19 August 2019

2019 Bonneville Speed Week: A bust for some, a winner for others

L A    B A N D I D A    R A C I N G
It was a tough year with really rough and wet salt conditions.  Unfortunately if you had a powerful machine and depended on traction, you were pretty much out of luck.  Lots of folks didn't even run, some streamliners went home straight away, and some folks waited in line for 2 days in the hot sun, hoping the salt would dry, made one run and went home due to the horrible and not so safe conditions.

The super rough start line the day before the start
Fortunately my club consists of mostly small motorcycles and we fared very well bringing home 5 land speed records to the British Motorcycle Association of Colorado (BMAC).  Congrats to all who came and raced, or tried to race, it was definitely a challenge.

John Stoner's record making beauty

Some of the BMAC guys: Tim, Frank, Dana, Al (badasses)

Jerry Pokorny's wild ride

My moto, the Sherminator, has 7 land speed records now at Bonneville Speed Week.  It takes a village!  The BMAC will update their website with the correct records, and add the 5 from this year.  If I have it right, the records are:
2013:  Jerry Pokorny
2113:  Ray Puckett
2017:  Maria Gerber
2017:  John Thurston
2018:  Maria Gerber
2018:  Kristin Stewart
2019:  Kristin Stewart

I broke Maria Gerber's (BMAC) 2018 MPS-BF record of 52 mph with my 55.6 mph run this year.  Jonathon from Arkansas Speed Society (A.S.S.) blew away my 2018 MPS-BG record on his 2014 Honda Grom.  Congratulations A.S.S.es!  These guys are so cool and funny.

MPS-BG means modified - partially streamlined - blown - gas and MPS-BF is fuel, which means you can run nitro or Mt Dew or any other damn fiery fluid you want!

My record backup run on Wednesday - all alone!

My record backup run on Wednesday before I hunkered down into my tucked position
Post record run smiles

The fabulous SCTA inspectors giving me my record

Really excellent professional photos can be seen and downloaded for free here (password is bonneville) courtesy of my new Kiwi friend, Nigel Thomspon.  Thanks, amigo!

Please join my Facebook group, "Bonneville Land Speed Racing Women."  It is for women racers, crew, race officials and volunteers, family, friends, fans, all are welcome, we even have some dudes on there!  We had our inaugural meet up on the salt on Monday afternoon with about 25 women in attendance.  My aim is to use the FB group to enable women to connect while land speed racing, not just at Bonneville, but anywhere.  The more we connect, the stronger we will be!

My crew stealing the show

The 2019 Inaugural Bonneville Land Speed Racing Women meet up.  Find us on Facebook!

I also had the opportunity to take 3 test runs on a 100cc 2-stroke and I unofficially hit 82 mph on crappy salt but man was that fun!  More to come on that one!

Test riding a rocket 100cc 2-stroke

My crazy crew.....

I could not have done any of this without John Stoner and the BMAC team building the little bike that keeps on going, Frank Puckett's years of magic, and the help of my BMAC team, Maria Gerber's support and selling me the Sherminator earlier this year, my crew Mel Downs, Trevor Downs, Ken Sherman, Zalman Sher, Ben Sher, Doug Lantz, Buford W. Ross, tiny moto parts and words of wisdom from John Stoner and the Boulder Street Moto studs, special thanks to George and Marsha Naschtheim, my family, friends, my fans Mary and Clint White from Toledo, OH and some plain old good luck!

See you all on the salt!

Bossman Frank on his record run

Great new friends Mary and Clint from Toledo, Ohio who showed up every time to cheer me on!

The crew on top of Needle Peak overlooking Wendover, NV

My home, camp, pit and garage for 10 days!

Tequila y sal

Salty hair don't care

05 August 2019

2019 Bonneville Speed Week: LA BANDIDA RACING

On August 10-16th, 2019, La Bandida Racing and "The Sherminator" return to the Bonneville salt flats, along with team British Motorcycle Racing Association of Colorado (BMAC) and crew members, Mega Mel Downs, Ken Sherman, Zalman Sher and Ben Sher.  It's hot and dry and all reports say the salt is looking good so let's hope it is also fast!

The Sherminator is a modified, blown and partially streamlined 1971 Honda SL125 built by John Stoner and Frank Puckett, with support from BMAC.  The BMAC holds 44 land speed records at Bonneville

Last year Maria Gerber grabbed the MPS-BF record going 52 mph on The Sherminator, and Kristin Stewart of La Bandida Racing, grabbed the MPS-BG record going 56 mph.  Kristin will be racing in MPS-BF this year.

See you on the salt!

Email: LaBandidaRacing@gmail.com
Instagram: LaBandidaRacing

21 April 2016

2016 Chihuahua Express: Prep and Day 0 Prequalification and Señor Lechuga

Everything is going so smoothly we can't believe we are racing in Mexico! And then we remember we are at Chihuahua Express, not La Carrera Panamericana! This is a super well organized race with a classy and personable race director, Chacho Medina, and a great staff, and we love it. 

It is so great to see our wonderful once or twice a year racing friends. It is amazing the friendships we've built here over the last 10 years; these are the tops of the most positive, joyful, spirited, funny, sassy, generous and fun-loving people I know. 

