STOL Drags

Nat Esser strikes a pose.

When SuperCross brought off road motorcycle racing into football stadiums hundreds of thousands of people were suddenly introduced to a form of motorsport they would never otherwise seen. At the Reno air races the STOL Drag is doing the same thing.

You’re familiar with the concept. Two STOL back country aircraft line-up, drag race down range about a half mile, land, turn-around on the ground, then race back to the starting line where they land and stop. First person fully stopped wins. It’s the back country triathlon where going, flying and stopping are all important.

Naturally, the whole thing fits nicely in front of a good sized set of bleachers, which the Reno races have. Plus they have the dirt between the taxiway and runways, so the STOL Drag is all set to put on a show.

STOL Drag machinery bristles with flying gear innovation. Hot engines, ballon tires and plexiglas speed brakes are typical and weight reduction is a religion.
Kevin Quinn

And they have been all week, much to the crowd’s enjoyment. As in all drag racing you don’t have to wait so long to find out who won, so it’s always good sport.

STOL Drag’s majordomo is Kevin Quinn. He embodies the infectious effervescence of his southern California beach boy roots and mad keen enthusiasm for flying. His day job is running a heli-skiing operation in Alaska and he’s the guy with the vest, walkie-talkie and the 1000 watt smile making sure the hot rodded Kitfoxes run on time.

Quinn was quick to point us the STOL Drag’s poster queen, Nat Esser. She and husband Josh were down from Edmonton, Canada to run their Kitfox 7SS in front of the Reno crowd. Like the rest of the free-range culture of STOL Drags the pair are visibly a strong, youthful contrast to the highly traditional vibe at Reno, which is equal parts jarring and invigorating.

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