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

  1. #51
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    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Quote Originally Posted by BellCobraIV View Post
    Anybody know that year? And why?
    Can I play? Or do I have to recuse myself from this game?

  2. #52
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    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Quote Originally Posted by RAD2LTR View Post
    I'd say '88 was a great year due to large fields in all the races, multiple qualifying records being broken, and in all the fields aside from the Unlimited Gold, everyone ran hard or popped trying. As for the Unlimited gold, was it a lack of Tsunami pushing Rare Bear that resulted in Bear waltzing around the course with Dreadnought pretty much running flat out, but not fast enough to actually push the Bear that resulted in the rather average race speeds on Sunday? (No reason to run fast if you don't have to.) This is where the first hand knowledge comes into play. I was there, but I was a whole 9 years old and was literally a kid turned loose in the most awesome candy store ever. I was trying to take everything in, but I couldn't tell you who won what. (I do remember having to mow a lot of lawns to be able to afford a pit pass to get into the pits.)
    I also add that hearing/watching Don Whittington overspeed the props on Precious Metal on the downhill run from Peavine and somehow managing to land it in the lakebed, followed less than a minute later by the canopy audibly blowing off of Dago Red just as they came even with the field on the start added some 'memorability' of that final. Did I really just see that happen? It took away from the competition of the race, but truth be told the shock of watching in disbelief as PM dove straight down out of sight behind the bluff behind the stands was such a distraction that although I know I 'watched' the race, I don't remember much about it. And as soon as Lyle took the flag, Randy and I were on a dead run down to the east end of the field and stumbling through the tumbleweeds to get out to the Griffon bird sitting forlornly in the dried mud.

  3. #53

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Jim View Post
    Can I play? Or do I have to recuse myself from this game?

    Swing away!
    John Slack

  4. #54
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    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    I'm certainly not an older guy on here, I've been attending the races longer than I can remember, and what I can remember begins somewhere in the early to mid 90's ... so there is plenty of fun stuff talked about on here that I wasn't around for.

    But I wanted to comment on the discussion regarding data and what makes certain years the best years. Data is certainly valuable for identifying what variables to potentially manipulate ... but I'm not sure how much analysis is needed to point out that most people just want to see genuine competition and to know that there is potential for genuine competition. New speed records are fun ... but overwhelmingly, everyone I've attended the races with and most of the comments on this thread would identify great years as being years where the Gold finals weren't forgone conclusions and multiple planes had the potential to win it all is what made certain years great. The various comments related to "parades" vs "races", years like 88 and 91, and more recently the Saturday race in 14, the races in 15, and of course the duel in 17 ...

    It's competition that most people come to see ... whether they are serious aviation guys or just casual fans. Cultivate an environment that invites, encourages, and helps ensure genuine competition and you'll have more great years from a fan's perspective. I don't pretend to have the answers on the best ways to do that ... In some cases that may mean lifting certain restrictions, in other cases in may mean adding them. and the answers may be different for different classes. But genuine competition is what makes a year of air racing great for most air race fans.
    Chris

  5. #55
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    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Jim View Post
    With all due respect to the Benevolent Dictator of Rarebearland, the reason there was not a race on Sunday can be laid directly on the shoulders of Mr. Moneybags. Recall, if you will, that Steve Hinton set a blistering new speed record in Tsunami while winning Saturday's Gold Heat. After coming back into the pits there was a rather one-sided conversation from the pilot to the owner to "not touch a damn thing, it's PERFECT".

    But we know that Mr. Moneybags could never settle for anyone, let alone his pilot, telling him not to tinker on his toy....so imagine everyone's dismay when they came into the pits on Sunday morning to find the owner adjusting the jets in the carb and making a few tweaks to 'make it even faster'.

    Pilot was NOT happy, and pilot was right...because the adjustments drowned the engine out in the final and Tsunami was a rather distant third.

