1973 UIM World Championship
Remund Sets 126.613 Hydro Qualifying Mark
By Del Danielson
Mickey Remund today set a Lake Washington record qualifying for tomorrow’s $50,000 World Championship unlimited hydroplane regatta.
Remund drove the Pay ‘n Pak to a three-lap average of 126.613 miles an hour, eclipsing the 125.874 mark set last year by Billy Sterett in another boat, Pride of Pay ‘n Pak.
It was Remund’s third qualifying run, upping his speed from a previous best of 124.568 m.p.h. Thursday he qualified at 122.728. Today, Remund was attempting to reach a 130-m.p.h., average.
A quick glance at the qualifying ladder might lead one to believe the Pay ‘n Pak and Budweiser are far and away the fastest of the 15 hydroplanes lining up for the race.
They are. And they aren’t.
The confusion is part of a little game called "fan plan follies" now in progress at the Stan Sayres Memorial Pits on the shore of Lake Washington.
The Fan Plan is the innovative format to match boats of like speed in preliminary heats, leading to a winner-take-all final.
Like cream, the Pay ‘n Pak and Budweiser went right to the top. After one day of qualifying, the Pak had a mark of 122.728 miles an hour. The Bud was close with a 121.901 m.p.h. average.
Nine other hydros were bunched between Pizza Pete at 100.022 m.p.h. and Shakey’s Special at 106.299 m.p.h. For all but a few of the hydro camps, the "sandbagger" label fits.
The numbers did spread out a bit yesterday, but there was no hurry to get into the "hot dog" flight, Mickey Remund moved the Pak’s speed up to 124.568 m.p.h.
The five fastest qualifiers will be in Flight-C tomorrow. The middle group will go in Flight B and the five slowpokes (or best sand-baggers) will start in Flight A.
Lee Schoenith, owner of the Pizza Pete and Atlas Van Lines, is an admitted sandbagger.
"There’s as much money up for winning Flight B as there is for running third in C. And the points are better."
As it stood this morning, Schoenith will send Bill Muncey out with the Atlas in Flight B. Fred Alter will pilot the Pizza Pete in the C section.
Schoenith may be trying to prove a point by keeping Muncey out of the speediest competition.
"I think the fan plan stinks," Schoenith said. "But I can play games too, if that’s what they want."
For a while, Muncey was in the top group with a qualifying average of 105.059 m.p.h.
When Tom Sheehy got the Miss Madison "in" with a two-lap average of 112.737 m.p.h., Muncey was dropped to fifth. And when Jim McCormick improved his speed in the Red Man I to 109.202 m.p.h., Muncey and the Atlas were put in the medium grouping.
"I got bumped!" Schoenith hollered in elation when McCormick’s speed was announced on the public-address system.
PIT STOPS: The average of 112.737 m.p.h. which put the Miss Madison in the fast flight did not bother Tom Sheehy, the driver. "We just go out and run and let the chips fall . . .," Sheehy said. "Sometimes you can over-engineer a project. Fool around with sandbagging too long and you can back yourself in a corner." . . . For some of the boat camps, it’s a matter of getting one problem solved and then finding something else to worry about. The Notre Dame blew an engine yesterday. The crew got things back in order and just as the crane lowered the craft to the water, the course was closed for the day . . . The Red Man II (former Country Boy) team solved an oil-pressure problem which had plagued George Henley on several test runs for a day and a half. With that fixed, the turbocharger attached to the big Allison engine decided to go "out of time." . . . Col. Jack Brown was scheduled to go through a driver’s qualification test today, running against the clock in a simulated start. If Brown doesn’t make it, Gene Whipp is the designated replacement to drive the Lincoln Thrift . . . Tomorrows first heat of racing will begin at noon.
(Reprinted from The Seattle Times, August 4, 1973)