His back is against the wall and fate is staring him in the eye, but if you know Damion Gardner, odds are on his side and he is going step off that wall and fate is going to turn tail and run for its life.
Gardner is on a mission to hit 200 mph in his specially prepared sprint car today (Friday) at the Bonneville Salt Flats. It will be his last try as Friday is the concluding day of the 65th anniversary of Speed Week.
Things started well for Gardner on Thursday morning when he made his earliest pass of the week. He attacked course No. 1 and blistered it for a 194 mph exit speed and an average of 187 mph.
The second round of the day saw him click off a pass with an exit speed of 189 mph, but it was becoming evident that the salt surface was slowly deteriorating. And, as the case had been all week, the temperature was already on the rise. Gardner returned the car to the back of the line without getting out for his third run of the morning and that one supplied another exit speed of 189 mph.
This time Gardner took the Go Rhino “Green Demon” back to its pit for some massaging.
The fourth pass started good for Gardner. He looked fast, but the track was slushy in the mile-three section and at about 180 mph, he spun out.
The team decided to stick around and take one final shot at 200 mph on Friday.