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Racing in Texas

Cars Raced There, Too; It's Not About Cars...

Never mind the cars -- Little Al (Unser) won; Pat Purcell tells us, The Flying Texas 200 Air Race met the Bombardier 500 Indy Car Race over the Texas Motor Speedway. The Flying Aviation Market Expo brought the world of general aviation to the Texas Motor Speedway for the June 5-7 auto racing events. The US Air Race, Inc. produced the Flying Texas 200, a handicapped cross country speed race.

Eight veteran race teams and five rookie race teams came from Hawaii, Florida, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Texas. Aircraft flown were a true cross section of the general aviation fleet ranging in age from 1954 to 2002 and horsepowered from 150 to 600. The racers were flagged off at the start by Astrounaut Gene Cernan and his granddaughter Ashley. Scores were so close that congratulations are in order to all who flew with such precision.

The top three placing teams flew a Victory Lap by the Texas Motor Speedway during the pre-race show. After landing at nearby Alliance Airport, the winners were taken by helicopter to Victory Circle where they were given their trophies.

Purcell tells us, "We congratulate the following for their victory and for the picture they present of general aviaiton."

  • First Place to Dennis and Jeanette Hackler, Texas....Veteran racers, but their first big win; flying Magic Carpet, a Piper Arrow.
  • Second Place to Shelby Bowles and Jim Reed, Maryland...Veteran racers at the controls of Wild Thing, a Cessna Skymaster
  • Third Place to Stuart Morse and Marvin Guthrie, Florida...these wily veterans were flying Tiger Lily, a -- what else? -- Grumman Tiger
But wait! There's More!

The U.S. Air Race will also be running three Centennial Celebration events July 18-25: the Historic Air Cruise, the Renaissance 300 Air Race and the 1800-mile Marion Jayne Air Race. These events are sanctioned by the U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission; more information is available on the web site. Entry deadline: July 18, 2003.

FMI: www.us-airrace.org

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