Desert dispatch: Utah family races to 335 mph

Utah resident Terry Nish and his three sons broke a land speed record on Wednesday, hitting a top speed of 335.

Suzanne Ashe/CNET
Mike Nish, 50, looks out at the track he just raced down at 335 mph in the Royal Purple streamliner. Suzanne Ashe/CNET

Despite a bit of rain on the Salt Flats on Wednesday, Mike Nish piloted the Royal Purple streamliner to 335 mph at the 62nd annual running of Bonneville Speed Week. The team will have to match or exceed the same speed on Thursday to be the land speed record holders for the vehicle's class.

Nish, 50, along with his father Terry and brothers Jeff and J.T., have long-been known as Utah's fastest family. The Nish's streamliner, which competes in the nonsupercharged-engine category, hit a top speed of 335.348 mph at the third mile of the long track on the afternoon of Wednesday, August 18. It was the Nish's sixth run down the course during Speed Week, which began on Saturday and continues through Friday.

The streamliner had to remain parked in the "Impound" area, instead of being towed back to the pits, while the team worked on the car.

From the starting line, Nish got a push to about 50 mph, because the streamliner has no lower gears. Nish, who has been competitively racing since 1975, said the team's goal is to reach 350 mph on the track.

"If I can get from the starting line to the half-mile mark 15 miles per hour faster, I think we'll get there," Nish said.

The Royal Purple streamliner hit a top speed of 335 mph on Wednesday at Bonneville Speed Week. Suzanne Ashe/CNET
The Royal Purple streamliner gets a tow into the Impound area at after its sixth run at Speed Week. Suzanne Ashe/CNET
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