5-Time Land Speed Motorcycle Record Holder

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5-Time Land Speed Motorcycle Record Holder
A self-admitted, adrenaline junkie, Valerie Thompson defines SPEED!
Check Out Valerie Thompson’s Fitness Routine!


Related Issue: Women Racers Directory, Women in Racing, Women Racers, More Women in Racing, Race Schedules, Notable Women
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HOMETOWN: Scottsdale, Arizona
BORN: Tacoma, Washington
Height/Weight: 5'5", 110 lbs
DOB: 4/17/67
HOBBIES: Fitness, Traveling, and Outdoor sports
RACING SERIES: All Harley Drag Racing Association (AHDRA)
RACE CLASS: V-Rod Destroyer (VRD) & Super Gas (SG)
RACE BIKE: V-Rod Destroyer HD
LAND SPEED RECORD: Bonneville Salt Flats
World's Fastest Panhead. "The Salt Shaker" provided by & 5-Ball Racing.
Notable: Captured Two Land Speed Records at the famed Bonneville Salt Flats, piloting the “World’s Fastest Panhead” provided by Keith Ball, 5-Ball Racing
Career best ET 7.163
Career best speed: 184.07

Valerie grew up in Seattle, Washington a place of laid-back lifestyles. She held a monotonous mainstream position in the banking investment industry for over ten years, but it was incapable of feeding her true passion…SPEED. Shortly after acquiring her first motorcycle, Valerie first remembers wanting to be the fastest at everything she set her mind to. Fast forward to today and Valerie's commitment to becoming the first woman to go over 200 mph. This is quickly becoming a reality and will only be one of many future records. Valerie's first drag-racing experience was on her 2000 Harley-Davidson Fatboy in 2005, and almost instantly, she was hooked. Valerie decided to pursue her passion for drag racing and took it to the next level, on a turbo-powered Harley-Davidson V-Rod. Her determination, competitive nature and desire to learn from her motorcycle experiences pushed her into a steep learning curve. The decision to compete full time was made, as this was the only way to quench her insatiable thirst for more. On September 6, 2006 at the famed Bonneville Salt Flats Valerie became a World Land Speed Record Holder in the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) with a top speed of 145.647. Thanks to Keith Ball ( she achieved this record on a 120-inch Harley-Davidson panhead. Valerie quotes, "I love going fast, the only problem is I haven't gone fast enough...yet. I know my team will get me there and I can't wait.” Valerie's other amazing achievement is in one of drag racings most competitive divisions, the All Harley Drag Racing Association (AHDRA) Super Gas and V-Rod Destroyer class. In her rookie season, in a class made up of 89 teams consisting mostly of men, she finished 6th and 14th nationally capturing a win, two runner-up positions, a third place, and two quarter finals. Valerie's career best E.T. is 9.30 seconds @ 145.44 mph the quarter mile. In 2007, she plans to take home the Championship Trophy. The V-Rod Destroyer ridden in both class is provided by Hacienda Harley-Davidson of North Scottsdale and storeowner Rick Hatch. A special thanks goes out to Rick and the Hacienda staff for their continued support in 2007. I have accomplished a lot in a short amount of time and I believe with all my heart I am going to be a success, but success takes time, effort, faith, and determination. I have to thank my fans and friends who have encouraged me and stuck by me in these interesting times. Your support truly means a lot to me and I will not let you down. Valerie Thompson


A self-admitted, adrenaline junkie, Valerie Thompson defines SPEED!


5-Time Land Speed Motorcycle Record Holder

5-Time Land Speed Motorcycle Record Holder Valerie Thompson to Appear at SEMA Show with Martech Quality Air Breathing Systems

Valerie Thompson available for photos & autographs at Martech Services Company Display Throughout Week Long Las Vegas Show

(Las Vegas, NV) – October 29, 2012 – Valerie Thompson, owner/driver of Valerie Thompson Racing (VTR), will be hosting autograph and photo opportunities at the Martech Services Company display (Booth 11133) at the upcoming SEMA show in Las Vegas from Oct. 30 – Nov. 3 from 11 am till 3 pm daily. She will also make appearances at the CTEK Battery Chargers (Booth 10419).

