Sunday Sep 19 2010
Scott still chasing speed record
By: Joshua Ansley Journal Sports Writer
Long-time motocross racer and Auburn resident trying to set new two-wheel land speed record
If it weren’t for the weather calling the shots a few weeks ago, long-time Auburn resident Glen Scott may have returned from Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats with a new land speed record. Scott was attempting to break a two-wheel land speed record on an altered frame Harley Davidson motorcycle. Unfortunately, the weather would not allow it. The night before it had rained, and the cross winds made it too difficult to make a run at it. It was tough blow for the 60-year-old Scott. He had arrived in Bonneville well past midnight and spent eight hours preparing the bike, but it was to no avail trying to fight mother nature. “With all the bad weather and hazardous conditions we could not make a go at it,” Scott said. “Salt flats don’t drain so we had an inch of water. Although one rider do it and got up to 159 miles per hour in fourth gear.” There are many different categories that make up two-wheel land speed records. The fastest records in the world require specialized fuel and a significantly different kind of motorcycle than what Scott is using. His attempt at the record falls in the category of an altered frame motorcycle running on regular gasoline. Such requirements keep the speed within a range of 150 to 200 miles per hour rather than the earth-shattering 300 to 400 mile per hour range that has been set in other categories. Many of the other world records also require the machine to repeat the feat within 24 hours in order to make the record official. Scott just needed to break it once. In addition to the variance of machines that race in Bonneville, he said racing on the salt flats is very different from being on a track. “When you get out there in the Bonneville Salt Flats it’s like racing in a styrofoam cup,” Scott said. “It’s just an amazing experience. You have no depth perception.” Originally from Massachusetts, Scott started ice racing in 1968 before making the transition into motocross. He came out to California in 1970 to try and be a professional flat track racer, but it didn’t quite work for him. In 1977, Scott had to call it quits for a while after breaking his femur. The injury kept him out of racing for a few years, but he has been racing ever since. He said he has no plans of calling it quits any time soon. “I made a vow that I can’t quit until Harlan Bast does,” Scott said. “And he’s 74.” Scott calls Harlan Bast a legend of racing. Back in New England, Bast was a guardian of Scott’s and was the person who got Scott into racing, putting him on his first bike and showing him the ropes. Aside from his mentor and racing hero, Scott said being able to race with legends such as motorcycle hall of famer Jay Springsteen and Steve Eklund remains one of the most memorable aspects of his long-lived career. “I beat Steve Eklund once, but it was because I knocked him off in an indoor track in Reno,” Scott said. At the time Scott beat him, Eklund was the No. 1 racer in the American Motorcyclist Association. Now a much older rider, Scott just recently won the Div. III track championship at Fast Fridays in Auburn, where he has been racing for about nine years. He said both the thrill of competition and the opportunity to pass on his experience to the younger riders keeps him going strong. “You like the feel of fear and conquering it,“ Scott said. “You learn to be a good winner and learn mostly to be a good loser. But one of the other thrills of racing at my age is helping the youngsters and showing them how to be good sportsmen and good competitors.” Scott’s friend Dave Joyner said Scott has been instrumental to Fast Fridays. Joyner has owned Fast Friday’s for the last 16 years. “He’s got it in his blood to compete in motoracing,” Joyner said. When Scott isn’t out on the track racing or helping the younger riders, he spends his time at his business, Scott Auto Trim in Auburn, which he has owned and operated for 39 years. Scott said he would attempt the two-wheel land speed record again when time and conditions permit. “It’s on my bucket list,” he added. As to whether or not he has any plans of returning to ice racing, Scott said no way. “It’s too cold for me,” he said.