FORT WORTH--When Kirby Chambliss takes to the skies over Texas motor Speedway for the Red Bull Air Race September 26th and 27th. This native Texan will have redemption on his mind.
"I’m in Texas, I want to win here," he says. "I’m going to go out and put the pedal to the metal as they say."
Last year Chambliss was knocked out in the first round of flying, a low point in a disappointing season for Chambliss. He finished tenth on the Red Bull Air Race World Tour that he had won twice before.
"Once you get down it’s hard to get back up sometimes because you start second guessing yourself," says Chambliss.
But things are looking up. In his last race in Austria Chambliss finished third; his first time on the podium since 2010. Still it’s not where he wants to be.
"I’ve never been the type of person that’s been happy not even with second but certainly not third," he says. "But since it’s been such a struggle to be able to pull that off was great."
For the race in Fort Worth. Chambliss may have a secret weapon to get him from bronze to gold: new "winglets." Those are the parts of the wing that are turned up at the end.
"It’s also supposed to help the turning radius. So If I can take 50 feet out of a turn. That’s 50 feet I don’t have to fly which is a fraction of a second," he says.
In a race like this. A fraction of a second can be the difference between celebrating as the champ and being grounded.