It's Good to be the King

The Battle To Be The Fastest On Gas

KEEPING TABS ON THE ACTION

One of my life passions is land speed racing. Once again, I’m unable to attend Speed Week at Bonneville in person, but don’t think that I’m not keeping a close eye on the action. Because I can’t be there, I’m constantly searching on my phone for any news from the event. My phone rings all day long from friends who are there in Bonneville either racing or spectating. Even with all of this, it’s still not good enough. I’m bummed because I’m missing what might be the best Speed Week in decades. The salt hasn’t been this good in years, and along with the great weather, speed records are being smashed. No existing record is safe at 2018 Speed Week!

A view of the course at the 2018 Bonneville Speed Week

SOUTH VS. NORTH

There’s one battle that I’m following closely. It’s the quest to be the FASTEST gasoline powered vehicle on the planet. This crown is being contested by two Californians from opposite ends of the state, and it’s seriously huge. Representing Southern California is Rick Yacoucci. Rick has set over 80 speed records at El Mirage and Bonneville in his race car, aptly named “Nebulous Theorem.” Through the years, Rick has had one main goal. He wants to go faster than anyone else has gone before on gasoline. In a sleek car built by his partner in crime Jack Costella, Rick and “Nebulous Theorem” have dominated every class they have competed in. For this year, Rick armed it with 260ci of turbocharged small block Chevy power to compete in the “E/BGS” class.

Rick Yacoucci and the Nebulous Theorem get ready to make a run at the 2018 Speed Week

Representing Northern California, Ed Umland is another seriously talented racer who also has his eyes on this same goal as Rick. Ed built every inch of his polished aluminum beauty in his small business named Eddie’s Chop Shop in Orangevale, California. The car is powered by a 439ci turbocharged LS engine that puts him in the “B/BGS” class.

Ed Umland gets ready to make a run at the 2018 Bonneville Speed Week.

ED FIRES THE FIRST SHOT

For the “Fastest on Gas” title, Ed fired the first shot. On Sunday, he ran 369.162mph, beating the old record of 308.816mph.  Ed now owns the “B” record, but it came at a price. The record run torched the cylinder head, putting Ed on the sidelines. Even still, Ed topped the old record by an astounding 61mph!  That’s not only beating it, it’s absolutely OBLITERATING it!

Ed Umland and crew pose for a shot after setting the B/BGS record at the 2018 Bonneville Speed Week

 

RICK RETURNS FIRE

Now, it was Rick’s turn to back up his pass. He blazed down the course with an ungodly 398mph exit speed to reset his class record from 334.260mph to 384.657mph.  That’s beating the old record by a incredible 50mph! And like Ed, Rick also broke his car during his record run. The carnage inside Rick’s engine was so severe that it ended Nebulous Theorem’s 2018 Speed Week.

The Nebulous Theorem land speed racer

A BATTLE WITH TWO VICTORS AND NO LOSERS

These two guys came to do battle, and they didn’t disappoint. If you want to judge this strictly from a speed standpoint, Rick takes this round. Regardless, both Ed and Rick absolutely crushed their class records, and that makes both of them winners. If you want to think this rivalry is over, it’s not. I happen to believe that this is the start of something amazing that I for one will definitely be watching at next year’s Speed Week, and hopefully in person!

 

It’s a team effort…

Big thanks to our pals and men on the salt Brad Bosworth, Ed Umland and David Engle for feeding us photos this week!

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Brad King

Brad King

4 Comments

  1. James Tone
    August 18, 2018 at 10:52 pm — Reply

    I’m not familiar of your reference to 1% in reference to Danny Thompson’s SCTA/BNI record. I once bumped a record at Bonneville by .003 mph. FIA has different rules…

    • August 19, 2018 at 5:32 pm — Reply

      Sorry about that 1% reference. The story was written with the best intentions, but between NHRA and FIA rules and with all the racing we follow it can sometimes get a little mixed up. Congrats on your record deal because it’s definitely not an easy feat out there!

  2. Tim Cunha
    August 20, 2018 at 2:37 am — Reply

    Thanks Brad. I sent it to Jack. E vs B motor. David vs Goliath………..260ci vs 439 ci. Slight size difference. What would NT jacks car, 788 do with a 439ci motor? Think about that one…………

    • August 20, 2018 at 2:59 am — Reply

      Thank you Tim! Definitely a fun deal and seriously far from over!

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