1970 Season Summary

Statistics

1. May 31-June 1 Suncoast Cup Tampa, Florida
2. June 6-7 President's Cup Washington, D.C.
3. June 14 Kentucky Governor's Cup Owensboro, Kentucky
4. June 28 Horace Dodge Cup Detroit, Michigan
5. July 5 Indiana Governor's Cup Madison, Indiana
6. July 19 Atomic Cup Pasco, Washington
7. August 2 Seafair Trophy Seattle, Washington
8. September 20 APBA Gold Cup San Diego, California

 

  Winner Crew Chief Designer Builder Engine
5/31 Miss Budweiser (6) George McKernan Ed Karelsen Ed Karelsen Rolls Merlin
6/7 Myr Sheet Metal Jim Kerth Cantrell-Brantsner Bill Cantrell Rolls Merlin
6/14 Myr Sheet Metal Jim Kerth Cantrell-Brantsner Bill Cantrell Rolls Merlin
6/28 Myr Sheet Metal Jim Kerth Cantrell-Brantsner Bill Cantrell Rolls Merlin
7/5 Miss Budweiser (6) George McKernan Ed Karelsen Ed Karelsen Rolls Merlin
7/19 Lil Buzzard Jim Lucero Les Staudacher Les Staudacher Rolls Merlin
8/2 Miss Budweiser (6) George McKernan Ed Karelsen Ed Karelsen Rolls Merlin
9/20 Miss Budweiser (6) George McKernan Ed Karelsen Ed Karelsen Rolls Merlin

 

  Built Boat High Points Total Team High Points
1. (1968) Miss Budweiser (6) 7244 (1)
2. (1969) Notre Dame (8) 6840 (2)
3. (1968) Myr Sheet Metal 6740 (3)
4. (1966) Miss Owensboro 6059 (4)
5. (1970) Parco's O-Ring Miss (2) 4421 (5)
6. (1960) Miss Madison (2) 3940 (6)
7. (1970) Pay'n Pak (3) 3326 (7)
8. (1969) Pay'n Pak Lil Buzzard 3177 (8)
9. (1957) Atlas Van Lines II 1913 (9)
10. (1960) Totum Trailer Sales 1681 (10)
11. (1962) Smyth Smoother Mover 1563 (11)
12. (1967) Miss U.S. (4) 1502 (15-675)
    Miss Budweiser II (2)   (13-1052)
13. (1967) Miss Van's P-X 1159 (12)
14. (1959) Maverick (2) 681 (14)
15. (1970) Atlas Van Lines (4) 630 (16)
16. (1967) Miss U.S. (3) 225  

 

  Driver High Points Total
1. Dean Chenoweth 7244
2. Leif Borgersen 6840
3. Bill Muncey 6740
4. Billy Sterett 4565
5. Bill Schumacher 4421
6. Jim McCormick 3940
7. Tommy Fults 3571
8. Terry Sterett 2940
9. Ron Larsen 2932
10. Bob Gilliam 1801
11. George Henley 1563
12. Mickey Remind 1159
13. Norm Evans 996
14. Red Hamilton 681
15. Salt Walther 675
16. Walt Kade 385
17. Bob Miller 48
18. Fred Alter 000

 

1970

In the fall of 1969 a 7-Litre from the drawing board of Ron Jones turned a 5 mile heat at Lake Sammamish east of Seattle at 101 m.p.h. including a lap at 103 m.p.h. This speed was recorded over a 1-2/3 mile course. Translated to the 2½ mile course standard for Unlimiteds these figures were 111 and 113 m.p.h. This assumes that Jones' Record 7 could average 143 m.p.h. on the straightaways that distinguish a 1-2/3 mile course from a 2½. Since Record 7 went through the kilo at 166 m.p.h., this was certainly possible.

The Unlimited record for a 2½ mile competition lap was 112.219 m.p.h. and for a 15 mile heat as opposed to a limited heat of 5 miles 107.441 m.p.h. Thus some thought it might make sense to build a twin auto powered replica of Record 7 since a light, relativley small 7-Litre could not cope with an Unlimited nearly half again as large.

Pay'N Pak's Dave Heerensperger, who stuck his neck out for the failed outrigger hull of 1969, was game for another experiment in 1970. Therefore he ordered a twin auto engined cabover from Ron Jones. Unlike the 1966 Miss Bardahl the nose on the Record 7 and hence the new Pay'N Pak was pickle forked. According to some accounts the 1966 Bardahl nosed in at Washington, D.C. Bob Fendler and his sponsor Atlas Van Lines ordered a similar hull from Fred Wickens.

