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Sun, 4 Feb 2007, 11:00 PM

Special Guests To Visit The Pontiac Pro Stock Showdown
By Bob Frey





LAS VEGAS -- 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."


J-Stars E-8C
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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