Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Voodoo and Stevo Hinton do it again!

Back in 2008, Rookie Race Pilot, Steven Hinton was able to get a few laps in, first in Lady Jo and later that week in Sparky. He finished as high as 2nd in the Bronze and was probably the happiest guy on the ramp.

Stevo flying a perfect line
Anthony Taylor of

Who would have guessed that same young man would be a seven time Unlimited Champion – 4 in Strega and now 3 in Voodoo? All I know is – I’ve had a front row seat to his incredible journey. I could not be happier for him, his entire family and the Button Family and the entire Voodoo Crew! 

Qualifying at 475.027, some expected them to go for the Qualifying Record of just under 500 mph – but there was no one in his rear view mirror – so why push it. As we say in racing – “2nd place sets the pace”.

Speaking of 2nd place -- Jay Consalvi flew Czech Mate, the highly modified Yak-11 to a 444 qualifying lap and a well flown 2nd place finish. A pretty impressive showing for a Rookie! But, Jay is only a Rookie at Reno. With quite an impressive pedigree, we are happy to have Jay join our little family of racers! 

Jay Consalvi, Reno Rookie all around amazing pilot in Czech Mate
Anthony Taylor of

Brian Sanders flew Dreadnought to a 440 qualifying time and a safe 3rd place finish. Curt Brown in Sawbones was 4th. Joel Swager – another Rookie – came in 5th in Argonaut just ahead of his father-in-law, Dennis Sanders in 924.

Rookie Joel Swager flying Argonaut to a respectable 5th place finish
Anthony Taylor of

Dusty Dowd took the Silver in Lylia, another Yak-11. Dusty comes to us from Syracuse, KS and is – a Crop Duster. We’re hoping the bugs stay away each September so he can continue to grace us with his flying.

A real surprise was Mrs. Virginia; the Allison powered P-51A owned by the Planes of Fame Museum. John Maloney flew her to some pretty impressive speeds – good enough to beat out several of the Merlin Powered P-51Ds.

Those P-51Ds included Wee Willy flown by Rob Patterson, The Rebel flown by John Currenti and Doug Matthews and Sparky/Blondie flown by Brant Seghetti.

This year’s event was another series of ups and downs. Over the next few columns we will dissect each Race Class in detail – but until then – here are your winners this year.

Congrats to all the teams and to RARA for running another spectacular event.

  • Jet ClassAmerican Spirit, L-39 Albatros, Pilot Rick Vandam
  • Sport Class, Race 39, Glasair III, Pilot Jeff LaVelle
  • T-6 Class, Baron’s Revenge, AT-6B, Pilot Chris Rushing – First time winner
  • IF1 Class, Fraed Naught, Gilbert DG2, Pilot Lowell Slatter – First time winner
  • Biplane Class, Reno Rabbit, Mong Sport, Pilot Jeff Rose – First time winner