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Thu, Jul 13, 2006

National Cross Country Air Races Set To Begin!

Will Finish A Quick Hop Away From AirVenture 2006

On July 16, 2006 pilots will be arriving at Hutchinson, KS for the start of the 2006 National Cross Country Air Races.

Since we're talking about the heart of the midwest here, it's almost guaranteed the skies will be sunny... and it will be HOT, both on the ground and in the air. That's not just the weather... those are conditions that will mirror the mood of the pilots, as well.

The excitement and camaraderie will be at an all time high and the 2006 entrants assure some really hot competition. The 1996 (Arthur Mott, NC), 1998 (Nancy Toon, GA), 2003 (Bob Samson/Carol Burns, TX), 2004 (Shelby Bowles/Jim Reed, MD), and 2005 (Marvin Guthrie, FL) event winners are all returning this year, all with aspirations of becoming a two time champion.

Two very successful closed course racers are also going the distance in 2006. Mike Jones from Fullterton, CA and "Warp Speed Wanda" (below) will be competing with his favorite Reno rival, Duncan Sutherland from Alto, NM and "Extreme".

They will have to contend with Denise Waters, New York, NY and her Grumman Tiger, who have just posted a second place finish in the Women's Air Race Classic. Denise will be kept on course by Nancy Toon, Atlanta, GA. Nancy is the 1998 returning champion. 

Three races and 2400 miles means it is truly anyone's race to win or lose. First time hopefuls include flight school owners and operators, Wanda Zuege and Jon Thompson from Stevens Point, WI who will be in the slowest aircraft in the event. The races are handicapped -- so the question is, will slow be better than fast when flying from Kansas to Colorado to South Dakota and across Wyoming and on to Montana and North Dakota and Minnesota and finally Wisconsin? (Hey, whatever keeps you in the air longest -- Ed.)

The teams that competes in all three races -- the Hutchinson 300, the 1800-Mile Marion Jayne Air Race, and Wisconsin 300 -- are in running for the overall award of the Marion Jayne Perpetual Trophy.

The dust will settle and the winners will be announced July 23 at Stevens Point, WI after the Wisconsin 300 Air Race. The racers are now at the doorstep of AirVenture 2006, and are part of the GTO Convention running concurrently at Stevens Point.

FMI: www.us-airrace.org

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