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    National Championship Air Races: Hinton & Voodoo take off.

    It was a wild week at this year’s Air Races full of unusual things as well as some great racing. STEAD (Sept. 18) – National Championship Air Races 2016 was a very different event than in previous years. While much was made about how thin Unlimited field was the other classes stepped up and one of them had the closest finish in years. Despite their numbers the Unlimiteds are still the stars of the show. And this year, one of the young lions notched his seventh championship. “You know obviously competition wise there wasn’t a lot of hard hitters out

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    National Championship Air Races: Steven Hinton and trophy.

    STEAD – Air Race Update will be a short one tonight. The races ended on an upbeat with a popular pilot flying to his seventh Unlimited Championship. Still it was an interesting day with a few maydays but with only slight injury. Well slight unless you were an airplane then it was a a bit more serious. Topping the list is Steven Hinton, who not only won his race but got to play a very different role; pace plane pilot. While many races were runaways one wasn’t. In fact it was the closest race seen for that class in many

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    National Championship Air Races: Voodoo.

    WEEK IS ALMOST OVER AND ONE MORE DAY LEFT AFTER THIS ONE. STEAD – Air Race Update has more racing, the Blues and a heat race that was a bit more exciting than one pilot planned for. I’m also going to tie up a couple of loose ends from yesterday. On Friday Pete Zaccagnino crashed his Vampire after first losing the canopy then having the engine shut down. Afterwards he took a photograph of his wrecked jet racer. Another pilot had an exciting heat race. When the Sport Heat 2D began Chiwami Takagi-Read declared a Mayday and pulled out of

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    National Championship Air Races: Lady Mechanic.

    Women at the Air Races subject this year is a lady mechanic, one that is looking after the motors in three jets racing at the National Championship Air Races. People like her that work on the crews hold a vital position. Without their labor pilots would be lucky to even get off the ground. Santina Estrada a single mother of two has followed her passion of being around aviation. And now she’s in charge of making the sure the pole sitting jet is ready for racing. Her love of aviation began at an early age. “My parents would take us

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    National Championship Air Races: F-4 Phantom.

    Another intense day of air racing with two surprise visitors and one very lucky pilot. STEAD – Air Race Update for this Friday was a day where almost everybody raced. Only the fastest T-6 racers weren’t in the air and everyone got to see a preview of Sunday’s Unlimited Gold. The morning began with the Formula One and Biplanes running their heat races followed by the Sport class, Jets and T-6 racers. After the opening ceremonies that included flag jumpers a pair of F-35’s arrived at Reno Stead Airport and took their places in the static display area. Don’t know

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    National Championship Air Races: Miss TNT graphics and art.

    As we head into the weekend the tempo begins to increase. STEAD – Air Race Update for today has the pace quickening as the event tempo increases as well as some acts performing. The Blue Angels were both sighting the area and doing a practice program. Yesterday there was a small hitch when one of the Blues that was giving press rides blew a tire on landing. That also canceled a heat for the T-6 racers. Today however the Blues did a long scouting practice then later came back for their practice performance. Yesterday this reporter made a small error.

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    National Championship Air Races poster.

    Now things start to get serious as the tempo picks up going into the weekend. STEAD – Air Race Update for today has the final qualifying sessions, some practice time for racers and the first heat races. In the pits chane continues as Dan Angelo from Valley of Speed puts the new vintage graphics on Miss TNT, a T-6 that has won six gold titles. Over in the VIP section of the pits two Unlimiteds are on display. One is the Rare Bear while the other is #232 that Hoot Gibson flew. Sadly neither are competing this year. Not far

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  • RACING PREVIEW: Sept. 15 to 18

    National Championship Air Races poster.

    Racing preview for this week has a major event in our area plus the start of another racing season as well as what can be seen on TV and the Internet. The biggest biggest here is the annual National Championship Air Races, it’s the only place on the planet where six classes of aircraft race each other. In addition to the races there’s an air show with many acts as well as static displays of both military and civilian aircraft. The headliners this year are the Flying Blue Angels. For further information please go to This weekend is also

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    National Championship Air Races: Czech Mate recovering.

    For some it was the calm before the storm, for others not so much. STEAD (Sept. 13) – Air Race Update reflects a somewhat calm Tuesday. Well calm if you qualified but for the others, well time was running out. There were also practice starts for some classes plus the first T-6 1V1 race, which was decided at the home pylon by a half of a plane length victory. Last year these were called drag races as both aircraft use a standing start. Yesterday I showed the Logo that won’t be flying. Well with some changes here is the Logo

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    Air Races: Hinton in Voodoo.

    Busy Monday at the air Races. Stead (Sept. 12) – Air Race Update for Monday is about a day full of activity. With weather moving in on Tuesday the pace was intense as the smaller and other classes all scrambled to get in practice sessions or post qualifying times. On the lighter side there was a “Moose Sighting,” by the Voodoo pits. Wild life and aviation photographer Moose Petersen, his wife and son paid a visit as they were getting a crew portrait for the team. He was only here today and off to his next assignment in the Midwest

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    National Championship Air Races: Unlimited Czech Mate.

    Well here we go, Air Race week has begun and things get serious tomorrow. STEAD (Sept. 11)— Air Race Update for Sunday will be a bit short. Planes are here, tech inspections going on, seems a T-6 was disqualified for some kind of problem. However Czech Mate made it after a stop in Fresno for repair to its prop. Voodoo came in on Saturday as did most of the remaining aircraft. The F-1 and Biplane hanger is full and the sport class is filling two other hangers. Didn’t have time to walk up to the jet area but that looks

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    PRS: Michael Crowell, RARA CEO

    Once again Stead Airport was alive with the sounds of racing aircraft but this time the pilots were coming to be schooled in the fine art of air racing.   STEAD (June 18) – The Pylon Racing Seminar made its annual visit to the airport here. Any pilot that wants to compete at the air races, is changing classes or hasn’t raced in a while has to go through this course. Veterans also attend as it’s a way to get more time on the course. But for the rookies it’s a time to demonstrate they have the necessary flying skills

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    Fernley 95A Speedway.

    A little slow this week with the holiday but its another lull before the storm of action. Racing preview this week is a bit slim as the Easter holiday is upon us. Most national and international series are taking a holiday until things get going with a bang next week. However there are a few things happening in our region and over the hill. For drag racers Summit Racing will the place to be on Saturday. The NHRA will have chassis certification there from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. And oval track racers and fans will be happy as Fernley

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    Rattlesnake Raceway/Reno Air Races - the racing Buehns.

    Racing is a family sport, one where usually sons, daughters and the rest follow in their elder’s tire tracks. But there are some exceptions to this. The racing Buehns are one of the very few husband wife teams where both compete on oval tracks. In this area the Natenstedts are the only other duo like this. But Dennis and Tami Buehn not only race Hobby Stocks but he’s a six-time T-6 Gold champion at the Reno Air Races.   His involvement in air racing goes back into the late 1960’s when he got involved with Ed Weiner, who was racing

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    Rattlesnake Raceway - A modified spins into the mud.

    First Look at the 2016 racing season has something for almost any race fan. The upcoming season is like looking at a puzzle where most of the pieces are already in place. But there are a few more to be added including three events, two of which are new. As is usual the desert racers in the MRANN (Motorcycle Racing Association of Northern Nevada.) will begin the season with two events in February. The first is in the traditional area north of the Nixon off ramp located east of Fernley on I-80. It’s the first of the spring series. Due

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