Budweiser driver Bill Sterett retired after the 1969 season and Bernie Little replaced him with Dean Chenoweth - the runner up in driver High Points. This left a vacancy on the now Myr Sheet Metal, which was filled by Bill Muncey recently uncoupled from the Miss U.S. team.

U.S.'s George Simon entrusted his difficult, but fast boat to the Walthers of Dayton, Ohio. New driver Dave Walther was reported to have won many races in the 7-Litre class. Notre Dame, possibly the fastest boat in the fleet, returned with 1969 driver Leif Borgersen at her helm.

Parco O-Ring Miss owner Laird Pierce, after laboring in obscurity for four years with Miss Dixi Cola (1966) and the first Parco-O-Ring Miss (1967-69) decided to move up and attempt to become a front runner. He commissioned hot designer Ed Karelsen to build him a boat. Then he hired Billy Schumacher, a ten race winner, as his driver and Jack Cochrane as his crew chief. Cochrane was the chief wrench for Miss Eagle Electric in 1968.

Guntersville declined to hold a race in 1970 and the hydros returned to Bernie Little's home town at Tampa, Florida for the initial race of the season. The water was again rough as in 1966. This should have worked to the advantage of Myr Sheet Metal, but Miss Budweiser took the regatta. Miss Budweiser won all three of her heats defeating Notre Dame twice and Parco O-Ring Miss once.

Myr Sheet Metal also had 800 points approaching the final, but driver Bill Muncey felt it unwise to push his mount in the rough water. Parco O-Ring Miss pressured Miss Budweiser in heat 1-A and had the second fastest lap of the regatta - 2 m.p.h. down to Myr Sheet Metal.

Myr Sheet Metal found the range at the President's Cup and won with 1100 points. She was defeated in heat 2-B by Parco O-Ring Miss which missed a chance to win by being defeated by the Myr in the final. Notre Dame went in to the last heat with 800 points and then had an engine failure when she had a chance for the win. Miss Budweiser had even more mechanical difficulties which relegated her to fifth overall.

Myr Sheet Metal won again at Owensboro. Miss Budweiser again experienced engine trouble and was not a factor. However in the final heat she chased down Miss Budweiser II (ex-Miss Bardahl driven by Billy Sterett son of '69 Budweiser pilot Bill Sterett) who had a win in the bag if she maintained first place with Bud One and Myr Sheet Metal following her in order. Bud One went into first place and Bud Two got sick.

Notre Dame was out of it having recurrent engine trouble.

After Miss Budweiser II faltered, Myr Sheet Metal assumed second to insure her overall regatta win. Parco O-Ring Miss gave Myr Sheet Metal a battle in heat 1-A.

The new auto powered hulls had not fared well in the first three races. Consequently Pay N'Pak and Atlas brought their aircraft engined craft back for the balance of the circuit.

Myr Sheet Metal won once more at Detroit, the first time driver Bill Muncey had put three wins together since his halcyon years in the early 60's. He had 3 m.p.h. on the field and took all three heats.

Parco O-Ring Miss won two easy elimination heats and then had a sick engine in the last heat. Miss Budweiser was again not a strong contender - not really being able to challenge the Myr Sheet Metal. Pay'N Pak's conventional hull beat Miss U.S. in heat 1-C, but could not match Myr in heat 2-A and went dead in the final. Notre Dame missed the final heat by developing engine trouble in heat 1-A before challenging Miss Budweiser in heat 2-B.

The Walthers gave up on George Simon's 1967-69 Miss U.S. after Tampa and in due course Simon leased the ex Miss Bardahl-Budweiser II which had impressed at Owensboro under the guidance of Billy Sterett. The new Miss U.S. challenged Pay'N Pak Lil Buzzard in heat 1-C and was in the lead when she experienced problems in heat 2-B. However she was well off the pace set down by Myr Sheet Metal and missed the championship heat.

Madison, Indiana closed out the eastern tour and brought Miss Budweiser back to the winner's circle. Budweiser won all three heats, but got a tussle from Notre Dame in the final. Notre Dame had taken 2-B over Myr Sheet Metal after faltering in her opening contest.

