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The beautiful skyward action of the Red Bull Air Race in photos

I grew up around an open-wheel racing community, so I was looking forward to my time with the Red Bull Air Race. I was extremely curious to see how it compared to the race fans I know and the earthbound competitors I've watched for years. And while many people immediately thought of Red Bull's comedic Flugtag when I told them where I was going, what I experienced couldn't have been more different.

What I found was an impressive community of highly-skilled pilots, expert crew members, and the families that travel with them. The fans in the stands (Red Bull says that over 30,000 tickets were sold, with more being sold at the gate on race day) were similar to those that fill the speedway when NASCAR is in town — motorsports enthusiasts with a penchant for thrill-seeking — but the crowd was also unusually diverse. People sported everything from tank tops emblazoned with the word "SELFIE" to shirts from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and their ethnicities reflected the global makeup of the pilots who compete.

All of this makes up a sport that's looking to grow, and flying through American speedways is certainly an interesting way to do it.

Read our report on flying in the Red Bull Air Race here!

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