With workhorse reliability, Little Giant 444 made 9 runs in 3 days, allowing rookie drivers Eric Ritter and Rhonnie Vesco to get their 'A' licenses and renewing Rick Vesco's 'AA' license. The powerful 370 c.i. Duttweiler Chevy engine now has a total of 23 runs under its belt with more to come. The weather was beautiful, the track was incredible and as usual USFRA did a superb job of keeping things safe and running smoothly. Team Vesco congratulates Jim Burkdoll and the club for a successful and fun meet! Team Vesco will be back on the salt in October at World Finals.
Rhonnie Vesco is "Fast Lady" @ 233 mph!
Rhonnie Vesco, daughter of Rick and Jinx, granddaughter of "Popo" Johnny Vesco, and niece of The Forever Racer, Don Vesco drove the family car, Little Giant 444, for the first time. She had been waiting a year to drive since helping with the remodel of 444 in '07 and was very excited to finally join in the family's racing legacy. To license up Rhonnie had to make three runs. Her final run netted her a speed of 233 mph which turned out to be Top Speed by a woman driver. Congrats to Rhonnie! Your family is proud of you!
Rhonnie is interviewed by "Discovery Channel" crew.
Dave Spangler instructs Rhonnie on shifting.
Rhonnie and Eric look on while Rick is in the car.
Eric gives Rhonnie precise instructions.
and more instructions....
Rhonnie was proud to wear her famous Uncle Don's suit.
Brother Calvin and Mom have instructions too...
Final zip up...
Rhonnie pops the chute at the 3 mile.
Thank you Dave and Eric for your patient coaching and encouragement.
Eric has been a part of Team Vesco for over 20 years, helping Don and Rick Vesco set many world records on the salt. Eric's resume includes motorcycle road racing, musician, disc jockey, certified Honda mechanic and all around nice guy. Eric's high energy, focus and professionalism are a key ingredient for Team Vesco's success. Eric once rode a motorcycle road-racer on the salt flats at over 150 mph only to "lay it down" with the threat of an imminent crash. Team Vesco is proud to have Eric on our team as crew and now as driver. Thank you Eric.
Eric and June come all the way from NYC to participate.
Paul Busta interviews Eric for documentary.
Eric completes final paperwork.
Eric suits up as Dave, Rick and Calvin look on.
Rick gives Eric a final check.
Starter Monty checks the belts.
Eric's top speed was 238.6 mph.
Rick is resting in line between runs. Team Vesco was either in line or making runs throughout the whole event. Rick's top licensing speed was 276.9 mph.
Rick also gives an interview.
On the starting line.
Dave and Eric crew for Rick.
Rick's son, Calvin, and daughter, Rhonnie, are part of the crew.
Team Vesco gives a special thanks to Bill Simpson at Impact.
Cliff also assists on Rick's 'AA' licensing run.
Calvin and Rhonnie Vesco
Calvin, Rick and Bill Lee
Mom texts the family to keep them informed.
Rikki Scott qualifies herself as Team Photographer.
Cliff gets into it!
"What is he doing!"
Calvin guards the pedo tube.
Cliff directs traffic...
...and leads the choir.
Speed Week record setter, (323.4 mph) "Super Dave," serves as "crew" at this event.