Have you ever had one of those days where everything was going smoothly and then, in a split-second, there was utter chaos? Racer Danny Thompson recently got a fantastic story to tell when he was taking his streamlined Challenger II land speed car for a test run. Everything appeared perfectly normal, and then things went very bizarre in a blink on an eye.
You've probably heard of Mickey Thompson, if not for racing home-built Indy cars or punting early Funny Cars down drag strips, perhaps for the tire company he founded, his successful forays into off-road racing or, crucially, his attempts to break land speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats. In 1960, he became the fastest man in the world after going 406 miles per hour in his race car, the brutish four-engined Challenger I, but the record was never completed and made official due to a breakd
Plenty of us that grew up around a drag strip know the name Mickey Thompson, but fewer of us realize that the guy was more than a name on the sidewall of some seriously sticky rubber. He was also responsible for setting plenty of land-speed records in his day, including being the first guy to break the 400 mph barrier on the salt. His son, Danny Thompson, is no slouch behind the wheel, either. Last year, the younger Thompson managed to set the fastest land speed for any Ford Mustang. With a supe