Hot Rodding journeyman and land speed racer George Poteet recently took the time to describe his harrowing 375mph crash at Bonneville on Sept 12th to Bill Hoddinott – contributing writer for Bonneville Racing News. The article appears in issue #178 which just came in the mail here to our offices!
In the In the weeks after the crash, a lot of misinformation was posted on the internet regarding the incident, so Poteet chose to tell the REAL story of how the Speed Demon streamliner crashed to Hoddinott and BNR. Since so many of you fellow Goodguys out there are friends with George and know of his land speed racing efforts (he’s been 439mph in the Speed Demon – the world’s fastest run by a piston-powered vehicle!), we thought’s we’d run an excerpt of the story as well as show you the video of the crash.
Poteet makes a bold statement in the interview that “NOBODY IS TO BLAME FOR THE CRASH BUT ME.” He then describes the actual crash in harrowing detail. Here’s what he had to say
“We fired up the car, everything normal, canopy closed and latched and at the starters signal the push truck eased up and bumped me, to push the car away in neutral. Get up just a little speed on the truck then apply a little throttle and slip the Librerty into 1st gear, and away we go. Right on up through the gears with the air shifter button and the course is flying past the car faster and faster.
Everything is normal as you can see on the cockpit video (below) until I get to 6 and SUDDENLY, the tail of the car kicks out to the right as if it was on ice! What has happened (as we figured out later), is that I came to a slippery part of the course and was too heavy on the throttle and the locked rear wheels spun up in an instant. This lost all tire grip on the course so the car could go in any direction. Why it chose the right we don’t know. Possibly a little gust of crosswind. But I’m on top of it, I’ve had a little of this fish-tailing before and it was harmless. So I corrected by steering into it instantly a little, like you do with a car skidding on ice. But instead of straightening out and continuing, the tail of the car swung hard left and went way out. My mind was following everything in slow motion and instantly realized the tail was too far out to recover! So I started to grab for the chute release to try to regain control but before I could, the car was going sideways at 375mph and A) the whole car jumped into the air and flew sideways for about 500 feet as we measured later and B) when the 375mph wind hit the canopy sideways it blew it clear off!”
The entire interview is riveting and worth a subscription to Bonneville Racing News by itself! But if you subscribe you’ll get the latest and what is happening in the world of land speed racing, including the coming issue in which Poteet revelas his plans for the 2015 season. To subscribe, send a check for $24 dollars to PO Box 730, Hemet, CA 92546 or call (951) 926-2277 or e-mmail: BonnevilleRacingNews@gmail.com