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The run started at 11:04 p.m. Mickey zipped up, took an aspirin and took off.
In about three minutes and 45 seconds he showed everybody—the crew, the rank amateurs, Wendover, the Ford Motor Co., the world—what driving on the salt is all about. The incomparable Mickey, his crew cut all mashed down under that helmet, his bulldog sort of jawline all thrust out—his car in perfect tune and balance—howling along. The crew pulled up camp chairs, sat down and looked at one another and grinned. "Now," said Charlie Jackson, "yer going to see some plain and fancy driving, old buddies."
First lap was 152.606 mph. " 'Cause of that standing start," Charlie explained. "Now wait for the next one."
Second lap was 165.824 mph. and the car seemed stretched out across the night. First five laps averaged 164.640 mph for a new world record. The first 10 laps averaged 163.890 mph—6.897 miles over the world record—and the yellow car continued to whoop along.
Fourteenth lap, Mickey whipped in, took on one glass of water and 28 gallons of gas (he was getting 5.4 miles to the gallon at that speed) and went out after more marks. He got them. At 12:52 a.m. Danny got in and continued the pace.
"Man, it's like driving on slush," Mickey said. "But we are getting the records." He unzipped and flashed the grin.
Then, at the 500-mile mark—with 40 world records set—it was suddenly all over. The course had become impossible; there was every chance that one false move out there would spin the car to somewhere just outside Baton Rouge.
But Mickey had done it again. "Lemme see," he said. "Every record in class from 25 kilometers to 500 miles in both standing and flying starts. [Goodby, Craig Breedlove in the 1968 AMX.] Then the one-hour standing-start record with a speed of 158.866 mph—that's 5.6 mph over the old one. And..."
And plenty of others. His 500-mile standing-start mark was 159.518 mph—3.2 mph faster than the old record. "And just wait," Mickey said, "until the salt gets better and you see that red car go."
Still in driving uniform, he went up to the State Line Casino, ordered a drink, waved hello to everybody, bellied up to the blackjack table and won $700.