Thompson set 3 new land speed records this year with her Martech Services Company sponsored S1000RR, now one of the world’s fastest production land speed racing BMW Superbike after running a top speed of 209.5 mph at the Mojave Magnum event in June. Thompson now holds three land speed records in East Coast Timing Associations (ECTA) events and two records at the Bonneville Salt Flats BUB Speed Trials. Video:

“I have attended the SEMA Show many times, but this time is really special. The director of marketing of my primary sponsor, Martech Quality Air Breathing Systems is Tom Wright, a long-time friend who took a chance on sponsoring me as a first time owner/driver of a land speed racing team. Without his support, we could never have achieved the great success we enjoyed this year. I’m excited to sing the praises of Martech Services Company at SEMA and consider myself lucky to have a sponsor whose products are as great as his friendship,” said Thompson.

Thompson added, “I will also be working with my long-time sponsor, CTEK Battery Chargers, at the SEMA Show. Ken Palmman been wonderful to work with, they truly do make the smartest battery chargers in the world. We have a lot of giveaways for SEMA, including hero cards, Martech Service Company racing shirts, Stay Fast clothing gear and CTEK Comfort Indicators, so be sure to stop by and see us.”

Valerie Thompson Background

Thompson is a five-time land speed record holder and owner/driver of the Valerie Thompson Land Speed Racing Motorcycle Team. She has also competed in the All Harley Drag Racing Association & National Hot Rod Association drag racing series.

Valerie Thompson Racing sponsors include: Martech Services Company – maker of quality air breathing systems, CTEK Battery Chargers, La-Man Corporation, Stay Fast Custom Clothing Company, GO AZ Motorcycles of Scottsdale, Metro Auto Auction, JEGS, Vortex Racing, Worldwide Bearings, Stand Up Photos, Hyperpro Performance Suspension Products, Shorai Battery, and ZipFizz Healthy Energy Drink.

SEMA Background

The SEMA Show is the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world. It draws the industry’s brightest minds and hottest products to one place, the Las Vegas Convention Center. In addition, the SEMA Show provides attendees with educational seminars, product demonstrations, special events, networking opportunities and more.

SEMA Show 2011 drew more than 60,000 domestic and international buyers. The displays are segmented into 12 sections, and a New Products Showcase featured nearly 1,500 newly introduced parts, tools, and components. In addition, the SEMA Show provides attendees with educational seminars, product demonstrations, special events, networking opportunities and more.

A self-admitted, adrenaline junkie, Valerie Thompson defines SPEED!

Valerie discovered her passion for racing motorbikes after getting laid off from a 13 year career in the banking industry in cold, gray Washington state and quickly went full throttle by buying her first bike and trying to keep up with her friends.

“They always rode hard. You either ride and keep up … or your stay home. I think I developed that, “Okay, well I’m going to show them I can do it. I’m a brand new rider so here I am … and I didn’t want to go home!”

Today, Valerie calls sunny Arizona home. She has quickly risen from a top competitor in the All Harley Drag Racing Association series to become a 2-Time Land Speed Record Holder at the famed Bonneville Salt Flats. Valerie ran a “personal best” top speed of 209.5 mph at this year’s premier event of the 2012 Mojave Magnum 1.5 Mile Speed Trials, which is reportedly now the world’s fastest BMW production motorcycle. Valerie’s team will race the Martech Services Company BMW S1000RR Superbike at a number of land speed racing events this year with the goal of joining Bonneville’s prestigious “200 MPH Club.”

When she is not presenting motorcycles at Barrett-Jackson & Metro Auto Auctions, she is managing her 200+ mph motorcycle land speed racing team, or preparing to pilot a 50,000 horsepower supersonic land speed vehicle designed to travel at over 800 mph!

That’s right! She is about to climb into the cockpit of The North American Eagle, a converted F-104 Lockheed Star Fighter jet capable of propelling down a track at hundreds of miles per hour, on the quest of setting a new land speed record and becoming “The Fastest Woman in the World”.

Ed Shadle, Owner and Project Manager of the The North American Eagle Project and his all volunteer team of engineers, technicians, mechanics and computer geeks have been looking for the right driver to bring that record back to the U.S. for the first time in 15 years…and they found Valerie.

Her mission is simple: eclipse the 512 mph world land speed record set by Kitty O’Neil in 1976 and be crowned the “World’s Fastest Female.

"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 at Bonneville (Salt Flats in Utah)," Valerie said. "Since the team is based in my home state of Washington, I feel like I'm going back to where it all started."

Track Chic talks with Valerie as she prepares fto break the land speed record later this month:

You are now in a very elite group --- only a handful of people in the world can truly relate to your experience. Tell me what your first thoughts were when you learned from project manager, Ed Shadle, that you had been selected to pilot the converted F-104 Lockheed Starfighter North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger.

