Joe Heartsill 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 for 33 years and has over 2000 hours as pilot-in-command of a balloon. 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 26nd year participating in the event. His crew includes his wife Nancy as crew chief, daughter and her husband, Kate & Joel Ives, Mike Best, and Battle Creek local Bryan Evans.