AAFO.COM UPDATE 8/16/98
In our last update we reported that there was still a glimmer of hope for the appearance of Race #10, Critical Mass, at Reno '98. We've just learned from CM Crew Chief, Tom Dwelle, Jr., that the highly modified (and getting more so) Hawker Sea Fury would indeed be a no-show for '98.
"Regrettably, Critical Mass will not be attending the 98 races in Reno, NV. It became clear that we were going to have to test fly #10 on the way to the races. Unwilling to do that (don't like the odds on that one), we will sit out the 98 Reno event. Tired crews make mistakes and this type of project will not weather too many of them. We have slowed down the max effort and continue to work at a more normal pace. This was to be our 12th year racing at Reno. We will be using our vacations to spend time with our families for a change".
Dwelle and crew have been working to install a more powerful R3350 from Aircraft Cylinder and Turbine. [and we hear a new nose case from a "Super Connie"] All involved were looking forward to seeing a much faster Critical Mass for '98. Coming to this decision had to be a bitter pill to swallow after the months of extreme effort to get this airplane in the show for Reno '98.
In her last outing at Reno '97, Race #10 pilot, Skip Holm, elected to pull out of the Unlimited Silver Final Race when a large piece of her cowling decided to break away at nearly 400 MPH! Seeing the pieces flying by the cockpit reportedly got Skip's attention after what had been an "uneventful" race to that point.
The Dwelle family has provided entertaining racing for many years at Reno, their participation will be missed this year. We think we can speak for all race fans when we say we're looking forward to Reno '99 and what will surely be a very fast entry from this team!
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