Tough question, since so many emotions flashed through my mind during Ed’s initial call. I was proud, excited, anxious, a little nervous, and ready to start the next day. I knew Leslie Porterfield & I were both being considered for the test-driving position. She’s one of my role models; she has accomplished so much in both racing & business. To be in the same company of Leslie is very gratifying. I’m feeling truly blessed to have this once in a lifetime opportunity, it’s something I have dreamed about since competing at my first racing event in Bonneville. The NAE team is based in my home state of Washington, so I feel like I’m going back to where it all started. There is no question about it; it’s a daunting task. I have a great deal to learn in a short period of time, but I am confident in the team Ed & Keith have assembled to accomplish our goals. Everyone has been very helpful and I’m excited about our first test runs. It’s really an honor to be involved in bringing the world speed record back to America.

You are a two-time motorcycle land-speed record holder at Bonneville now mounting an assault on Kitty O’Neil’s land speed record of 512 mph set in 1976 to become the "World's Fastest Female.” That is significantly faster than your top land speed of 209.5 mph. How are you training to meet this goal?

I've been researching the design & construction of the vehicle carefully and corresponding with the Project Manager - Ed Shadle. Ed has driven the vehicle & provides excellent insight on the Speed Challenger's unique performance demands. I’m now taking flying lessons to acclimate myself to a more complicated cockpit and the stick & rudder steering system. I have a rigorous fitness regime to prepare myself physically & mentally. (See details below.) I also have a new Gibson & Barnes drivers suit & other equipment since this won't be anything like driving a race bike.

How will your approach to the world record differ from your rivals?

I can’t really answer that question properly since my real rival is Kitty O’Neil, a retired deaf stunt pilot who set the record in 1976. I watched the film about Kitty’s life, which is very inspiring, but I am mostly focusing on the pre-event preparation & training that has brought me success in the past…and listening closely to the advise from Ed Shadle and all the NAE team members. Our crew chief, Bill Eckberg, has been great to work with; he even bought me an in-depth book about the engines that is very helpful.

Would you consider this quest “obsessive behavior”? How about your family…do they think you may be just a little bit crazy? ?

Actually my family is very supportive & always has been. My long time boyfriend, Ray Garcia, is my co-crew chief & mentor who has always stood behind me in good times & bad. He’s a rock! It’s everyone else who thinks I’m crazy. Seriously, you can’t believe the amount of support I get for fulfilling my dreams of speed… from our valued team sponsors who provide parts & funding to the more than 9,000 followers between my two Facebook Fan pages. I don’t view my need for speed as “obsessive behavior,” I consider it a passion.

When you were a little girl did you ever dream this big?

I wish I could say that, but I did not start racing motorcycles until I moved to Arizona 2005. I was in the banking business for years before I caught the bug to buy a bike in 1999. After that, I was hooked on two-wheel speed & started dreaming about a future in racing. Once reaching a goal I’ve set, I’m pretty aggressive about setting a new one. I set my sites on becoming the “World’s Fastest Female” years ago, but I was well beyond my first pair of roller skates by then.

Pain threshold – what is this actually doing to your body? What does it feel like during those few seconds of extreme acceleration and the abrupt and extreme deceleration? How long does it take your body to physically recover from those positive and negative G forces? ?

At this point I can only tell you about my experiences with drag racing & 200+ mph land speed record motorcycle passes, since we have only done stationary engine tests with the NAE team. In land speed racing you have a long distance to get up to speed & slow down, so on a motorcycle, G-Forces don’t play a major role. It’s a different story in drag racing or piloting the NAE Speed Challenger. In drag racing you pull 2 to 3 G’s at the starting line, so you have to be prepared for both the starting line light & shut down area, where you experience the negative G’s by braking hard. We don’t have parachutes in the Pro Stock motorcycle division, so you pull a lot of negative G’s under heavy braking. The NAE Speed Challenger will be a “whole nother” story, as they say. The real G-Forces I’ll experience will start when the 50,000 horsepower afterburners kick-in after a rolling start and then at the end of the race course when the parachutes deploy. It does not take long to recover from the G Forces if you plan for them and go through the proper pre-race physical conditioning.

The 50,000 horsepower supersonic land speed vehicle you are piloting is designed to have as little aerodynamic drag as possible. Stopping the car reliably is, perhaps, even harder than getting up to speed. What different means will you employ to increase the drag and slow the car? ?

It will be a combination of parachutes & a futuristic braking system designed by Jerry Lamb, one of the team’s sponsor’s and owner of Magna-Force. He has the patent for preeminent magnet braking technology that works incredibly well.

