1974 Season Summary
|1||June 2||Champion Spark Plug Regatta||Miami, Florida|
|2||June 8-9||Presidents Cup||Washington, D.C.|
|3||June 16-17||Kentucky Governor's Cup||Owensboro, Kentucky|
|4||June 30||Gar Wood Trophy||Detroit, Michigan|
|5||July 21||U.I.M. World Championship||Pasco, Washington|
|6||August 4||APBA Gold Cup||Seattle, Washington|
|7||September 1||Hydroglobe||Dayton, Ohio|
|8||September 15||Desert Thunderboat Classic||Phoenix, Arizona|
|9||September 22||San Diego Cup||San Diego, California|
|10||October 13||Indiana Governor's Cup||Madison, Indiana|
|11||October 20||Admiral's Cup||Jacksonville, Florida|
|02-Jun||Miss Budweiser (7)||Tom Frankhouser||Lucero-Jones||Ron Jones||Rolls Merlin|
|09-Jun||Pay 'n Pak (4)||Jim Lucero||Ron Jones||Ron Jones||Rolls Merlin|
|17-Jun||Pay 'n Pak (4)||Jim Lucero||Ron Jones||Ron Jones||Rolls Merlin|
|30-Jun||Miss Budweiser (7)||Tom Frankhouser||Lucero-Jones||Ron Jones||Rolls Merlin|
|21-Jul||Pay 'n Pak (4)||Jim Lucero||Ron Jones||Ron Jones||Rolls Merlin|
|04-Aug||Pay 'n Pak (4)||Jim Lucero||Ron Jones||Ron Jones||Rolls Merlin|
|01-Sep||Pay 'n Pak (4)||Jim Lucero||Ron Jones||Ron Jones||Rolls Merlin|
|15-Sep||Miss Budweiser (7)||Tom Frankhouser||Lucero-Jones||Run Jones||Rolls Merlin|
|22-Sep||Pay 'n Pak (4)||Jim Lucero||Ron Jones||Ron Jones||Rolls Merlin|
|13-Oct||Pay 'n Pak (4)||Jim Lucero||Ron Jones||Ron Jones||Rolls Merlin|
|20-Oct||Miss Budweiser (7)||Tom Frankhouser||Lucero-Jones||Ron Jones||Rolls Merlin|
|Built||Boat High Points||Total||Team Points|
|1||(1973)||Pay 'n Pak (4)||12527||(1)|
|2||(1970)||Miss Budweiser (7)||10863||(2)|
|3||(1972)||Miss Madison (3)||4715||(4)|
|4||(1971)||Atlas Van Lines (5)||4488||(3-6463)|
|5||(1968)||Gale's Roostertail (3)||3663||(13-1688)|
|8||(1957)||Sunny Jim (2)||3307||(7)|
|10||(1971)||Red Man (2)||2432||(9)|
|12 .||(1974)||Lincoln Thrift (2)||1819||(11)|
|13||(1974)||Miss U.S. (6)||1694||(12)|
|17||(1968)||Country Boy (2)||925||(17)|
|19||(1962)||Red Ball Express||222||(19)|
|20||(1967)||Super Cinders II||0|
|22||(1970)||Lincoln Thrift II||DNS|
|Driver High Points||Total|
|11||Tom D' Eath||1694|
|13 .||Tom Kaufman||1639|
Due to the development of skid fin technology the Ron Jones designs were clearly superior in the minds of some to the Schoenith-Cantrell hull even on narrow courses. As a result three new Ron Jones hulls joined the circuit in 1974 in addition to the U-95 which was launched but never raced in 1973. George Simon ordered a new Miss U.S., Bob Fendler a new Lincoln Thrift and Leslie Rosenberg, previously just a sponsor, purchased a hull from Ron Jones to be known as Valu-Mart.
National Champion Pay'n Pak driver Mickey Remund wanted a bigger piece of the pie so he was replaced by George Henley, who like Remund was a second echelon chauffeur with potential before driving for Dave Heerensperger. 1973 Budweiser pilot Dean Chenoweth got an Anheuser-Busch distributorship in Florida which was good news for him, but bad news for Bernie Little since Augie Busch did not like the idea of one of his key employees driving a race boat. Noted limited driver Howie Benns was chosen for the Budweiser seat.
The Schoeniths with their Atlas Van Lines sponsorship did not order a Ron Jones hull. They stayed with their 1972 National Champion, but installed a rear wing as well as experimenting with adjustable sponsons.
Due to the energy crisis the Unlimited Racing Commission cut back heats from 15 miles to 12½, Only one qualifying lap was now required of an entry instead of two. Also the number of prerace qualification-testing days was reduced from three to two.
New driver Howie Benns put Miss Budweiser in the winner's circle at Miami, but not without some trouble. The Budweiser was defeated by Pay'n Pak in heat 2-A after winning 1-C and faltered twice in the final heat before taking a second to win the regatta.
Pay'n Pak lost because she not only faltered in the championship heat, but went dead in the water after posting 800 points in the preliminary heats. The new Ron Jones hulls had at least apparent rudder trouble and were not factors in the race.
