Joe Heartsill, aka "Smokin' Joe", is from San Angelo, Texas. Joe attended the Albuquerque, New Mexico balloon festival in 1978 and knew he had to get one for himself. He purchased his balloon and didn't even know how to fly it! He has been a licensed balloon pilot since the early 1980's. Joe works in Investments. He is married to his wife Nancy and has a daughter named Kate as well as his two sons, Rhett & Lucas.
The name of his balloon is "Texas Racer" simply because he loves to race and is from Texas. This will be his 27th year participating in the event.
Joe placed #3 in 2018, #1 in 2016, #3 in 2013, #5 in 2012 & #6 in 2011 in the Battle Creek Field of Flight Hot-Air Balloon Competitions.