'We're about to make our first high-speed run in the still-black 2008 Dodge Viper ACR when the old guy pulls up to our makeshift pit. He looks exactly like the guy you'd expect to meet in the middle of the Bonneville Salt Flats, like a worn-out Hank Williams, Jr.
Over the deafening cackle of his Cummins-powered diesel pickup, he yells, 'What's you boys doin'?'
'We're going to make a few runs in this Viper here.'
'Yeah, how fast will she run?'
'We don't really know. Maybe 190 or so.'
By the expression on his face, it's obvious ol' Hank has figured out that we have no idea what we're doin'. He knows we're just a bunch of yahoos with a fast car. He takes a good long look at the big winged Viper, then he shuts off the truck's engine so we can hear him better.
'When you're going fast, the slightest gust of wind can flip you,' he says. 'That's why we only ran early in the morning when the air was calm.'
We look up at the mid-afternoon sun