By on July 21, 2015

Cheese Car at Bonneville courtesy of

The Southern California Timing Association announced Tuesday that its annual Speed Week, held at the Bonneville Salt Flats near Salt Lake City, will be canceled this year. Officials said poor conditions meant they could only find 2.5 miles of usable salt, far less than the 7 miles needed for the race.

The decision came down one day earlier than expected, and a little more than a week after officials canceled an earlier event at the salt flats for the same reason.

Race officials said nearby salt mining operations have deteriorated salt conditions at the famed flats. Officials say future races could be canceled if the flats aren’t protected.

Last year’s Speed Week event was canceled due to flooding. According to organizers, it would be the first time in recent memory the race has been canceled in back-to-back years.

“It’s just too dangerous,” said SCTA spokeswoman JoAnn Carlson. “Everything else around is damp and muddy, which is awful for us.

“Last year, we were devastated. It was the most horrible thing that I could remember happening to the course. This year was a disappointment … It’s been many, many, many years since this has happened — if it ever has,” she added.

Carlson said the association will host the World Finals on Sept. 29-Oct. 2 at the salt flats if conditions improve.

The Truth About Cars’ Salt Lake City bureau is reporting that weather is 82 and sunny today.

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6 Comments on “Speed Week 2015 Canceled Due to Poor Salt Conditions...”

  • avatar

    Can a random guy like me show up there randomly and drive my car as fast as I’d like? Or is that stupid because it’s 1) illegal, 2) incredibly dangerous, or 3) incredibly corrosive and hard on the vehicle?

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, you can…at your risk.

      I did in the 1990s with my 1986 Chevrolet Celebrity during one of my summer road trips through the American West. The scenery and driver’s vantage point are one of the most amazing visual experiences in my life. I felt so humbled by the sheer size and beauty.

      That day, countless number of thin rods about four or five feet tall were placed at regular interval on both sides as to set up a ‘lane’. I drove through the ‘lane’ for thirty minutes, not knowing how long the ‘lane’ was, before making a long loop back to the starting point.

      I had no idea how fast I went since the speedometer only registered up to 85 mph in my Chevrolet (I knew it went up to 110 mph or so).

      After I returned to the starting point, I had to shovel the door open because so much salt was caking up on the lower body. The salt accumulation had consistency of thick glaze on donuts. The wheel wells had about two inches or so of salt coating. I visited the car wash in West Wendover, Nevada. I spent lot of time on my knees and lot of quarters, spraying the salt away.

      It’s worth visiting, and if the condition permits, you ought to drive on salt flat…

      By the way, be sure to visit the vantage point near West Wendover where you can actually see the curvate of earth.

      • 0 avatar

        I was sent on business trip last summer to Elko Nevada. Landed in SLC and drove out to Elko and you are correct. Driving through the salt flats is incredible. On the return trip to SLC I stopped at the entrance to the flats and the shear vastness of the space was a bit overwhelming. Might as well have been on another planet.

      • 0 avatar

        Oliver Twist…awesome, thank you

  • avatar

    One of the very few things remaining on my bucket list. Hope it lasts.

  • avatar

    It’s not every day that car enthusiasm and conservationism coincide. I suppose this’ll come down to the BLM vs. the nearby mining operation?

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