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Racers disappointed as Bonneville Salt Flats rain washes out Speed Week

Posted at 5:49 PM, Aug 08, 2022

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah — A favorite event of speed demons everywhere was called off after a large amount of rain that submerged the historic Bonneville Salt Flats in western Utah over the weekend.

What was supposed to be a week of speed and excitement turned into one of disappointment as the rains turned the area into a lake  The rain left water extending out for miles in every direction, leaving Speed Week officials to cancel this year's event.

Race directors said there was no way the flats were going to dry out in time to get any runs.

"It's tough. We come out here once a year and for terrain like this and cancel our, our trip it's a little bit disappointing," said racer Brian Hope.

Hope was one of many participants that have had to cancel their plans.

"We've been doing this a long time. So we've been through these rainouts before," added Hope. "This is the worst one we've ever experienced."

Ted Higginbottom with M2K Motorsports drove over 1,900 miles from Texas to race on the salt flats, only to hear the bad news.

"I feel bad for the, specially the [Southern California Timing Association," said Higginbottom.

The M2K Motorsports team was looking forward to debuting a new car at speed week.

"We just actually finished it two days before we left to come out here, we're very disappointed that we're not gonna get to race," Higginbottom said.

With all the mud and salt, many trucks and RVs were covered in dirt and needing a wash. That's where local high school cheerleaders come in for their main fundraiser.

The group is out here every year to raise money for cheerleading uniforms, but without races, there are no vehicles to wash.

Local hotels are also bearing the brunt of the cancellation.

"We're just kind of sad," said Wendover Nugget general manager Keith Frayne.

The hotel is home base for a lot of speed week festivities, and Frayne knows how much the event means for the town.

"it definitely is a huge, if not the biggest week that we look forward to all year as a community and city." explained Frayne. "The restaurants, the gas station everyone prospers from this weekend."

Despite the bad news, racers said they be back next year, with Higginbottom echoing the sentiment of many heading out of town.

"I understand itis Mother Nature, it's not anything you can do about it."