Tell me a little about the actual piloting process. How do you activate the brakes – is it on autopilot or do you physically engage the brakes? If it is physical engagement, (like depressing a button, etc.), how hard is it for your muscles to overcome the gravitational pull and have the strength to activate a braking mechanism? ?

Obviously, the Speed Challenger controls are very different than my BMW Superbike! With the NAE, I’ll have the same controls you find in one of today’s jet fighters. There is no steering wheel, it's a control stick operation for acceleration, and I need to control every system manually. There is no such thing as “auto pilot” in a land speed vehicle like this, but I must admit, sometimes I wish there were.

Are you worried about high speed “wheel wobble”?

Honestly, I worry about everything, which I think is healthy. There is a huge difference between 209.5 mph and 512+ mph.?All my high-speed experience has been with motorcycles, now I’m in a totally different type of vehicle. I realize I have a steep learning curve, but I try to use anxiety to my advantage by learning everything I can about a vehicle long before I engage the ignition system.

You have one hour to turn the North American Land Speed Eagle and complete your second pass in the opposite direction to qualify for the record. What is your strategy, what conditions will you consider optimal for that second pass? ?

The team has tested a full pass with turnaround & return run, which was accomplished in 40 minutes. If I feel comfortable after a high-speed run and all systems are still a “go,” the team will simply turn the Speed Challenger 180 degrees. Then they will re-fuel the vehicle, re-load parachutes with their explosive charges and reset the course marshals in the appropriate locations to make the return run. The team will communicate down line with all the safety personnel and spotter aircraft. When all safety crew and officials are in place they will give me back the course to hopefully set a new world land speed record.

The day of the competition, how will you balance adrenaline vs. anxiety? ?

The same way I always do. It starts with physical & mental preparation weeks in advance. The night before the run, I have a final meeting with my team, have a high carb dinner and go to bed early. On race day, I go through my exercise routine first thing, get a nutritious breakfast, a pre-race massage, and drink plenty of water with cucumbers and ZipFizz Healthy Energy Drink. I carefully review all my checklists and take care of sponsor obligations to fill the time before the “prepare to stage” deadline. The most important goal before a solid run is to relax my body and creating mental clarity. (See details below.)

How do you plan to celebrate after the run? ?

Good question. I have not given it a lot of thought since everyone on the NAE team is so focused on producing successful results for our sponsors and supporters. However, I’m not concerned since I learned a long time ago racers know how to celebrate without a training manual or checklist. But I must admit, I do plan to buy a special gift for my dog “Reckon” and one set of outrageous high heels to add to my collection!! Besides motorcycles, I have a passion for shoes, just check out my Facebook Fan page.

Check out Valerie's Christian Louboutin shoes ... that' a celebration!

What do you plan to do next … or will everything else be too slow?

Our BMW land speed racing team & valued sponsors have a lot of plans for this year. In addition to numerous personal appearances with both the NAE & VTR racing teams, we will compete in 6 to 8 land speed racing events with the VTR/Martech Services Company BMW S1000RR Superbike with the goal of setting new land speed records and joining the famed Bonneville “200 MPH Club.”

Check Out Valerie Thompson’s Fitness Routine!

"Regular exercise helps me stay in tune with my body & focus my mind. I prefer working out in the morning 4 to 5 days a week. My fitness program is designed to maintain strength, muscle tone, and firmness rather than weight loss. Targeted weight lifting is the core of my workout with 8 to 15 lbs. for arms/20 - 25 lbs. for legs with 3 sets of 13 reps. Switching from heavy to light weight workouts weekly creates an entire body workout. Upper body & arm strength is critical to reel-in an out-of-control motorcycle at 200 mph, so a lot of muscle work for arms with push-ups & special weight exercises is required. I realize how important it is, but I hate working my calves. Listening to music improves my motivation level & gets me through the dreadful calve exercises! My favorite workout song is "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele.”

Valerie’s exercises include:

  • Warm-up: Stretching muscles for flexibility, then proceed to weight lifting.
  • Cardio: Treadmill for 30 minutes. 5 - 10 minutes warming up (fast walking) and run the rest 20-30 minutes.
  • Switch from bike, ecliptic, outdoor running, to treadmill - cardio varies either before or after weight training. (Love to run outside with my dog "Reckon,” who always pushes me on the extra mile.)
  • Abs (crunches): Use exercise ball to work out abs, chest, arms, & legs.
  • Anytime is “Good Exercise Time”: While traveling, I carry work out gear like free weights, rubber bands for legs & upper body exercises/stretches. A hand grip/strengthener to relieve stress while driving is a great tool.

