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Treasure Valley team breaks diesel truck land speed record

Posted at 9:59 PM, Aug 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-25 00:26:06-04

Last Friday at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah former Boise State students Dave Schenker and Patrick Johnston saw the last seven years of hard work pay off.

Founders of the local non-profit Greenspeed Research, the team broke the world record for fastest diesel truck in their class.

"The existing record was 215.091 miles per hour and we bumped it up to 219.411 miles per hour," said CEO & Co-founder Shenker. 

But the win didn't come easy. They suffered multiple tire issues and even had to use a backup engine, so getting their names in writing, even with more than 500 teams participating in Speed Week was a huge relief. 

"It was pretty nice to bump that up and now Greenspeed Research's name will be behind there in the record book,"

"To finally see that truck go that fast was a huge relief," said C.T.O. Johnston.

Even crazier than the speed, this isn't the team's first world record win. It's actually their second in just six years. The first was set back in 2011 when they smoked the 98 MPH record by going 155 MPH in the same truck powered entirely by vegetable oil.

"If we can find other things to power our vehicles with, all the better," said Shenker.

Now the team is seeking to beat their own record, switching back to vegetable oil, trying to top their just under 220 MPH record. 

"To prove once and for all that you don't lose performance by switching to a plant based fuel," said Shenker.

Then they plan on turning around and trying to beat that with 100% biodiesel.

While their truck may be breaking records for speed, their underlying message is really their driving force.

"This project really gets people hands on face to face with science and engineering," said Shenker "That's what we strive and work towards."