2022 Speed Week Canceled, Bonneville Salt Flats Flooded by Heavy Rain

It's a heavy blow to the hundreds of racers and spectators who've waited all year for Speed Week.

In a sudden, major blow to hundreds of fans, the 2022 Speed Week at the Bonneville Salt Flats is cancelled due to flooding. Over the weekend, the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA)—who hosts and coordinates Speed Week—had been watching the weather. After heavy rain fall Friday night into Saturday morning, the SCTA decided to cancel only Sunday’s race, to give the tracks time to dry. However, by midday Sunday, the tracks were still completely flooded, forcing the SCTA to cancel all of Speed Week.

“Due to unforeseen weather conditions Speedweek 2022 is officially cancelled.” the SCTA said in a Facebook post. “We are doing our best to recover what we can find out on the lakebed. Missing items can be found in the registration area.”

The SCTA was originally trying to be optimistic, thinking that the desert heat and occasionally intense winds would dry up the salt flats in time for racing on Monday. However, the standing water just didn’t evaporate as the SCTA had hoped it would, due to a lack of sun and wind.

Social media images from Speed Week attendees show severe flooding covering the vast landscape. The flooding didn’t just make the tracks unusable though, it also destroyed a lot of personal equipment. More than anything, though, the flooding ruined the year for hundreds of attendees.

Every year, literally hundreds of people go to Speed Week, from all over the world, both as fans and participants. Often times, it takes years of work, planning, and saving for people to attend Speed Week. Only this year, all of that was undone by unusually heavy rain. This isn’t the first time flooding has cancelled Speed Week, as several people commented on the SCTA’s post to offer sympathy and share their own flooding experiences, but that doesn’t soften the blow for this year’s group.

For the past few hours, attendees have been trying to leave but it hasn’t been easy. There are some reports of people getting stuck in the cement-like flooded salt. It’s almost literally pouring salt in the wound of Speed Week’s cancellation.

People plan their lives around Speed Week. Whether they’re trying to best a personal record, attempting to create a new one, or just fulfilling a dream of seeing Speed Week in person, hundreds of people give so much to be there. To go through all of that, just for it to be cancelled on race day, must be devastating.