Myr Sheet Metal's winning streak was broken when she jumped the gun in heat 1-B although leading all the way, was defeated in heat 2-B by Notre Dame before running in the pack during the third heat. Lil Buzzard and Parco were off the pace at Madison.

The fleet then headed west and had a new winner in the form of Pay'N Pak Lil Buzzard. The Buzzard was 10 m.p.h. behind the leader at Detroit and 12 at Madison, but was only 5 m.p.h. behind the eight ball at San Diego last year - a fast, smooth course. She found another one at the Tri-Cities,

All her chief rivals fell by the wayside and she won the regatta by taking a second in the final heat. She along with Notre Dame turned the fast lap at the Atomic Cup at 107.6 m.p.h. - three m.p.h. off the record. Myr Sheet Metal did 107.3.

Notre Dame won her first heat over Myr Sheet Metal, was leading in heat 2-A before failing and then broke again in the third heat. Myr Sheet Metal had another bad outing missing the championship heat by having engine trouble in heat 2-B.

Miss Budweiser caved in her bow while chasing Lil Buzzard in heat 1-C. It would be tough getting her repaired before Seattle's Seafair. In the accident driver Dean Chenoweth lost part of the muscle in his arm and suffered bruises, but figured to be ready for Seattle.

Overcoming more than a little adversity Chenoweth and Budweiser came back to capture the Seafair Trophy. Miss Budweiser outlasted Notre Dame to win heat 1-C, had an easy time of it in 2-A when Myr Sheet Metal failed to start and had an apparent shoe-in in the final when only the underpowered Miss Owensboro was an alternate winner. However Budweiser went dead in the final, but recovered to place fourth insuring her third win of the season. Miss Owensboro also went dead in the water, but didn't recover.

Notre Dame again won two heats including the final, nevertheless missing a possible race win by failing in heat 1-C while trying to defeat the Miss Budweiser. Lil Buzzard also won two heats-the last being in the consolation heat against Myr Sheet Metal. She was forced to run in this heat rather than the final by not being able to start her second heat.

Myr Sheet Metal won heat 1-A, but was penalized a lap for cutting in front of Miss Madison. The relevant rule read, that there must be a safe distance before cutting over which is a rather nebulous concept when traveling 160 m.p.h. Nevertheless for the first time in Unlimited Racing history a penalty was exacted putting driver Bill Muncey down a lap.

Bill Muncey had been criticized for cutting off the field at the President's Cup albeit legally. It is interesting to contrast the reaction to this incident at Seattle to that in 1953 when Chuck Thompson allegedly cut off Lou Fageol. No penalty was called.

Heading into the Gold Cup at San Diego four entries stood out: Miss Budweiser (107.2 lap, 3 wins), Myr Sheet Metal (107.3, also 3 wins), Pay'N Pak Lil Buzzard (107.6, one win) and Notre Dame (107.6, no wins). Three of these entries were hot contenders for the National High Point Championship - Myr Sheet Metal led with 5771 points followed by Miss Budweiser 5744 and then Notre Dame 5515.

Miss Budweiser battled Notre Dame all day long at San Diego She lost to the U-7 in their initial encounter, but came back to beat the McDonald entry twice when it counted to win the Gold Cup and National High Point Championship. Notre Dame faltered in heat 3-B and couldn't get by Bernie Little's charger in the fourth heat to lose once again.

Myr Sheet Metal driver Bill Muncey was again penalized in heat 2-A for illegally cutting off Miss Budweiser. Muncey was beginning to become notorious in this respect. Bill Muncey was not considered to be a rough driver in his halycon years or even afterward before 1970.

Myr Sheet Metal lost the National High Point Championship lead due to this infraction, losing to Miss Madison in heat 1-C, and then having engine trouble in heat 3-A. She did however defeat Miss U.S. in the consolation heat.

Miss U.S. and Miss Madison each turned 107 m.p.h. laps to make six potential contenders for 1971. Miss Budweiser had the quickest lap at San Diego at 109.890 m.p.h.

A major contender Pay'N Pak Lil Buzzard was eliminated before the start of the race as she killed her driver Tommy Fults in a freak accident. Fults had shown great potential and died when his craft did a slow spinout in front of the pits. It was hard to believe that a driver could be killed in such an innocuous setting as opposed to out on the race course.

[Statistics from Greene, V.2]