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Thread: Ken Burnstine

  1. #81
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Seattle, Washington
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Re: Ken Burnstine

    Quote Originally Posted by IcePaq View Post
    Interesting reading but something is missing.

    Was there a reno victory?

    If so, how did the race go?.......anyone got a play-by-play of the race?

    Yes, Ken won Reno '74 in his stock Miss Suzi-Q. He should have never been awarded the win, but it was purely politics.

    The seeds were planted in the early months of 1974 when Lyle Shelton and Bob Love (the PRPA Unlimited Class Pres/Vice-Pres respectively) were negotiating with Jerry Duty of RARA over Unlimited class prize money. Negotiations got very tense, ultimately with Lyle threatening to have the unlimiteds boycott Reno. That was when Jerry Duty called the bluff by uttering his now infamous "You guys would race for a bucket of sh*t if we made you provide the bucket" comment.

    Fast forward to the Championship race at Reno that September. Lyle and Bob were running 1-2 for the entire race and lapped the field. During the race Mac McClain in Red Baron declared a mayday. Rules were still such that you had to climb to 500 feet during a mayday. At the time Lyle had continual problems that his 'cheap' Narco radios were mounted in a place where they were too close to the fuselage skin...and the exhaust heat on the metal was frying them. Lyle claimed he never heard the mayday call. He crossed the finish line first. On the last lap Bob Love was in second and blew his motor at about pylon 8. He continued to follow the race course and crossed the finish line as he was executing his mayday climb.

    Burnstine had been running in 3rd place. As soon as the planes landed, Jerry Duty immediately went over to Ken's plane and said that if he would make an official protest against Shelton and Love, they would declare him the winner.

    In 1971 Greenamyer had failed to climb to the minimum safety altitude when Mike Loening had his mayday....but they only gave Darryl a monetary fine, letting him keep the win. So when Shelton was informed that he had committed the same infraction, he felt he should still have been able to keep the win. Duty said 'no' and penalized him a lap. So Love, who still crossed the finish line in second, should have inherited the victory. But Duty said that he was above 500 feet when he crossed the finish line, so they were considering him 'off the race course' and called him a DNF.

    At this point, Burnstine didn't really know what was going on, so he made the protest...and Jerry Duty (I'd say RARA, but it was Duty's way of getting back at Lyle and Bob for their threats earlier in the year) upheld Burnstine's protest.

    Lyle and Bob both protested their penalties and Duty wouldn't allow them.

    When Ken found out what had gone down it was too late, and given his relationship with Lyle and Bob within the Unlimited class, he felt horrible about his decision to protest...and something he regretted. That was where he made his comment that he felt like the guy who showed up at the Indy 500 with a truck and won by default.

    If you want to know why to this day there is distrust by the race classes against RARA, this was one of the multitude of events that fostered that suspicion.

    As a footnote, at the award ceremony, Lyle refused to accept his fifth place trophy. A few years ago, John Slack was talking with someone at RARA and they said that they had found a box in storage with a trophy for Lyle and wanted to know where they could send it to him. John told them not to bother, that the man wasn't interested.

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    7,764

    Default Re: Ken Burnstine

    Speedie... you have the ability to draw on the resources within your mind, beyond human ability to recollect the past, and publish the consummate table book about air racing!

    I'd be pretty sure Neal would have photos to grace your commentary as well as many others...

    Maybe even a photo or two from myself..

    The really unique thing you can bring to something like this Brad, is the commentary you provide based on your exposure and experiences!
    Wayne Sagar
    "Pusher of Electrons"

  3. #83
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    west valley/silicon valley
    Posts
    273

    Default Re: Ken Burnstine

    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Jim View Post
    Lyle and Bob both protested their penalties and Duty wouldn't allow them.
    Back when I was working with Bob Love doing the re-restoration on his Mustang, I once asked him why he gave up on really racing.
    He said that he had won Reno twice and had been "beat by the pencil both times' and he wasn't going to spend anymore of his money trying to make the show.
    remember the Oogahonk!

    old school enthusiast of Civiltary Warbirds and Air Racers

  4. #84

    Default Re: Ken Burnstine

    Quote Originally Posted by Fshflys View Post
    I met Ken in '74, he & his girlfriend had just moved to Balboa Island in Newport Beach CA. I had gone to high school with his GF & being new to CA she looked me up. Ken was in his early 40's, BJ his GF 18 or 19, she mentioned that they moved to CA because things were getting too hot in FLA then she showed me the High Times article touting Ken as Flodida's Marijuana Luffwaffle King. Their home was extravagant, leather bed, fox bedspread, in his office there were glass gun caseswith all kinds of guns, automatic weapons included, he said he was a licensed gun dealer & showed us a rifle that was the same as the one used to kill JFK. He showed a gun that he had bought from one of South American's top henchman that was on the run in Central America & needed the cash. The wall paper in that room was called "Hostility Wallpaper" black with silver lettering, "F#ck the Phone Company" "F#ck Mother's Day" "F#ck Everything".
    @fshflys —- I’m a relative of Burnstine’s and was doing some research on some of his background. Would there be a chance I could connect with you for a few questions?

