Roger McCormick

Roger McCormick Question

QUESTION:

The late Jim McCormick, who won the 1971 Gold Cup with the Miss Madison, had a brother--Roger McCormick--who also raced boats. Did Roger ever drive an Unlimited hydroplane?

ANSWER:

Roger McCormick competed in approximately 100 heats of Limited inboard racing in the late 1960s/early 1970s. In 1971, he attempted to qualify two different Unlimiteds named Miss Timex but was unable to do so. Here's the story.

The Miss Timex (U-75) was owned by a man named Gordon Deneau. The boat's Allison engine was strictly stock. It just didn't have any power. Five different drivers (including Roger) tried--and failed--to get the U-75 up to speed but were unable to do so. Roger took his turn at Owensboro, Kentucky. His best lap was only about 88 MPH.

The Miss Timex (U-8) was owned by Jim McCormick, who acquired the Timex sponsorship in mid-season after Deneau defaulted. This was the former Parco's O-Ring Miss of 1970. It was no front-runner but was at least capable of qualifying. But the crew chief--whose name I won't mention--pulled a fast one on Roger at Madison, Indiana. The crew chief wanted Ron Larsen--who had much more experience--to drive. Without telling anyone, the crew chief detuned the U-8's Rolls engine for when Roger tried--and failed--to qualify. The crew chief then tuned the engine back up for Larsen who then was able to qualify. So, Larsen got the job and Roger McCormick never drove another Unlimited.