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

  1. #31
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    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    So even though Johnny Boy doesn't like it, the origins of the Pooper Gold Shootout were actually sound. The idea, as floated by Bill Destefani to RARA was to run the races as usual, but come Sunday afternoon take the fastest three Unlimiteds out of the top of the Gold race, and a bucketful of extra cash (I recall $1 million being the outrageous sum that the pilot in question suggested), and have them run an all-out 'trophy dash' kind of race. As floated, this meant a race between a healthy Strega, Dago and Bear....and the extra money was the incentive to really go fast.

    As RARA attempted it, however, the leadership decided to take the "idea" without the "extra cash". Incentive gone. And as I recall, Tiger was quite vocal about that purposeful oversight.

    And then Strega went through two engines and failed to qualify. And Dago blew its race motor during a race it should have easily walked away from everyone else in. So that left Rare Bear, and two other planes that were 30 mph slower on their best days on Sunday afternoon.

    Properly executed, the idea of the three super racers out on the course with lots of money up for grabs and no other racers on the course to have to worry about, was quite tantalizing. Just a complete failure in execution on RARA's part.

  2. #32

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

    Quote Originally Posted by L.E.D. View Post
    For whatever it's worth, I happened to still have a window open on the before-split thread and I was able to download all the pages (text and most of the the images.).

    So if there' a place I can put them I'll do so.
    Paste the ones regarding Rare Bear in Neals new thread, particularly the one from Racer18 as I have a picture for that one.

    Paste the ones that are appropriate to this thread here.
    Thank you so very much.
    John Slack

  3. #33
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    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    1976 to 2010=The Best

  4. #34
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    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Jim View Post
    So even though Johnny Boy doesn't like it, the origins of the Pooper Gold Shootout were actually sound. The idea, as floated by Bill Destefani to RARA was to run the races as usual, but come Sunday afternoon take the fastest three Unlimiteds out of the top of the Gold race, and a bucketful of extra cash (I recall $1 million being the outrageous sum that the pilot in question suggested), and have them run an all-out 'trophy dash' kind of race. As floated, this meant a race between a healthy Strega, Dago and Bear....and the extra money was the incentive to really go fast.

    As RARA attempted it, however, the leadership decided to take the "idea" without the "extra cash". Incentive gone. And as I recall, Tiger was quite vocal about that purposeful oversight.

    And then Strega went through two engines and failed to qualify. And Dago blew its race motor during a race it should have easily walked away from everyone else in. So that left Rare Bear, and two other planes that were 30 mph slower on their best days on Sunday afternoon.

    Properly executed, the idea of the three super racers out on the course with lots of money up for grabs and no other racers on the course to have to worry about, was quite tantalizing. Just a complete failure in execution on RARA's part.
    Before my time but curious. When did Tiger propose this scenario? Did RARA bail on the $$$ before race week got underway? If Strega and Dago grenaded their powerplants was that with the expectations of reaching the "trophy dash" race or was everyone aware their was no $$$ at the end of rainbow? Where was the "extra" $1MM coming from?

    Interesting concept.
    Owen Ashurst
    Performer Air Boss - Reno Air Races
    http://airbossone.com/

  5. #35
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    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Quote Originally Posted by Air Boss View Post
    When did Tiger propose this scenario?
    Over the winter during race class negotiations with RARA. The intent (from the pilot's point of view) was that RARA 'should' find the sponsorship to create that prize pot above and beyond the already established prize money. But it was an if/then proposal...not one or the other. When nothing was 'said', Tiger just assumed that RARA hadn't acted on it, and everyone in the Unlimited Class went about preparing as usual.

    Instead, RARA just took the regular top-3 position payout for the Unlimited Championship and made that they prize money for the Super Gold. The regular 4th place Gold payout then became 1st place for the 'new Gold', which was won by Preston in Miss America. I don't remember how late in the game RARA announced the format, but it was far enough ahead of time that everyone knew before they showed up.

    That decision pissed a LOT of people off. Bad. I have seen the handwritten letter that Bill Kerchenfaut wrote to the RARA CEO (but thankfully, never sent) when the format was announced. It was not pretty, and there are some words used in Kerch's vocabulary that my mother would not have approved of being used around the dinner table.

  6. #36
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    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Jim View Post
    Over the winter during race class negotiations with RARA. The intent (from the pilot's point of view) was that RARA 'should' find the sponsorship to create that prize pot above and beyond the already established prize money. But it was an if/then proposal...not one or the other. When nothing was 'said', Tiger just assumed that RARA hadn't acted on it, and everyone in the Unlimited Class went about preparing as usual.

    Instead, RARA just took the regular top-3 position payout for the Unlimited Championship and made that they prize money for the Super Gold. The regular 4th place Gold payout then became 1st place for the 'new Gold', which was won by Preston in Miss America. I don't remember how late in the game RARA announced the format, but it was far enough ahead of time that everyone knew before they showed up.


    That decision pissed a LOT of people off. Bad. I have seen the handwritten letter that Bill Kerchenfaut wrote to the RARA CEO (but thankfully, never sent) when the format was announced. It was not pretty, and there are some words used in Kerch's vocabulary that my mother would not have approved of being used around the dinner table.
    Prize money is the 500lb gorilla in the room. Has been for years...decades really. Finding a "sponsor" to drop over seven figures on this out of the ordinary, less well known, hard to identify with "sport" has been the bane of RARA's existence.

