RENO, Nev. (Sept. 15, 2019) — The final day of race week began with the Welcoming Ceremonies, where the Reno Air Racing Association recognized Pete Law as the Person of the Year, the highest honor of the organization. In his six decades with the National Championship Air Races, “Secret Pete” worked with nearly every Unlimited Gold racer to fly the pylon course and is credited with being the humble yet brilliant man who helped make Unlimited Air Racing faster, safer and the most exciting racing spectacle in history.

As they have for the last several years, RARA also recognized the Tuskegee Airmen with a tribute and flyby during the Welcoming Ceremonies. Today’s tribute was especially poignant with the passing of retired Lt. Col. Robert “Bob” Friend, one of the original Tuskegee Airmen. Friend flew 142 combat missions in WWII as part of the elite group of all-black fighter pilots trained at Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute. A few years ago, the Palm Springs Air Museum helped restore the P51 Mustang “Bunny” and painted it with the same numbers and markings as the plane flown by Friend in WWII. “Bunny” is flown every year at the STIHL National Championship Air Races, this year with a special tribute logo.

National Aviation Hall of Fame Enshrinees Dick Rutan, Robert ‘Hoot’ Gibson, Col. Clarence ‘Bud’ Anderson and Clay Lacy joined the late Neil A. Armstrong’s son, Mark and presenting sponsor Perform Air International in awarding the Grand Champion Neil A. Armstrong National Aviation Heritage Trophy to the 1931 WACO QCF owned by Chris Galloway of Woodland, Calif.

It was also announced today that STOL Drag Race is expected to be an official race class at the 2020 STIHL National Championship Air Races. This will be the first new race class created in 22 years.

Gold Race Results:

Unlimited Class Results: Dennis Sanders flying Dreadnought completing the course in 09:20.713 at an average speed of 403.274 mph

Jet Class Results: Pete Zaccagnino flying Just Lucky completing the course in 05:41.672 at an average speed of 495.106 mph

Sport Class Results: Andrew Findlay flying One Moment completing the course in 07:12.928 at an average speed of 390.744 mph

T6 Class Results: Chris Rushing flying Barons Revenge completing the course in 07:23.400 at an average speed of 235.081 mph.

Formula One Results: Lowell Slatter flying Fraed Naught completing the course in 06:09.023 at an average speed of 243.442 mph.

Biplane Class Results: Andrew Buehler flying Phantom completing the course in 04:55.831 at an average speed of 227.755 mph.*

* The Tom Aberle Memorial Gold Race was canceled due to high winds. Results based on Heat 3A results.

Full Race Results:

Unlimited Class Results:

Jet Class Results:

Sport Class Results:

T6 Class Results:

Formula One Results:

Biplane Class Results:

The 2020 STIHL National Championship Air Races returns Sept. 16­­­‑20, just 20 minutes north of downtown Reno. Attendees can witness the fastest motorsport in the world as six racing classes go head-to-head plus a large display of static aircraft and several military and civilian flight demonstrations. For more information, visit


About the STIHL National Championship Air Races: 

The STIHL National Championship Air Races are held every September just north of Reno by the Reno Air Racing Association, a 501(c)(3). The event has become an institution for Northern Nevada and aviation enthusiasts from around the world with six racing classes, a large display of static aircraft and several military and civilian flight demonstrations. Independent economic impact studies show that the event generates as much as $91.7 million annually for the local economy. The event is now part of the Grunt Style Air Show Majors, a six-stop tour uniting the most prestigious air shows in the country. For more information on the 2019 STIHL National Championship Air Races, to obtain media credentials, volunteer, be a vendor or purchase tickets for this year’s event, visit