    If it had been left as-is, I don't know if Tsunami would have been able to outrun a healthy Bear...but it would have been quite the time finding out.
    Wow, this makes the whole story different. I thought Tsunami was out due to a blown engine or something along those lines. Not from the owner futzing with things. With all due respect to Mr Sandberg, it sounds like he was Tsunamis biggest liability. This, together with Mr Slack's comment about running only fast enough to stay 3 seconds ahead, now explain why the Sunday race was so unexceptional. That and Dago and Precious Metal both having issues at the start also add some intrigue to the outcome. There was actually a lot of drama to the race that made it a bit of a foregone conclusion in the end. It had the makings of being one of the fastest in history.

    Thanks for adding the history to the results.

    Will

  6. #56

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

    Quote Originally Posted by RAD2LTR View Post
    Wow, this makes the whole story different. I thought Tsunami was out due to a blown engine or something along those lines. Not from the owner futzing with things. With all due respect to Mr Sandberg, it sounds like he was Tsunamis biggest liability. This, together with Mr Slack's comment about running only fast enough to stay 3 seconds ahead, now explain why the Sunday race was so unexceptional. That and Dago and Precious Metal both having issues at the start also add some intrigue to the outcome. There was actually a lot of drama to the race that made it a bit of a foregone conclusion in the end. It had the makings of being one of the fastest in history.

    Thanks for adding the history to the results.

    Will
    Bags, Nobody Could do it to himself like he could. He was one of the nicest guys I ever knew. If they could have just locked him out of his own pit.
    John Slack

  7. #57
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    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Quote Originally Posted by chrs3590 View Post
    I'm certainly not an older guy on here, I've been attending the races longer than I can remember, and what I can remember begins somewhere in the early to mid 90's ... so there is plenty of fun stuff talked about on here that I wasn't around for.

    But I wanted to comment on the discussion regarding data and what makes certain years the best years. Data is certainly valuable for identifying what variables to potentially manipulate ... but I'm not sure how much analysis is needed to point out that most people just want to see genuine competition and to know that there is potential for genuine competition. New speed records are fun ... but overwhelmingly, everyone I've attended the races with and most of the comments on this thread would identify great years as being years where the Gold finals weren't forgone conclusions and multiple planes had the potential to win it all is what made certain years great. The various comments related to "parades" vs "races", years like 88 and 91, and more recently the Saturday race in 14, the races in 15, and of course the duel in 17 ...

    It's competition that most people come to see ... whether they are serious aviation guys or just casual fans. Cultivate an environment that invites, encourages, and helps ensure genuine competition and you'll have more great years from a fan's perspective. I don't pretend to have the answers on the best ways to do that ... In some cases that may mean lifting certain restrictions, in other cases in may mean adding them. and the answers may be different for different classes. But genuine competition is what makes a year of air racing great for most air race fans.
    So by this reasoning, there could be a year where there isn't a plane capable of running 420 mph, but if there are 3 or 4 that can run 400+ that could be seen as a "good year" I do agree that its all about competition, but it seems like there are a lot of people who are of the mindset that if you can't have a race where the top speed is 470+ you don't have a good race. Yep, the Sport class could be faster than the Unlimiteds, but, if you have a gaggle of racers running between 400 and say, 420, you could have a good race and people would go "hey that was some great racing, I can't wait for next year!" (Personally I think this is totally acceptable and would be thoroughly enjoyable.) Under this premise, it could be said that Voodoo, Strega, September Fury, and Rare Bear aren't actually needed for it to be a great year of racing. It could be Dusty, Sawbones, Argonaut, 924, Gold Finger, Miss America, and Full Noise all going for it and the result could, in theory be a great year of racing and not "a parade of stockers wishing they were actually racing." because they aren't running 460+.

    This is one of the things I want to look at. There have been some years where the "fast guys" were hardly fast. The question is, were any of those years "good to great" racing years? If so, that would support the idea that its not about the speeds run, but the races run.