    This was obviously before 2016 and so as it turned out the UNL's knew there would be no "trophy dash" that year but Strega and Dago torched their motors regardless. The "dash" would not have been all that entertaining it seems. Not to mention how and where RARA was to secure a sponsor willing to fork up that kind of money for a one-off event. Of course, RARA had no way of knowing that when they made the decision. Not defending or denying...just an observation.

    You would know far better than I would how RARA has, from time to time, made decisions that didn't sit well with one class or another, especially when it came to the UNL. Most unfortunate. It can be tough for some folks to get that taste out of their collective mouths. One only needs to look at the list of UNL entries over the last several years to get a sense of that.

    What's your gut...if ( a BIG if) RARA were to introduce something similar for 2022, would that be incentive enough to bring back any of the "Super Gold" folks?
    Owen Ashurst
    Performer Air Boss - Reno Air Races
    http://airbossone.com/

  7. #37

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

    I really like the original intent of the original question.

    Another more detailed list of questions is think of a race you thought was great, and then answer what made it great?

    There's been phenomena in consumer products where an industry realizes that the consumers don't actually know what they want. And it takes some creative thinking and data collection to find what the real desire is. Hopefully something like that comes up from this.
    "young" Thomas

  8. #38
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    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Quote Originally Posted by CubersWrist View Post
    I really like the original intent of the original question.

    Another more detailed list of questions is think of a race you thought was great, and then answer what made it great?

    There's been phenomena in consumer products where an industry realizes that the consumers don't actually know what they want. And it takes some creative thinking and data collection to find what the real desire is. Hopefully something like that comes up from this.
    I agree. The responses have not exactly been tracking to the question posed at the outset. But, that said, this has been a terrific thread to follow! And to think they represent just a small thumbnail of what's out there in everyone's memory banks.

    I would be very interested in a list of 8-10 racing years based on this survey, what made them great, and what the speeds and attendance was for each. That'll take some digging for sure!
    Owen Ashurst
    Performer Air Boss - Reno Air Races
    http://airbossone.com/

  9. #39

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

    There is not a formula that you can create that is going to give you a resultant "Great year of racing". Early 1960s Greenameyer vs. Lyford. 2nd great time for competition late 60s early 70s Shelton vs. Greenameyer. Eighties 4360s vs. Mustangs, next great era the run of the sevens, Lyle and the Tige'. The the Dago years. You can't create a situation that develops by deep personal competition based on every moment spent on the farm thinking about beating a Bearcat, every moment in an airline cockpit thinking about how to beat a Mustang. Passion for winning, thinking about nothing else but winning. That doesn't exist in the sport today. The closest person who could play that hardline is Stevo Hinton, BUT who does he have to play with the Rare Bear? Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall and all the king's horses and all the king's men have no idea of how to put the Bear back together again. So where do you go to find the passion? What store sells that? So the best we can do is reminisce about what made the good years great and the bad years not good.

    This is just my opinion but the sport class with the leash taken off creating an additional Unlimited Sport Class would be the next great adventure. That is not just my opinion I spoke with Jon Sharp about that at the 1997 Minnesota Aviation Sport Conference. Less cost per unit for an all out no-holds barred Sport racer.
    Last edited by BellCobraIV; 05-04-2021 at 04:36 PM.
    John Slack

  10. #40
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    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Quote Originally Posted by BellCobraIV View Post
    There is not a formula that you can create that is going to give you a resultant "Great year of racing". Early 1960s Greenameyer vs. Lyford. 2nd great time for competition late 60s early 70s Shelton vs. Greenameyer. Eighties 4360s vs. Mustangs, next great era the run of the sevens, Lyle and the Tige'. The the Dago years. You can't create a situation that develops by deep personal competition based on every moment spent on the farm thinking about beating a Bearcat, every moment in an airline cockpit thinking about how to beat a Mustang. Passion for winning, thinking about nothing else but winning. That doesn't exist in the sport today. The closest person who could play that hardline is Stevo Hinton, BUT who does he have to play with the Rare Bear? Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall and all the king's horses and all the king's men have no idea of how to put the Bear back together again. So where do you go to find the passion? What store sells that? So the best we can do is reminisce about what made the good years great and the bad years not good.

    This is just my opinion but the sport class with the leash taken off creating an additional Unlimited Sport Class would be the next great adventure. That is not just my opinion I spoke with Jon Sharp about that at the 1997 Minnesota Aviation Sport Conference. Less cost per unit for an all out no-holds barred Sport racer.
    I have immense respect for what Will was trying to do here. And I'm fairly certain he knows full well how subjective this is. But that was part of the calculus. Not unlike looking at any other motorsport. What year was better for IndyCar (Alcohol turbos or Chevy small block)...NASCAR (current bodies, old school, or the new Next Gen)...Unlimited Hydroplanes (Allisons or Turbines)? Certainly apples and oranges depending on your perspetive...and your age! I suspect there's a relationship between the "best years" (however that may be defined) and the attendance in the years that followed. Speed numbers may or may not be a factor.

    Love all the reminiscing about the days gone by...I wasn't there and it really adds so much to my understanding of this event. But if this event is to survive and allow those born after 1980 to pass along their reminiscing, Reno must change.

    It's really that simple. And given the growth of Sport they most certainly should be part of that equation.
    Owen Ashurst
    Performer Air Boss - Reno Air Races
    http://airbossone.com/

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