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words/photos Justin Baas


It’s been decades since the SCTA has ventured out of the standard El Mirage/ Bonneville program but with bad salt conditions and mother nature knocking out about half the El Mirage meets over the last year it was time to try something new. Back in the 50’s/60’s the SCTA held a series of half mile drag races at Riverside International Raceway, then it was a way to get some extra racing in, but this event at Mojave was, for some the only way to get any racing in. Every year dozens of vehicles get shipped from all around the world with hopes of breaking records at Bonneville. Prepping a car/bike to run, then shipping it from Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Germany, England, Russia, etc. isn’t cheap, add the cost to fly the crew over, Bonneville entry fees, rental truck/trailers, non refundable hotels in Wendover, gas, and the always unplanned expenses that pop up and it’s thousands of dollars, sometimes tens of thousands, just to make an attempt to run down the flats.

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Being a racer run organization the SCTA could understand what a burden it could be when the races get cancelled last minute, for some teams the one shot is all they’ll get, and with a rain out two years in a row a few of the officials decided it was time to look for an alternative. With very limited options and not a lot of time to plan the Mojave Mile was put to good use. The event wasn’t huge, and there wouldn’t be any records, but it gave everyone the option to get out and crank on the gas pedal all day.

I had never been to the venue before and decided to just head out as a spectator instead of dragging the car along, the first thing you notice is it’s clean, which just didn’t seem right? So used to having El Mirage dust find its way into every orifice, or spend days cleaning the salt off, the track at Mojave is simply a asphalt runway, clean, dry, pretty smooth and one real nice thing is it stays consistent, no running in someone else’s groove, or loose dirt/salt patches after a day of abuse. If another event is held there think I may have to find some slicks and swap the gears and give it a go.

For now here’s a few shots of the event, since the event didn’t have the spectator draw of Bonneville there’s plenty of SCTA merchandise still available. Check out there webstore and buy a new event t shirt to go with your Hop Up gear.

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