Valerie Thompson’s Pre-Race Preparations

  • Eating a healthy breakfast, lunch, & dinner and being consistent.
  • Use good vitamin supplements & drink ZipFizz Healthy Energy Drink.
  • My favorite pre-race meal is spaghetti. Carbs really help with both strength & getting a good nights’ sleep starting 48 hours before every event.
  • During race day, a top priority is keeping your electrolytes fully charged & maintaining proper body hydration. We have snack bars/trail mix ready throughout the day, since we never know when there will be time for a proper meal. You’ll always find our trailer full of cold bottled water and ZipFizz Healthy Energy drinks.
  • I am currently testing a vitamin IV drip before leaving for certain races like Speedweek & BUB Speed Trials at the Bonneville Salt Flats, where sun exposure & heat are major health factors.
  • I really look forward to a deep tissue massage on the morning of the competition, which helps me relax & focus before things get hectic. (An after-race massage is even better!)




2008: Made NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Debut at the prestigious Mac Tools U.S. Nationals; Attended Frank Hawley’s NHRA Drag Racing School and earned Pro Stock Motorycle license
2007: Land Speed Record Holder - Bonneville Salt Flat. Finished third in the All Harley Drag Racing Association National Championship Series and Runner-up Western Division - V-Rod Destroyer, and named “Best Appearing Team 2007”
2006: Land Speed Record Holder – Bonneville Salt Flats
2005: The Dream Begins

March 10, 2007, AHDRA SEASON OPENER Valerie Thompson Racing Up Date: Screamin' Eagle Performance Parts Bike Week Nationals Presented by Gainesville Harley-Davidson

Race one of the 2007 AHDRA season was March 2-4th in Gainesville, Fl and was a season opener to remember for a number of notable reasons. Unfortunately for racers and fans alike, Mother Nature wasn't cooperating and gave little time for test and tune and was a test of patience for all as the weather nearly wiped out qualifying.

On Saturday the clouds finally broke and the field was able to make a single pass in both the V-Rod Destroyer and Super Gas class's. VTR lit up the Destroyer class and qualified second with a career best 9.27 ET. The Super Gas class was a different story as we qualified in the field of 32 bikes even though I had to shut it down and coast through the finish line. It was apparent going into Sunday's Eliminations; we were going to be a strong team to contend with.

Sunday was full of sunshine to my delight however; to our surprise the bike would not start. After further evaluation it was decided not to run the bike at all. Despite the hard work from my crew chief Mickey Eddinger and the help we received from Jason Miller, Team Mate Native Racing and BWR we withdrew from the competition and handed the other teams a lucky break.

Despite the disappointment of our fans and sponsors, our spirits are remaining high as we are preparing for race two in my hometown, Phoenix, AZ. We are excited to get the Phoenix Nationals underway and put on a show for my local fans while racing for the trophy. Be sure to come by and say hi if you can, and check-out the OCC-Go Chopper, great videos, tons of give-always and celebrate AZ bike week!

In other news, VTR Team 2007 is proud to announce new sponsor and crew's favorite, MAC Tools. Thanks to everyone at Mac Tools especially Terry Larkin and Steve Cottle who while at the race, made the best of a bad situation by displaying my broken steed in their booth, drawing lots of attention for their brand. And another special thanks, this time to Vanson leathers who did the impossible by getting my leathers to the race on time and once again proving to me why their the best in the business.

Let's Race! Valerie Thompson #20

Qualified #2 VRD, St. Louis April 07

WIN- Eades Family Benefit Race Speedworld April 07

Quarter Finals - VRD, AZ Bike Weeks Nationals 2007

#2 Qualifier VRD, Gainesville Nationals March 2007

6th Place National Division, Super Gas

Career Best ET: 9.24-seconds, Best MPH 146.04

3rd Place Western Division, Super Gas

4th Place Western Division, V-Rod Destroyer

Quarter Finals VRD, Vegas - November 2006

Quarter Finals VRD, Rockingham - October 2006

World Land Speed Record Bonneville Salt Flats September 7, 2006 @ 145.647 mph

3rd Place VRD - Woodburn, OR - Sept 2006

2nd Place SG, St. Louis, MO - May 2006

#1 Qualifier SG-Dallas, Texas - April 2006

2nd Place Arizona – April 2006

WIN - NOPI Series - March 2006

#1 Qualifier - Las Vegas - Nov 2005

153.563 mph Bonneville Salt Flats - Sept 2005



2007 -

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