    Also for anyone else, if you had the opportunity to meet / talk with with Ken and could share anything at all — any chance I could briefly chat as I learn more about one of my relatives? Thank you so much!
    Last edited by Jonnybg; 11-04-2018 at 07:56 AM.

  5. #85

    Default Re: Ken Burnstine

    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Jim View Post
    Yes, Ken won Reno '74 in his stock Miss Suzi-Q. He should have never been awarded the win, but it was purely politics.

    The seeds were planted in the early months of 1974 when Lyle Shelton and Bob Love (the PRPA Unlimited Class Pres/Vice-Pres respectively) were negotiating with Jerry Duty of RARA over Unlimited class prize money. Negotiations got very tense, ultimately with Lyle threatening to have the unlimiteds boycott Reno. That was when Jerry Duty called the bluff by uttering his now infamous "You guys would race for a bucket of sh*t if we made you provide the bucket" comment.

    Fast forward to the Championship race at Reno that September. Lyle and Bob were running 1-2 for the entire race and lapped the field. During the race Mac McClain in Red Baron declared a mayday. Rules were still such that you had to climb to 500 feet during a mayday. At the time Lyle had continual problems that his 'cheap' Narco radios were mounted in a place where they were too close to the fuselage skin...and the exhaust heat on the metal was frying them. Lyle claimed he never heard the mayday call. He crossed the finish line first. On the last lap Bob Love was in second and blew his motor at about pylon 8. He continued to follow the race course and crossed the finish line as he was executing his mayday climb.

    Burnstine had been running in 3rd place. As soon as the planes landed, Jerry Duty immediately went over to Ken's plane and said that if he would make an official protest against Shelton and Love, they would declare him the winner.

    In 1971 Greenamyer had failed to climb to the minimum safety altitude when Mike Loening had his mayday....but they only gave Darryl a monetary fine, letting him keep the win. So when Shelton was informed that he had committed the same infraction, he felt he should still have been able to keep the win. Duty said 'no' and penalized him a lap. So Love, who still crossed the finish line in second, should have inherited the victory. But Duty said that he was above 500 feet when he crossed the finish line, so they were considering him 'off the race course' and called him a DNF.

    At this point, Burnstine didn't really know what was going on, so he made the protest...and Jerry Duty (I'd say RARA, but it was Duty's way of getting back at Lyle and Bob for their threats earlier in the year) upheld Burnstine's protest.

    Lyle and Bob both protested their penalties and Duty wouldn't allow them.

    When Ken found out what had gone down it was too late, and given his relationship with Lyle and Bob within the Unlimited class, he felt horrible about his decision to protest...and something he regretted. That was where he made his comment that he felt like the guy who showed up at the Indy 500 with a truck and won by default.

    If you want to know why to this day there is distrust by the race classes against RARA, this was one of the multitude of events that fostered that suspicion.

    As a footnote, at the award ceremony, Lyle refused to accept his fifth place trophy. A few years ago, John Slack was talking with someone at RARA and they said that they had found a box in storage with a trophy for Lyle and wanted to know where they could send it to him. John told them not to bother, that the man wasn't interested.
    Having lived this event let me add a couple of comments. Lyle's radio antenna was giving him fits during the race he did not in fact hear the mayday from Mac. Lyle flew about a half lap at race altitude when Bob Love asked Lyle on race control frequency if he had heard the mayday. Lyle immediately raised to the safety altitude less than 3/4 of the way through the lap. When Lyle finished the race he was less than halfway down the main straight as Bob Love was declaring his mayday. Lyle and Bob had lapped everyone including Kenny. Jerry Duty screamed up next to Burnstines airplane and told him that "If he would file a protest he would get the win." Kenny rode off with Jerry Duty in his car and filed the protest. The race committee had Walt Ohlrich on it a good friend of Lyle's, Walt told us at the end of the day Jerry Duty TOLD the rules committee what their finding would be. Unfortunately for the rules committee Lyle and Bob had finished so well that a one lap penalty wouldn't cost them their 1-2 finish, so Lyle was penalized two laps because he had not pulled up during Mac's mayday which technically he had not done so for a half of a lap. The second lap penalty was because Lyle was said to be not pulling up during Bob Love's penalty half the straight away behind..... Lyle had already taken the checkered flag and was climbing off the course! Bob was screwed, Lyle was screwed, and Kenny got an embarrassing trophy he never liked.

    Lyle also finished the race at a 432 speed. Something that would not be bettered until Jeannie in 1980. There is y'all's racin' lesson for the day.
    John
    Last edited by BellCobraIV; 11-08-2018 at 12:12 PM.
    John Slack

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