News Valerie Thompson to Pilot 50,000 HP NAE

Valerie Thompson to Pilot 50,000 HP NAE

BUB Bonneville Salt Flats

The North American Eagle (NAE) team of Spanaway, Wash., is joining forces with two-time motorcycle land-speed record holder Valerie Thompson to break some new records at the Bonneville Salt Flats this year.

Valerie Thompson says: "I feel truly blessed to be given this opportunity, it’s something I have dreamed about since competing at my first land speed racing event in Bonneville. Since the team is based in my home state of Washington, I feel like I’m going back to where it all started."

Thompson grew up in Tacoma, Wash., and now lives in Scottsdale, Ariz. She’s set to pilot the North American Eagle and pursue another prestigious BUB record.

Ed Shadle (NAE Driver/Project Manager) says: "We’re expecting Valerie to set a new record as the world’s fastest female racer when she eclipses Kitty O’Neal’s 1972 record of 512 mph."

Test runs begin this summer, and Thompson and the NAE is expected to be a powerful force. The NAE is a 50,000 horsepower converted F-104 Lockheed Star Fighter jet, once flown by the most famous test pilots of the 50’s and 60’s.

This jet-powered car is designed to travel over 800 mph. Thompson is a Team Owner/Pro Motorcycle driver who has competed in the All Harley Drag Racing Association (AHDRA) and the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), drag racing’s largest and most elite series.

Ed Shadle says: "Valerie has demonstrated her skill as a land-speed racer by setting records at the Bonneville Salt Flats and campaigned her own Pro Stock motorcycle in NHRA events." Thompson replaces motorcycle racer Leslie Porterfield who stepped down due to health issues.

The NAE team also strives to eventually beat the world land speed record, which the U.K. has held for 15 years, after successfully running a jet-powered car at 763 mph. The NAE team, which includes American and Canadian engineers and former military personnel, says it’s time to bring the record back to North America.

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

2021 Indian Chieftain Lineup First Look: 3 Big-Inch Baggers

There are three baggers in the 2021 Indian Chieftain lineup, with just a few changes to the motorcycles this year. There are new colors,...

2021 GasGas Trial Lineup First Look (8 Fast Facts: 3 TXT Racing Models)

The first GasGas motorcycles of the Pierer Mobility AG and Bajaj Auto era have arrived. Those who were expecting wholesale redesigns of the line...

Lieback’s Lounge: This Will All Pass [Thoughts on Simic and Motorcycles]

There is a menace in the air Of tragedies in the making. These lines are from "Late September," written by the American minimalist poet Charles Simic....

Racing Classic Motorcycles: First You Have to Finish by Andy Reynolds [Review]

Author Andy Reynolds’ new book, Racing Classic Motorcycles: First You Have to Finish, is about a man livin’ the classic motorcycle racing dream—with some...

2021 BMW R 18 Test: City and Country Life with the Big Boxer

Let's say we hop into Mr. Peabody's WABAC Machine and set the date for October 1936 and Berlin as a location. With us, we...

Harley-Davidson Tremont Shoes Review: Urban Motorcycle Footwear

In the on-going debate over how much protection is enough, the correct answer for each of us comes from within. Some riders would never...