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Youth is Served: 22-Year-Old Wins at Reno

September 21, 2009 — A 22-year-old became the youngest pilot to win the top prize at the 46th annual National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada on Sunday, replacing his father who had first won the race at age 26.

Steve Hinton Jr. flew the highly modified P-51 Strega to victory in the Breitling Unlimited Gold Race at an average speed of 491.822 mph in a time of 8:10.357, almost 13 seconds ahead of John Penney in Rare Bear, an F8F Bearcat. Third place went to Sherman Smoot in the Yak 11 Czech Mate.

It was only Hinton's second appearance in the Unlimited class but he's been around the sport since he attended his first Reno races when he was two weeks old. His father Steve Hinton Sr. is a two-time Unlimited champion and Strega is no stranger to the winner's circle, having been flown to victory in the event seven times, Aero-News Network reported.

Click here for complete results and here to view a video of the day’s highlights.

The 2010 races will be held September15-19.


Steve Hinton Jr. and Strega took top honors at the 2009 National Championship Air Races in Reno on Sunday.
Photo credit: National Championship Air Race

Steve Hinton Jr., 22, is the youngest ever to win the Unlimited class in the 46 years of the Reno races.
Photo credit: National Championship Air Races

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