Danny Thompson, son of the legendary Mickey Thompson, set a new land speed record for a piston-powered vehicle in the Challenger 2 streamliner during Speed Week at the Bonneville Salt Flats on Mickey Thompson BonnevilleLSR tires.
On Saturday, Aug. 13, Thompson set a new AA/FS record with a speed of 411.191mph. Thompson backed up Saturday’s run with a402.348mph run on Sunday, Aug. 14, and completed the weekend with a record-setting 406.769 mph official average, a significant margin over the previous record of 392.503 mph.
Made in the United States, the Mickey Thompson Bonneville LSR tires used are prototype nylon constructed tires with banded steel and just 1/32 of an inch of tread rubber, size 24.5×7.50-16, weighing 13.0 lbs., with a tread width of 5.2 inches, a diameter of 24.2 inches and a section width of 7.5 inches.
“Sunday’s record-setting run was 50 years in the making,” Thompson said. “Bonneville put my dad on the map as the ‘Speed King,’but he wasn’t able to fulfill his dream of setting the new 400 mph record on the salt prior to his death. I’m so proud that my team and I were able to achieve what my dad had always wanted.”
“On behalf of our team, I extend heartfelt congratulations to Danny, his family and the crew that have helped Danny achieve this incredible milestone,” said Chris Barbara, President of Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels. “Mickey Thompson’s legacy lives on in Danny and this historic land speed record. The years of preparation, including the restoration of Mickey’s Challenger 2 is inspirational, and is a reflection of the spirit of innovation and passion that is the heart of our company.”
In 1960, Mickey Thompson became the first American to exceed 400 mph on the salt. On the 50th anniversary of his father’s original 406 mph run, Danny Thompson removed the Challenger 2 from storage and brought it to his Huntington Beach, Calif., shop to begin the extensive process of restoring, retrofitting, and updating the streamliner – a process which took several years.
“We have stood shoulder to shoulder with Danny since he began the restoration of the Challenger 2,” said Ken Warner, vice president of marketing for Mickey Thompson. “Sometimes it was an uphill battle, sometimes it seemed like it was impossible, but Danny persevered. He is steadfast, committed and passionate. He embodies the spirit of a true racing legend, and we could not be more proud to share this moment with him.”
“None of this would have been possible without the unwavering support of Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels,” continued Thompson. “The company remains the definitive name in Bonneville race-tire technology. Massive thanks go out to them and to all of our generous sponsors, my crew and my family – the best a guy could ask for.”
For more information about this historic journey, watch Danny Thompson’s Mission video and the recent Running for the Record video.