Danny: You know, we're still trying to evaluate it, but we lost the drive shaft and it took a tire out and, you know, that took a whole bunch of other stuff out. We were at 415 mph when it went, so we had a hell of a ride.
SCG: What kind of engine does it have?
Danny: The car now has Brad Anderson aluminum block Hemis. So, it's a drag race combination, but they're injected. So, in drag racing, it would be A-Fuel. They are 500 cubic inches and injected and 2500 hp running on nitro.
SCG: Now, how many times have you gone out there to Bonneville yourself? Did you grow up out there?
Danny: The first time I was there was probably 1964 or 1965. But, I didn't start racing there until, I think, '99. That's because I was doing other things: Indy car stuff, road race stuff and all sorts of off road stuff. So, I finally got back to realizing that land speed racing is probably the coolest form of motorsports. It took me a while to figure that out. I should have figured it out earlier, but I didn't.
SCG: Did you have backing this year or did you race on an out-of-pocket basis?
Danny: Mostly I had Concrete Plants. Inc., from New York and Mickey Thompson Tires and at the very end of the year United Health Care and Ball Watches came on as sponsors. We had some help for sure, but not enough. But, that was last year and this is a new year. Right now we have Concrete Plants, Inc., for sure and we have Ball Watches, but that's about it as far as definites.
SCG: Did the Bonneville racers have a meeting here at PRI this year?
Danny: Not that I know of. They were at the SEMA Show. Unfortunately, I missed the meeting at SEMA. I didn't realize it was happening. Tom Birkland is from Ogden, Utah and he's involved and I saw him here at PRI; he was at the Danko Wind Tunnel booth.
SCG: Do you think that racers are going to be able to keep running at Bonneville?
Danny: That's a hard thing to speak to. The issue of deteriorating salt needs to be addressed more aggressively and Save the Salt and the Utah Salt Coalition are doing so, but we need more help on the Federal level. SEMA is trying to do some of that, but we really need some help on the level of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to convince the BLM that the salt is actually going away. They don't seem to be convinced that the salt is deteriorating. So, those things need to be addressed more aggressively.
SCG: I heard that the Salt Flats just won the 2016 International Historic Motoring Awards Lifetime Achievement Award as a tribute to over 100 years of inspirational achievements in a unique location.
Danny: I was going to go to that (ceremony) but they didn't call me until the week before the event and I was out of town. By the time I got all the information it was a little too late and a little too costly to go.
SCG: You'd think that Ford would jump on your streamliner project because they just had the 1966 and 2016 winning GT40s at SEMA.
Danny: Well, I would hope that Ford would hop on my project because they were the only one involved with this car initially in 1968. It was a Ford-Autolite project at the time. But, they have not (come aboard). We have asked them once. So, that's all right. We're doing it whether anyone comes on board or not. It's happening. It's because of the passion about Bonneville; the passion about trying to get and keep that record and the passion about trying to continue to be the world's fastest piston-engine car.