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Thread: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    What were the best years of Reno? This is a totally subjective topic, but I'd love to find out what everyone's idea of the best racing years of Reno were, and why they thought that.

    Id like to take the results from this post and go back and look at a few things in the race results and see if there are any similarities from year to year of these "best" years in an effort to try to identify what might make a "Best" year. My hope is that there will be specific years that many people say were "best years" so I can look at those specific years in the race results and see what, if anything those years have in common. I'm looking for racing overall, but if there was something in the airshow part that made a year a stand out, that would be great to hear about as well.

    Will

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    First and foremost...I have woefully less experience at Reno than many on this forum so keep that in mind here! These are based on Sunday Gold (excpet 2014) but for me the also represent some good racing thru the week.

    2017: Great battle between Consalvi and The Kid
    2003: Yeah my first year but it did feature a nice head to head between Bear and Dago over 480mph on Sunday
    2008: Three UNL's over 470 average finish on Sunday. Seldom happened
    2014: The Finish...inspite of Stega DQ
    2006: Not the most competitive but September Fury winning was a highlight for me
    2012: Only because we could...


    Sorry I can't offer up much more than that. After all...I am in many respects the FNG compared to most everyone else on here!
    Owen Ashurst
    Performer Air Boss - Reno Air Races
    http://airbossone.com/

  3. #3

    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Yes, Owen all that, and..... though Tiger?s DQ was irrelevant to the quality of that race.

    Best years? That?s a lot to ask. It?s all a blurry continuum. I don?t remember all the years, or really even the sequence, thru the desert sun, wind, snow, dust, beer and tequila, but here?s a few scattered highlights, further fogged by tonight?s beer and tequila.

    So many exciting T6 races wingtip to wingtip for 6 laps, might be for third or fourth, but not for those two guys.
    Pierre Wildman re-introducing the Vampire to the world of jet pylon racing and Zagannino making it work
    Miss Gianna pushing Tom Aberle until phantom finally gave up the ghost
    Unlimited medallion rounds.Even On Thursdays.
    Helicopters entertaining us by dropping illegally parked cars on the infield.
    Kent Pietsch dropping a tire on Paul Pobeereznys car
    Fat Albert, JATOs and the required fire trucks.
    The fire truck and crew that was on top of Rapid Travel 17 seconds after it came to a cartwheeling stop.
    Winners of races riding on fire trucks.
    The sternum pounding sound of the Bear with a three blade.
    The Harrier dance. No louder than an F4, really. But F4s don?t really hang around.
    The ever evolving and continuously interesting sport class.
    The introduction of STOL Drags to Reno
    The SAAB demo team. (So sad they wont be back ;-))
    The Patriots jet team, and the Breitling jet team, and all the jet teams in uniform.
    John Travolta doing a flyby in is 707. Then being denied by the air boss when he requested a second pass...
    A Corsair, a Spitfire, a B model mustang and a P-40 all rounding the pylons... yeah, a museum parade. But a damn good one.
    And the resilience of this unique American Gasoline Festival to survive despite encroaching suburbs, 9/11, Jimmy?s wreck, and a worldwide pandemic.

    See ya?ll in the pits on Thursday. Maybe Wednesday if I can get away with it.

    Pete

  4. #4

    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    I've only been 6 years so my sample size is small

    I walk away thinking "that was a good race" when I don't know the finishing order after half the laps have been run. Whether its a tight race for third or first, is less important than having a battle to watch. Obviously it all depends on the roster and the day but generally I make sure to watch IF1 gold, Sport silver-gold, T-6 silver-gold

    2014
    There was anticipation building as Strega and PM bumped up into the faster heats. Then the Saturday race was good and then even on Sunday PM was passing airplanes.

    2015 was my first year.
    Unlimited gold was solid for each race
    Jet gold was great

    2016
    T-6 gold
    Biplane gold fight for second was super close
    IF1 Bronze had close racing though the field all week and then Goforth chasing down Scott Holmes on Sunday
    IF1 gold was memorable for the first win of Fraed Naught

    2017
    Unlimited gold all week
    T-6 gold, first win by John Lohmar

    2018
    Sport gold heats between #30 and #39
    Sport silver was super close all week
    IF1 gold
    T-6 second win by John Lohmar by a nose

    2019
    IF1 gold
    "young" Thomas

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Quote Originally Posted by CubersWrist View Post
    2014
    There was anticipation building as Strega and PM bumped up into the faster heats. Then the Saturday race was good and then even on Sunday PM was passing airplanes.
    Just wanted to start this by noting that Reno can't change it's formula too far to the point where races like these aren't possible. Before the server disaster, there was discussion about cutting out some of the early week action and only having a Gold on Sunday, Silver Saturday, etc... That really kills the anticipation that is RENO!

    Rant over, anyhow good thread Will.

    As a die hard Reno fan, each and every race is enjoyable because they all have their stories. Every year has a new element of suspense to it and that's what really gets me going. New planes finally being ready to race, returning planes testing out new equipment, veteran pilots trying out other classes or planes, it's all just so freakin' awesome to be a part of.

    But for now, focusing on the Unlimiteds for this part.

    Early 2000's: I was pretty young, but do remember the Dago vs. Bear days. They don't stick out to me, but I imagine anyone that has vivid memory of these days would say otherwise.

    2012-2013: Both awesome years with a healthy Unlimited gold contingent. The memorable part was definitely MJ working his way through the field in '13. Again, this CANNOT be taken away from Reno.

    For me, the top 3 races in recent memory are Bear's Friday win in 2015, "The Finish" in 2014, and Stevo vs. Jay in 2017. These three stick in my head because they weren't just good races, but they all had a really deep story to them that was playing out before our eyes. Bear's first win in years, Tiger back in the saddle for one last time, and Jay getting his real shot at gold and dethroning Stevo. INCREDIBLE times...

    That being said, I still think 2006-2011 were the peak of what was looking to be the future of Unlimited racing.

    2006: September Fury finally comes out on top
    2007: Rare Bear back on top, and the stuck throttle?! Excitement/anticipation/butterflies everything you could ask for.
    2008: Just look at the qual speeds in 2008. SERIOUSLY?!?!?! What a year, and of all the recent winners Strega is the one that wins it all?! Wild!
    2009: Really just a cool year because of RRIII for me. One of my all-time favorites.
    2010: The race that never was. Man I know we all wish it happened...

    And 2011: Now this is what an Unlimited class was supposed to look like. 2011 was going to put Reno back in the spotlight and the Gold contingent was absolutely nuts. HOT Strega, HOT Voodoo, The Bear, September Fury, Furias, a very soon to be HOT Precious Metal, AND the one and only Ghost. This was setting the stage for the next decade + at Reno, and very well could've brought back Dago if things didn't go the way they did. Sucks. Really just sucks.
    *My Air Race Site*

    Reno from '99 to '19

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    The halcyon days of Reno was a 20 year period between 1975 and 1995. I know that's more than 15 years, and I know there were good racing years both before and after that period. But those were the years that saw the biggest growth in spectator attendance, the largest fields at the upper end of the competition spectrum in all the classes, the most commercial sponsorships on/for racers, and most important, fairly frequent television coverage between ABC's Wide World of Sports and ESPN. It also saw a regular smattering of air races outside of Reno that supplemented the National Championships.

    There have been 'faster' years. There have been years with great races. And there have been some years where it looked like big-comeback's were in the works for the health of the event. But there were was also a 10 year period that saw events cancelled due to weather, accidents and a pandemic that effectively buried any comeback.

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