Pat Musi Racing Engines—into drag racing’s upper class. Musi, who founded Pat’s Speed Shop way back in 1970, would transform his small speed shop into a race engine-building empire, whose clientele over the ensuing several decades would win countless races, events and championships.

In step with her legendary father is Lizzy Musi, president of Musi Enterprises and a record-breaking pilot in Pro Nitrous, where she recently became the first female to run 201 mph in the 1/8-mile.

What’s more, we’ll have both on stage for a special presentation at PRI 2015 to discuss how this iconic company operates, how Pat and Lizzy view the current racing landscape, what the future holds for their business, and much more. This can’t-miss seminar, offered free of charge for Trade Show attendees, takes place on Friday, December 11, from 8–9 a.m. in Room 242 of the Indiana Convention Center. Be sure to arrive early, as seating is limited!

* 'Mile' Marker: It was a final-episode-of-Cheers-type moment at the Super DIRT Week finale last month when Stewart Friesen took the checkered flag in the 44th running of the Syracuse 200 at the New York State Fairgrounds. While the 32-year-old Friesen pocketed $50,000 for the win—hey, someone had to do it—he also helped lower the curtain on one of racing’s most cherished venues.

The “Moody Mile” was among just a handful of mile-long dirt ovals remaining in the US, and its 110-plus years of auto racing history covers names like Andretti, Bettenhausen, Flock, Foyt, Kinser, Johnson, Petty, Unser and many others.

To help preserve the Mile’s memory, the International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen, New York, is hosting a daylong program on Saturday, November 14, that will highlight the track’s past while looking ahead to the future of Super DIRT Week in Central New York. The day’s activities, which are free and open to the public, will include a live radio broadcast, panel discussions, display cars and much more.

“Anybody who has been a fan of the Syracuse Mile ought to be there, because a lot of stories and memories will be shared,” said radio personality and track announcer Joe Marotta. “It’s going to be like visiting an old friend.” More information is available at www.racingarchives.org.

About the Author
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Dan Schechner is the Editor of Performance Racing Industry Magazine.
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