Danny Finishes The Race For His Father, Mickey Thompson
Racing legend and innovator, Mickey Thompson, left this world with some unfinished business.
Mickey Thompson achieved 406.6mph going one way through the salt flats of Bonneville in 1960, making him the first American to exceed 400mph on the salt. But Mickey needed to complete the return run to secure the record. That year, Mickey’s Challenger I broke down on the return run. Six years later, a rainstorm that turned the Bonneville Salt Flats into a lake foiled Mickey’s next attempt.
After his retirement from racing in 1988, Mickey collaborated with his son Danny Thompson to make another attempt. Their collaboration was tragically cut short when Mickey and his wife were murdered.
On the 50th anniversary of his father's original 406.6mph run, Danny removed the Challenger 2 from storage with the intention of returning it to the Bonneville Salt Flats once more – a feat that would finish Mickey’s work.
On Saturday, August 13 2016, Thompson set a new AA/FS record with a speed of 411.191mph. Thompson backed up Saturday’s run with a 402.348mph run on Sunday, August 14, and completed the weekend with a record-setting 406.769mph official average, a significant margin over the previous record of 392.503mph.