LAS VEGAS --
Sun, 4 Feb 2007, 11:00 PM
Special Guests To Visit The Pontiac Pro Stock Showdown
By Bob Frey
In addition to all of the folks who are in Las Vegas this weekend for the Super Bowl parties, the
big auto dealer convention and the Pontiac Pro Stock Showdown at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor
Speedway, there are also hundreds of men and women in town for the "Red Flag" training sessions at
Nellis Air Force Base. "This is an opportunity for a lot of us to come together and put our
aircraft and our teams through their paces," Air Force Captain Wade Cornelius told me today. "It's
pretty intense because we approach it exactly as if we were in combat."
Captain Cornelius is a
maintenance officer with the J-Stars team, and he works on the E8C aircraft. The E8C is a modified
Boeing 707-300 series commercial aircraft that has been extensively remanufactured and modified
with radar communications and operation and control subsystems required to perform its operation
mission. The J-Stars (Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar Systems), have been in town for a few
weeks already and will stay "as long as we need to accomplish our goals," Captain Cornelius said.
Between operations, Captain Cornelius hopes to be able to bring several of his team members to the
Strip to watch the drag racing action.
"I'm a long time drag racing fan and I love watching the
cars run. I've always been a big Warren Johnson fan and the fact that I may be able to watch him
and meet him is really neat. We're all doing what we do for a living this weekend and it's great
that we're in town when the Pro Stock teams are." The captain went on to mention that his schedule
depends on how things go at the Air Force base but he hopes to be able to visit the track and the
teams on Saturday and Sunday.
"We heard about what Warren and Tommy (Johnson), Melanie (Troxel),
Jim (Yates) and Cory (McClenathan) did on their visit to the base in Germany and that was really
nice of them. Now we'd like to get a few moments to see them in action."
Captain Cornelius is a sixteen year veteran of the U.S. Air Force and has served oversees. This
weekend, as he and his team participate in the "Red Flag" exercises, the Warner Robbins, Georgia
native hopes to be able to spend some time with another Georgia resident, Warren Johnson. "I hope
it all works out because it would be fun for the team and crew to see these guys race."
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