My welcome crew at the airport was funny - El Fer standing alone holding a BABY CHICKEN sign, with Geezer appearing next and finally Rene. I wanted to hug them all forever. 

My welcome crew in Chihuahua - El Fer - love this man!

Geezer's Saleen is super cool and he loves it. He saw it for the first time in almost 9 months on Monday night. El Fer said he was like a little kid at Christmas. 

Geezer sees his Saleen for the first time since purchasing it in July.

I swore I was going to only have one tequila and go to bed before midnight the night I arrived, because it was the calm before the storm and only a handful of teams had arrived yet and most of those people were in bed early. But of course we ended up in the hotel bar until almost 1am and our regular waiter, Santiago, had already gone home. Jaja. Had a great time catching up with Rene and Ralf and El Fer after The Geezer went to bed. We talked about and were definitely missing some of our pals, Sarah MacKenzie we miss you!

Tuesday morning I woke up to this beautiful view of Chihuahua City from the Hotel Soberano on the hill. Yes, it's a Sheraton now but I'll always call it the Soberano. There is just something very funny about the word sober being in the name. 
View from our hotel room at the Soberano in Chihuahua.
We had a busy and productive day visiting with old friends, checking out everyone else's cars and checking our phones for the status of our friends who were stuck at the border in Presidio due to protests about the border patrol stealing cars. But eventually they got across. Quite a few people passed through El Paso/Juarez with no trouble at all and it seems the delays were mostly at the smaller crossings. Our friends Jake and Ralf were stuck at the border in Ojinaga for 9 hours, because Jake's truck was deemed "commercial." Jake is from Texas so you know his truck is big but it's not even a dually or quad cab, just a good ol' Texas truck. 

We passed both cars through Tech very smoothly, thanks to the excellent pre work Geezer, Rene and the whole TBZ Racing crew do. Geezer is a mechanical engineer and project manager and built aluminum beer can plants most of his career; turnkey operations from breaking ground on the building to running the plant once it was built. So in his planning, no stone goes unturned!  Even from our start at LCP in 2006, he built a bombshell of a car, super durable, he understood he needed a car that could be abused for 2,000 miles and still run like the wind. And 10 years later he and Rene have the annual rebuild down to a science.  Rene gets a lot of credit here too - he can diagnose and fix anything, and fast!

Checking out the Saleen for the first time Tuesday morning.
Last night at dinner El Fer had a local friend join us. We were going around the table introducing ourselves and Geezer said, "I am Hector." We all cackled quietly while Fer's friend tried to figure us out. Then he said, "Hector Lechuga, mucho gusto." Where does he come up with this stuff? Lechuga means lettuce, Mr. Lettuce to you! So now we call him Señor Lechuga. 

Senor Hector Lechuga
Although we've been to and raced ChiX collectively many times since it started over 10 years ago, we have never run El Jefe until now. So this will be fun! And we've never been in The Tour so we think that will be fun too. 

Geezer and Baby Chicken going through Registration and Medical.

Rene is the master at putting on stickers!
Tavo, Tio Rene y Tonio
Racers are just beginning to arrive.
Kaming Ko's Dart - always the wild one.
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Yeri Bledsoe's new Nova
Rene, Yeri and Yeri's brother Guy
Tuesday evening we had a young boy and his family join us from an organization similar to Make A Wis Foundation. He wants to be a race car driver and he's not going to let leukemia get in his way and neither are we. He arrived in a Lightning McQueen race suit and got to sit in the cars, wear transit headsets, and go for rides in both El Jefe and El Bandido. They took hundreds of pictures which will be sold later for the cause. What a cute and joyful kid, his name is Julian and he was so stoked he was actually pretty quiet but his smile was not quiet! Thanks to Erika Serrano and El Fer for organizing it, and the organization leader who said a beautiful prayer for Julian and his family and also the safety of us racers. 

Julian, our little amigo with the dream of becoming a race car driver!
Julian, his mother and Rene.

Kristin and Julian's father.

Today was the Day 0 prequalification run (named for our amigo, the late racer Steve Waldman) and Geezer and I watched the 10km speed stage from about the middle with our crew, Tonio and Tavo it was super fun and El Jefe ran great with Rene driving and The General navigating. 

Tonight there is a super cool ceremony downtown to show off the cars and be treated to native dress and music and a ceremony where they sage our helmets as a blessing of safety. I am going to miss this because I have been in bed with Montezuma's Revenge for 7 hours, grrr. I need to be well by tomorrow morning to drive El Bandido!
First team meeting for the Schellers and the Gregorys - sometimes it's a family affair!
The Old Guard:  Guy Bledsoe, Gerie "Yeri" Bledsoe, Frank Oliveto and the Geezer.
Shady characters Tavo and Baby Chicken in the country north of Chihuahua watching the Day 0 prequalification run with Geezer and Tonio in the background.

El Jefe roaring by during prequalification with Rene driving and Stewie navigating.


We are 20th overall but not everyone ran. Day 0 just determines your place on the starting line tomorrow. Best to be cool and go medium speed. 

This stuff saved me.