Several of our team members are into racing and not just as spectators. Some even go out to test their metal at what is billed as the “fastest racetrack on earth,” the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.
One of the Rock West team, Nick Montoya, is part of a local group, Bean Bandits Racing Team Est. 1949, and has raced with them for five years. He has worked on cars since he was a kid and raced at Bonneville before, but in 2021 he joined the Bean Bandits team at the famous track to test a car they built. Nick said, “We built this car from scratch in Barrio Logan in San Diego. The body is an original 1927 Ford Roadster, heavily modified. The chassis and all other components are custom and built by us.”
Safety is always the top priority for the team, and the objective of last year’s run was to tune the chassis and make sure the car acted accordingly at speed. This was a test run. Derby Pattengill, the senior driver for the Bean Bandits, has driven over 242 MPH and has over 20-years driving experience. He drove the car the first time to ensure Nick could get behind the wheel safely.
In addition, Nick drove using the HANS Pro Ultralight safety device, a head and neck restraint, in his test run. Rock West Composites manufactures the carbon fiber structure of this HANS device for Simpson Motor Sports.Now that the car has proven sound on the track, in 2022 the team plans on racing for a world record in the car’s class by meeting and beating 160 MPH. We wish them luck and safe racing in 2022 at the Bonneville Salt Flats!