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50 Years of Air Racing

Over half a century, a devoted few created the unique culture of Reno.

What Color is Rowdy? Orange!

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(Robert Seale)

It started as a goof in 1986: A couple of buddies held up numbered cards, as judges do at the Olympic games, to express their opinions of a racer’s performance. And they may have called out and cheered a little louder than people in other sections of the general admission grandstands, and they certainly cheered louder and sometimes with different language than the more genteel crowd in the reserved seats. Year after year, more like-minded (and -voiced) fans joined the original two, Bob Lewis from Idaho and Jack Pinmentel from California, in Section 3 of the grandstand seats. In 1987, Lewis started selling orange T-shirts, and a boisterous institution was born.

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