Racers Announced for the 55th  STIHL National Championship Air Races

Reno, Nev. – The Reno Air Racing Association (RARA) is pleased to announce the highly-anticipated racing lineup for the 55th STIHL National Championship Air Races, scheduled September 12-16, 2018 at Reno-Stead Airport.

The event will feature six racing classes including Unlimited, Jet, Sport, T6, Formula One and Biplane, with speeds reaching over 500 miles per hour. Defending Gold champions returning this year include Rick Vandam flying American Spirit in the Jet Class, Jeff Lavelle flying Race 39 in the Sport Class, John Lohmar flying Radial Velocity in the T6 Class, Lowell Slatter flying Fraed Naught in the Formula One Class and Andrew Buehler flying Phantom in the Biplane Class.

Returning to Reno this year following long absences in the Unlimited Class are Brent Hisey flying Miss America, Mike Brown flying Goldfinger (formerly Risky Business) and Lady B, previously known as Bardahl Miss, will be flown by Michael Pfleger. Graeme Frew, flying Full Noise is returning to Reno for the second year in a row from New Zealand, and for the first time in decades a P63 Kingcobra will round the pylons at Reno.

“This is an exciting lineup of talented pilots flying beautiful planes, and we expect to see some close and competitive racing in all of the classes,” said Tony Logoteta, RARA COO. “We are really looking forward to welcoming back some teams that haven’t been to Reno in years and also seeing all of the members of this passionate racing community that follow our one-of-kind event.”

In the Unlimited class, the following racers are scheduled to participate:

Brant Seghetti – Blondie
Brent Hisey – Miss America
Curt Brown – Sawbones
Dan Vance – Speedball Alice
Dennis Sanders – Eagle’s Wings
Graeme Frew – Full Noise
Jim “JD” Dale – Pretty Polly
JP Thibodeau – Crusader
Joel Swager – Dreadnought
Mark Watt – 924G
Michael Pfleger – Lady B
Mike Brown – Goldfinger
Rob Gordon – Lady Jo
Sherman Smoot – Argonaut
Tom Nightingale – Bunny
Pace Plane: Steve Hinton – T33-Pace
Alternate Pace: Kevin Eldridge
Safety: Robert Patterson – Wee Willy
Alternate Pilots:
Joe Thibodeau
Mark Moodie


 In the Jet class, the following racers are scheduled to participate:

Alexandre Eckmann – Race 37
Bob McCormack – Athena
Charlie Camilleri – Blue Ice
J. Kevin Roll – Miss Independence
Jeff Turney – Robin 1
Jim Beyer – Poky
Joe Gano – Sluggo
Lachie Onslow – Drop Bear
Larry Labriola – Sarance
Nathan Harnagel – Realty Czech
Pete Stavrides – American Patriot
Peter A. Zaccagnino – Just Lucky
Rick Vandam – American Spirit
Scott Farnsworth – Dash Force One
Vicky Benzing – Darkstar II
Zachary McNeill – Invictus
Pace Plane: Jay Obernolte – The Mistress
Alternate Pilots:
Doug Matthews
Michael Pfleger
Michael Stieger

In the Sport class, the following racers are scheduled to participate:

Abe Gaskins – Under Dog
Andrew Findlay – One Moment
Bob Mills – Mojo
Chiwami Takagi-Read – Legacy
Dan West – Whiskey Tango
Dave Morss – Martins Legacy
David Robinson – Desert Lightning
David Sterling – No Name
Elliot Seguin – Wasabinought
Ernie O. Sutter – Jus Pass’n Thru
George Catalano – Bigger Dingo
James Stringer – Rocket Six
Jason Rovey – Sport 76
Jeff Lavelle – Race 39
Jessy Panzer – Cruse Missile
Jim Rust – Race 24
John Flanagan – Greenstreak
Karl Grove – GA 1
Kirk Murphy – Papa’s Ride
Lee Ulrich – General Lee
Louis Gabriel – Blind Luck
Marc Frederickson – Tenacity
Mathias Haid – Clas Thunder I
Matt Beaubien – Low Motion
Neil Wischer – Triple 8
Olivier Langeard – Zebulon
Paul Downing – Sport 36
Peter A. Zaccagnino – Coming In Hot
Peter Balmer – Swiss Thunder
Scott Prewitt – Phantom Rocket
Sean Vanhatten – Havoc
Skylor Piper – Miss Ruby S.
Tom McNerney – Unleashed
Tommy Ishii – Yellow Fever
Vicky Benzing – Lucky Too
Vince Walker – Modo Mio
Pace Planes:
Bob Mills – El Toro
Rick Vandam – Phoenix
Alternate Pace Pilots:
Kevin Eldredge
Mark Johnson
Michael Stieger
Alternate Pilots:
Dan Ballin
Jay Adams

