They came this week from as far away as New Zealand, Japan and Russia to this stark landscape about 100 miles west of Salt Lake City. They’re spending a week trying to beat the clock, some topping speeds of 400 mph.READ MORE: Bay Area, NorCal Heatwave May Break Records; 'Potentially Life-Threating' Central Valley Temps
While they’re glad to be back at Speed Week, which runs through Friday, it’s a bittersweet return for racing enthusiasts after a two-year hiatus marked by disappointments and accusations that federal land managers have failed to protect the unique area.READ MORE: 2-Day Search For Mendocino Man Wanted In Shootout With Deputies, Multiple Burglaries Ends Without Arrest
U.S. officials partly blame wet weather and say they’re trying to preserve the salt by requiring a nearby mining company to pump hundreds of tons of brine onto the flats each year.MORE NEWS: 'Why Would Something Like This Happen To Me?' 94-Year-Old Anh 'Peng' Taylor Recovering After Shocking SF Stabbing Attack
© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.