1969 Kentucky Governor's Cup
Budweiser Makes it Three in a Row
Can anyone catch Bill Sterett and Miss Budweiser? Appropriate question, especially after Bernie Little and Tom Friedkin's "Super Bud" staged a spine tingling comeback to win the First Annual Kentucky Governor's Cup Race for unlimited hydroplanes before over 50, 000 people who lined the banks of the placid Ohio River in cloudy, chilly weather.
Miss Budweiser and her salt and pepper haired chaperone won this one the hard way, annexing two straight heats after a brush with disaster in the opening activity. Sterett's "Super Bud", leading a scrappy field in an early elimination heat, caught a sponson in a roller on the upriver turn, spun almost 360 degrees and dropped to a 3rd place finish.
Easily the most competitive of the two 1969 events, the bluegrass classic was highlighted by;
- Heat victories by four different thunderboats, Budweiser, Miss U.S., Myr's Special and Notre Dame.
- Daredevil driving and deck to deck competition in every heat, with a special emphasis on the final heat, which was a three lap cavalry charge by everyone but the Coast Guard patrol boats.
- The fastest lap and fastest heat by a much, much improved Miss U.S. of Detroit, whose Bill Muncey had Sterett and "Super Bud" in his sights prior to a spectacular engine explosion on the mainstretch.
- Improved performances by all of the unlimited hydro fleet, and the most enthusiastic crowd reaction witnessed in many a race. The throng attending this one just loved it, and showed it.
Heading for the Detroit UIM - APBA World Championship Race on June 29, the Little-Friedkin hydro, perfectly groomed by Crew Chief George McKernan and helmed in flawless fashion by Sterett looms as a solid favorite. There are threats and some are getting bigger each day.
Notre Dame, with Leif Borgersen improving with each race, is a tough (and getting tougher) competitor. Miss U.S. and Muncey are showing definite flashes of the brilliance that made both winners in seasons past.
Miss Budweiser's victory was her third in a row stretching over three seasons. She won $5,000 including a $1,000 award by STP.
(Reprinted from the 1969 Indiana Governor's Cup program)