In the T-6 class, the following racers are scheduled to participate:

Bill Muszala – Miss Ellaneous
Chris LeFave – Bare Essentials
Chris Rushing – Barons Revenge
Dennis Buehn – Midnight Miss III
Eric Woelbing – Miss TNT
Gene McNeely – Baby Boomer
Greg McNeely – Undecided
John Lohmar – Radial Velocity
Lee Oman – Eros
Michael Pfleger – Miss Informed
Nick S. Macy – Six-Cat
Pete Stavrides – Gotcha!
Ralph J. Rina – Miss Humboldt Hunny
Vic McMann – Gunslinger
Vitaly Pecherskyy – Abracadabra
William Walker III – Big Red
Pace Plane: Rick Siegfried – T6 Pace
Alternate Pilots:
Joey “Gordo” Sanders
Kevin Sutterfield
Mike Scott
Rob Sanberg

In the Formula One class, the following racers are scheduled to participate:

Anders Trygg – Miss Eve
Casey Erickson – ACME Special
Jason Barksdale – Tony the Tiger
Jerry Marshall – Tumbleweed
Jim Jordan – Miss Min
Joseph Clark – Sonic Zoom
Justin Meaders – Limitless
Justin Phillipson – No Strings Attached
Justin Phillipson – Sleeper
Kent Jackson – Once More
Lio V. Mougel – Hysteria
Lowell Slatter – Fraed Naught
Matthew Coughlin – Judy
Merce Marti – Heat Stroke
Paul Newman – Fast and Easy
Philip Goforth – Annie
Rob Michie – Sassy Sangoma
Ross Killin – The Kraken
Ryszard Zadow – Last Lap Player
Scott Holmes – Outlaw
Steve Senegal – Endeavor
Steve Temple – Outrageous
Steve Tumlin – Feisty
Alternate Pilot:
Swaid Rahn

In the Biplane class, the following racers are scheduled to participate:

Alan Hoover – There Be Dragons
Andrew Buehler – Mistress
Andrew Buehler – Phantom
Anthony Oshinuga – Black Hawk
Casey Erickson – The Batplane
Eric Zine – Yellow Fever
Jeffrey Lo – Miss Dianne
Jeff Rose – Second Hand
John A. D’Alessandris – RB Special
Marie-Claire Laberge – The Yellow Bomber
Robert Austen – FReaKY
Sam Swift – Smokin’ Hot
Scott McDonald – Christen EagleTommy Suell – PlaneJunkies
“Tony” Minoru Higa – Tango Tango
Alternate Pilots:
Brian Hoover
Kevin Harper
Scott Thomson

Racing qualifications for all classes will start on Sunday, September 9th at 8:00 a.m. and end on Wednesday, September 12th. Racing will begin the afternoon of Wednesday, September 12th. Tickets are on sale for the 55th annual STIHL National Championship Air Races held September 12-16, 2018 at Reno Stead Airport. For more information, to purchase tickets or to volunteer, visit https://airrace.org/.

# # #

About the Reno Air Racing Association:

The Reno Air Racing Association (RARA), a 501(c)(3), holds the STIHL National Championship Air Races every September just north of Reno. The Reno Air Races have become an institution for northern Nevada and aviation enthusiasts from around the world. Independent economic impact studies have shown that our event generates as much as $91.7 million annually for our local economy. The event features six racing classes, a large display of static aircraft and several military and civilian flight demonstrations. For more information on the STIHL National Championship Air Races, to obtain media credentials, volunteer or purchase tickets for this year’s event, visit www.airrace.org.