Team Vesco sets Landspeed Record @ 335.325 mph Top Speed @ 349.285 !
Rick Vesco pulls the always reliable Stroud chutes on record setting return run! Thank you Bob Stroud!
Photo by Rikki Scott
Team Vesco came to Speed Week 2009 with specific goals and a plan. Rick Vesco's daughter, Rhonnie - Fastest Woman of 2008 World of Speed - would drive #444 Little Giant in the Vintage 4 Gas Streamliner class the first part of the week, then father Rick would drive #444 with the 372 c.i. small block Chevy - C fuel - the last part of the week. Rhonnie's ride was powered by the same Model A motor her Grandfather, John Vesco, built for the car in 1957 when Little Giant made her debut on the Salt. Vintage engine builder, Ken McClure, has upgraded the Riley 4-port and increased the horse power to 197 hp @ 6300 rpm. Rhonnie clocked in at 191 mph with her first run off the trailer! Due to time constraints and the lack of tuning runs available, the decision was made to swap out the vintage engine and install the Chevy 372 small block. Team Vesco successfully made the installation and Rick was on the line, ready to run on Wednesday.
Team Vesco 2009
Team Vesco has been an annual competitor at Speed Week from the first meet in 1949. Rhonnie proudly points to the historic picture on the Jessel Dodge Ram Pickup of #444's first appearance on the Salt in 1957. Pictured standing by the Little Giant is her Grandpa Johnnie, her famous, fastest wheel-driven record holder driver of The Turbinator(458 mph), Uncle Don, and Dad Rick (335 mph). Rhonnie is continuing the Vesco Family racing legacy. Speed is in her blood!
Rhonnie listens intently to master engineer, Lance Morris, and co-driver Dave Spangler discussing gearing.
Crew member Allan Neff, Rhonnie and Dad Rick work on engine timing technology.
Rhonnie proudly wears Uncle Don's firesuit.
Dave and Lance assist Rhonnie.
Here comes the Chevy 372!
Rick suits up for record run.
Rick Vesco blasts down the track @ 349.285 mph!
With the six hour engine swap completed, Rick Vesco was able to hop in # 444 and blister down the track at a speed of 342.476 mph with an exit speed of 349.285 mph - an amazing feat for this fearsome 372 c.i. small block Chevy! Thursday morning he was able to back up the run with a 328.17 mph run and exit speed of 337.378 mph, giving Team Vesco the record setting speed of 335.323 mph and propelling Rick into the prestigious 300 MPH Club!
Chutes out at the 6.
Photo by Rikki Scott
Allison Volk exchanges Rick's 200 mph cap for a new, blue 300 mph hat!
Team Vesco offers a huge "Thank you" to SCTA-BNI, the 200 mph Club, and all the Volunteers for their hard work, dedication and commitment to Speed Week 2009.
Team Vesco also offers their thoughts and prayers to the Bryant family.
Thank you Team Vesco Crew
Once again we wish to thank our faithful and fearless crew for their time, effort and enthusiasm. We could not do it without you. Thank you for your dedication and creativity to our effort. Since 1933 when Johnny Vesco was first inspired to "go fast" Team Vesco has consistently pursued its dreams and goal of going ever faster. Thank you, crew for sharing that with us. See you on the Salt!
Allan Neff, fabrication expert
Cliff Scott, polisher & packer
Dave Spangler, co-driver
Engine specialist Lance Morris & Rhonnie Vesco
Rikki Scott, photo fox
Ken McClure, vintage engine builder
Rhonnie Vesco, co-driver
Bill Lee, whatever needs doing
Rick Kunze, injection specialist
John and Sharon Lee
Jinx Vesco birthday girl and web master
Karen Spangler and Team Vesco would especially like to thank the "Danny Boy" gang for the delicious apples - which were even sweeter this year after taking their record!!
Team Vesco's 2009 Racing Season Recap
Speed Week : Team Vesco begins the week by running the antique Riley - 4 port Model A engine in #444 Little Giant. Rookie driver, Rhonnie Vesco, gets more seat time and makes a run @ 191 mph. Next, the crew swaps the engine out for the 372 ci Small Block Chevy engine and Rick Vesco blazes down the track on the first run @ 335 mph with a top speed of 349 mph to set a new record and earn his 300 mph Club "blue hat."
World of Speed : Team Vesco's #444 arrives with the new 406 ci Small Block Chevy installed. Dave Spangler breaks the new motor in making several runs. Rhonnie gets a little more practice as well.
World Finals : Team Vesco returns and continues to work the bugs out with the new 406 ci 'B' motor. Dave makes a run @ 331 mph - just short of qualifying. The crew is continuing to work on a fuel injection issue. The ever persistant Team Vesco hopes to return to the Salt next year stronger than ever!