Three Locations Vie for National Championship Air Races

Aerial showdown: Casper, Pueblo, and Roswell are in the running for air racing glory.

The Reno Air Racing Association has narrowed its original six candidates down to three possible locations. [Courtesy: RARA]

While 2023 signaled the last time championship air racing would take place in Reno, Nevada, the organizing body—Reno Air Racing Association (RARA)—has said it would actively seek out new venues for its events.

Now it’s down to three possible locations: Casper, Wyoming; Pueblo, Colorado; and Roswell, New Mexico. Off the list, for now, are Buckeye, Arizona; Thermal, California; and Wendover, Utah, though RARA says the sites “each have tremendous merit and value in their own right. We will be reaching out to them to continue discussions on their potential as expansion venues in the near future.” RARA is due to announce the final choice in March.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the amazing, positive feedback we’ve received from the six bidding communities as a whole, as we search for the future home for the National Championship Air Races,” said Fred Telling, CEO and chairman of the board for the Reno Air Racing Association. “Through a rigorous vetting process, we feel confident that one of these three locations will provide the right mix of elements our event needs to continue to race well into the future.”

According to RARA, “a series of site visits were conducted at each of the six locations by some RARA board members, class pilot representatives, and other committee participants to assess the viability of hosting the pinnacle air racing event at their facilities. A myriad of factors were taken into account, including the ability of venues to host large crowds, handle hundreds of aircraft, and support the large racecourse needed for the event.”

These venues are vying for air racing events in 2025. For 2024, Reno will host an airshow October 4-6 featuring the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the Canadian Snowbirds, and the U.S. Air Force F-16 Viper Demonstration Team. RARA claims that the races brought an estimated $100 million in annual economic impact to the Reno area.

Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on KITPLANES.

Marc Cook
Marc CookAuthor
KITPLANES Editor in Chief Marc Cook has been in aviation journalism for more than 30 years. He is a 4000-hour instrument-rated, multi-engine pilot with experience in nearly 150 types. He’s completed two kit aircraft, an Aero Designs Pulsar XP and a Glasair Sportsman 2+2, and currently flies a 2002 GlaStar.

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