    Will

  8. #58

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

    I have only managed to get to Reno for the races once, in 1991 (coming from Australia). I can say I was not dissappointed, with many interesting aircraft present including the Pond Racer, Miss Ashley. Strega, Tsunami and Rare Bear.
    The gold final was won by Rare Bear at 481mph with Strega and Tsunami coming in close together in 2nd and 3rd.

    I was impressed by the way the streets of Reno were decorated with the racing aircraft parked outside the casinos.

    My brother let me know he was getting married on the Saturday , in England , but it was too late for my cousin and myself to get there. I have some very good photos of his wedding day, unfortunately missing my brother and his wife

  9. #59
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    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Lots could be said about all this but I'll keep it brief.

    Examining data will never get you to the level of interest or excitement that was once created at Reno - even if not every year was a barn burner in terms of the racing in each class. Data does not create excitement or passion.

    There wasn't one, single thing - from 1964 to about the mid-1990s that made Reno, and air racing in general, a more passionate, exciting experience. There were many, many things. They begin with the people involved. And no, I'm not saying the people racing now aren't good folks. They are. But they are different in a few ways - the product of a different environment socially and culturally.

    Dismiss it if you like but the best years at Reno - from a competition perspective and in other respects - were due in large part to the people involved. Some were nice people, some were nasty, some were hilarious, some looked for advantages on the sly, some spread misinformation just for the fun of it or to get in their competitors heads, some were in over their heads, some weren't, some were there to make the scene and have fun. But there was simply a bigger cadre of real racers and competition among them was what made it fun for them.. and everyone else. That makes a lot of difference on its own. And there are lots of other intangibles.

    On Tsunami... Jim and John have it right. No need to say more.

  10. #60
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    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Quote Originally Posted by RAD2LTR View Post
    So by this reasoning, there could be a year where there isn't a plane capable of running 420 mph, but if there are 3 or 4 that can run 400+ that could be seen as a "good year" I do agree that its all about competition, but it seems like there are a lot of people who are of the mindset that if you can't have a race where the top speed is 470+ you don't have a good race. Yep, the Sport class could be faster than the Unlimiteds, but, if you have a gaggle of racers running between 400 and say, 420, you could have a good race and people would go "hey that was some great racing, I can't wait for next year!" (Personally I think this is totally acceptable and would be thoroughly enjoyable.) Under this premise, it could be said that Voodoo, Strega, September Fury, and Rare Bear aren't actually needed for it to be a great year of racing. It could be Dusty, Sawbones, Argonaut, 924, Gold Finger, Miss America, and Full Noise all going for it and the result could, in theory be a great year of racing and not "a parade of stockers wishing they were actually racing." because they aren't running 460+.

    This is one of the things I want to look at. There have been some years where the "fast guys" were hardly fast. The question is, were any of those years "good to great" racing years? If so, that would support the idea that its not about the speeds run, but the races run.

    Will
    Two of the best Unlimited races I can ever recall seeing were in the Silver. Saturday's Silver heat in 1982 was between Bob Love in the Hovey Mustang, Skip Holm in Shangri-La, Jim Orton in Tipsy Too, and Mike Wright in Habu (its been reported that Earl Ketchen flew, but as I recall he was out sick that day and Mike flew for him). Those four guys traded the lead several times each lap and was a diving finish. Just a few seconds behind that gaggle, Ralph Rina and Steve Hinton were going at it side by side. There was 9 mph difference between first place and last place...and it was won at 362 mph. The crowd went NUTS because at any given time, any one of them could have led.

    Same thing with the IROC Sea Fury races of 1998. Howard Pardue in Fury, Bill Rheinschild and Matt Jackson sharing the seat in Bad Attitude, Stewart Dawson in Spirit of Texas, Mike Brown in September Pops and John Bagley in Southern Cross....the 3350 "IROC" Furies. It was great. All three of the Silver Heat races run in the 380's, but jockeying back and forth like crazy the whole race.

    It doesn't have to be fast, as long as its close....and when you have 4 or 5 guys all in it together...magic.

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