Another year has gone down in the record books for speed demons on the salt flats. The Sport of Land speed racing is very eclectic! If you have not made the trip out to the Bonneville Salt flats and your a auto racing enthusiast, You have to put it on your bucket list! You will not regret it! To see so many cars and people dwarfed in the vast space of the flats is simply Awesome. The engineering, style, diversity of people and cars alike, charged by passion of young guns and Old timers thrashing away to find any extra speed is special. The pits of Team Swampwitch embodies the image of what makes this form of racing so interesting.
This year Team Swampwitch took a break, as several team members worked on other projects. The break was nice but now the pot is stirring for the makings of a great 2014 Speedweek. The diesel class is becoming more competitive with the addition of new cars, trucks and racers. We are happy to see a few records attempted this year in the diesel class and hear the makings of a Great World Finals in October. For those new to this sport, World Finals is another event sanctioned by SCTA-BNI. To see the full schedule please visit http://www.scta-bni.org/events.html.
Diesel engines run without a spark plug to ignite the gas or oil. This is accomplished by high compression, air, and diesel fuel. There is not an ignition system that creates a spark like in gasoline engines and why the term dieseling is used to describe a gas engine that continues to run for a short period after the ignition is turned off. Dean and Eric contemplated multiple ways to resolve the challenge. The final solution, an adapter and valving that will allow the driver to cut off the diesel supply to the engine should something go wrong. This gives Eric the confidence to push the worlds fastest diesel in the E/DS class to new records. Come out to Bonneville for an exciting time August 11-17.
As we all know sometimes things just don’t work out on the salt the way things worked at home. Mallo racing 2011 roadster was no different. Steve and Dave had done their home work thru the off season rebuilding and running the Cummins 4bt on a dyno in Iowa. McClain met up with them at the salt on Saturday. After unloading, setting up the pit area and tech, racing began. The first pass the engine had just a tick to much water being injected so after downloading all the information the changes were made to reduce the water and on the next pass the engine started making a little to much power and spun the car around. Back to tech it went then back to the pits! Checked engine and made a few changes without noticeable results. The Roadster continued to have a problem with spinning out. Thankfully, Mike Clothier and all his circle track experience aided in squaring up the chassis assisted by Mike Sodon, Steve, Jerry, and Dave. Caster and the rear weight changes helped the car progress as did the week.
Steve decided that it would be a real good idea to start using the chute and become comfortable with the feel of it. This would also make Jerry Bristol a chute packing expert. Jerry can now pack a chute in about 2 min. Now that has to be some kind of record in itself? With the car having Gobs of Cummins Power and going straighter, Steve became more confident but the race week came to a close. No huge speeds were attained but success was found in making this car go straight and having the traction and the ability to handle the power that this little 4bt Cummins puts out. Till next year!
Patrick Dempsey discusses "Boys of Bonneville" from Price Museum of Speed on Vimeo.
Get your copy of the film at http://pricemuseumofspeed.org/pages/?page_id=10
Spring has brought out the Fever for Speed. No where can this be felt more abundantly then by spectators of the latest Auto racing film; Boys of Bonneville Racing on a Ribbon of Salt. Team Swampwitch is excited and very supportive of this upcoming film about Ab Jenkins and his Quest, Endurance, and Great Character of accomplishing several World Records (which he still holds). The film will be shown at various Film Festivals starting next week April 13 at the Sarasota Film Festival. His Car, Mormon Meteor, has been restored and on display at the Price Museum of Speed in Utah.
Update: DVD is now available.
Purchase yours at http://www.boysofbonneville.com/
Screening also Scheduled in Wendover for Speedweek August 14th!
The week started with some challenges for the Team traveling from Tacoma, Washington. They had two flat tires and after a stop at Les Schwab Tire Co., and a night stay in Boise Idaho, they finally made it to the World famous Salt Flats in Wendover, Utah. The first pass McClain said "something is wrong! We have no power and the engine is missing". That run only toped 119 mph leading some of the crew and Paulson's Complete Auto repair teammates to believe the new water injection system could be cause for some of the power plant problems. However after a second run at 123 mph it was then pinpointed to be a fuel problem. The Team was puzzled but confident that the H&H Diesel built fuel pump would be a large part of helping them meet their goal this year. After identifying this problem and finding its culprit; a banjo fitting limiting the fuel supply, the team ran a qualifying run at 164.057 MPH breaking the current record. On the backup run the following morning the Swampwitch locked in the new world record by running 165.628MPH setting the record at 164.842MPH. This fourth run was bitter sweet as Team Swampwitch was excited to push the record up but unfortunately they had overheated and broke some critical components for which they didn’t have backup parts.
The week ended early but we feel accomplished said Crew Chief Dean Conway as we improved from the prior year. This is only the second year for which the team has been racing a 4BT Cummins engine and the streamliner class. Bonneville Salt Flats Speed week 2010 ends tomorrow Friday August 20th. For more details you can visit SCTA-BNI.
In early part of 2000's Eric along with several racing friends finished building the swamp witch. The car would be a very long tubular chassis with a slender aerodynamic design that could be used with large or small engines. Dean Conway, a prior Nascar crew chief and short track racer designed the independent front end and assisted with much of the cars construction. The car originally started in the A/Gas Lakester class with a big block Chevy. With a big Thank you to the volunteer team of Pam Bennet, David Hyder, Josh Stange, David Trap, Tom Jensen, Dean and Shane Conway; Eric was able to go 218MPH.
After a few years of development and some influence from others Eric had the interest in moving to the Streamliner Diesel class. Dean and Shane began the work to build fairings for the rear wheels making it legal to enter the class. The engine was also changed to a small cummins 4bt to officially enter the E/DS class. In 2009 Team Swampwitch brought home a new Land Speed Record for this Diesel Streamliner class at over 156MPH. They are looking to enter the 2010 Speedweek at the salt flats and move the record up. Best of luck to the Team.