home   Who We Are      Race Course Info      Photos and Videos   Contacts   Links


John Melarkey
Chief Pylon Judge
Reno National Championship Air Races

On behalf of the over 150 current National Championship Air Race Pylon Judges, allow me to welcome you to the home of one the most professional and exclusive race official organizations anywhere. I am proud to represent this group of committed volunteers who do what no other racing officials dare do - officiate the fastest motor sport on the planet!

The men and women who currently make up our crew of judges stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us for over 45 years. Since 1964, the year professional air racing was reintroduced at Stead Field (pronounced as in "instead"), near Reno, Nevada, our group has been responsible for judging all classes of air racing. That means our organization is responsible for judging Formula One, Bi-Plane, T-6, Sport, Super Sport, Jet, and Unlimited classes - the only group in the world that does so.

On the pages of this site you'll find information about who we are, what we do, what you can expect (and what we expect) should you be fortunate enough to join us, as well as some multi-media presentations to give you a flavor of what we are privileged to experience on the "sticks" (pylons) every year in the desert north of Reno. Believe me, words and pictures alone cannot explain the adrenalin-fueled rush that comes from manning your stick while these incredible aircraft head straight for you 50 feet off the deck as speeds ranging from 220mph (our slowest qualifiers are as fast or faster than any Indy Car or Formula 1 race!) to over 500mph! It defies description. As has been told to almost every prospective pylon judge, "It will either scare the hell out of you and you'll never be back, or it will bite you so hard you'll start planning for next year on your way home!" And that's to say nothing of the week-long access granted you to one of the premier air shows in North America or anywhere else for that matter.

We hope you enjoy what our site has to offer, that it answers some questions and raises even more, and that it inspires you to consider joining the ranks of those who spend a week in September each year judging the fastest motor sport in the world!

What's Expected of You   What You Can Expect From Us   What You Can Look Forward To   A Final Word