The main Atlas Van Lines, which sported a rear wing over the winter, cracked up in a pre-season test run causing the Schoeniths to run the former Myr Sheet Metal at Miami. The old Myr was about 700 lbs. heavier than the 1972 High Point Champion and figured to be slow as she was in 1971 when she did substitute duty. Nevertheless the new turbo Allison power gave her the fastest lap at the regatta. However she couldn't live at that speed.
Pay'n Pak won her preliminary heats at the Presidents Cup and then placed third in the final to capture the trophy. This was facilitated by Miss Budweiser failing to finish heat 2-B while winning 1-B - she also won the final heat. The"new" Atlas Van Lines did not run any spectacular laps, but lasted the entire regatta.
The new twin turbine U-95 did a lap of 112 m.p.h. within one m.p.h. of Pay'n Pak and matching Miss Budweiser. U-95 was the first turbine to qualify for a regatta and now had achieved a parity with the Rolls Merlin.
In 1969 Don Edwards built a single turbine powered Golden Komotion patterned after the jet powered world record holder Hustler. However Golden Komotion never made it to a race. This same fate befell the turbines of 1970 - a repowered Mariner Too and Turbine I -- the former Tempo VII. Miss Lapeer, a turbine powered replica of the second Such Crust IV, made it to the final Detroit Regatta of 1973, but could do only about 70 m.p.h. for a lap. U-95 unlike these boats was a twin turbine and now was part of the Unlimited firmament.
Pay'n Pak won again at Owensboro although being defeated by Miss Budweiser in heat 2-A. Otherwise Pay'n Pak ran ahead of Budweiser who spun out in heat 1-B and had engine trouble in the final heat. U-95 had the fastest heat and qualifying lap, but had mechanical trouble in heat 2-B and hull damage in heat three.
Detroit ran the Fan Plan in the Gar Wood Memorial Regatta.
U-95 went home to try and mend her fences. She was good for one heat and then had failures.
The new Miss U.S. replaced U-95 as a major contender to Pay'n Pak and Miss Budweiser. She led the first heat for the fast flight and then spun out ending lap one 14 seconds behind the leader. The U.S. recovered and ran off two blistering laps going by Budweiser, Pay'n Pak and finally Atlas Van Lines to finish lap 3 in first place. She went on to take the heat by a clear margin over Pay'n Pak. Miss Budweiser was third. Miss U.S. had the fastest lap by 6 m.p.h. Atlas had returned their #1 hull to the circuit at Detroit.
In the next heat Miss Budweiser beat Miss U.S. by 16 seconds. Pay'n Pak was third however she made the winner-take-all final heat along with Budweiser and Miss U.S. Miss Budweiser had turned the fastest lap up to that time. Miss U.S. was down two m.p.h. and Pay'n Pak three.
Miss U.S. was unable to start the championship heat due to a broken throttle linkage. Miss Budweiser got off first in this heat and a challenging Pay'n Pak appeared out of it when she hooked inside the course. Nevertheless the Pak fought back and only lost by two seconds.
The hydros next headed to the west coast for the Tri-Cities since the Madison race had been postponed to October due to a tornado. Lincoln Thrift and Valu-Mart were scheduled to rejoin the tour. There were four major contenders: Pay'n Pak (2 wins). Miss Budweiser (2 wins), Miss U.S. and U-95. The Tri-Cities Regatta was designated the World Championship and ran the Fan Plan.
Incredibly Miss Budweiser could not qualify fast enough to make it into the fast flight which was composed of Pay'n Pak, U-95, Miss U.S., Lincoln Thrift and Valu-Mart. Pay'n Pak and U-95 swapped wins in the two preliminaries of the fast flight. A back in the pack Valu-Mart was the third fast boat to make the championship heat. Lincoln Thrift with one DNF and Miss U.S. one third place were eliminated. To the surprise of no one Miss Budweiser made the final from the middle flight.
In the initial turn of the determining heat the alternate Atlas Van Lines knocked off the U-95's tail fin effectively putting her out of contention. Then Miss Budweiser went dead heading into lap 2 and Pay'n Pak was all by herself moving away to win the World Championship.
The Gold Cup had the same four prime contenders as the Tri-Cities. The U-95 instead of having her tail fin would have equivalent pounds of lead in her stern. The Gold Cup would be run under a modified Fan Plan format at Seattle. However the race course had been changed from the more or less bath tub smooth water at Seward Park south of the floating bridge to the rather rough waves at Sand Point-site of Slo-mo-shun IV's mile record of 1950.
Pay'n Pak, Miss U.S., Lincoln Thrift, Valu-Mart and Miss Budweiser comprised the fast flight. Lincoln Thrift took a test run the morning of the race and withdrew. Two time Gold Cup champ Billy Schumacher replaced Ron Armstrong in Valu-Mart.
The fast flight ran together six times since there were three re-runs of heat one. U-95 caused the first stoppage and Miss U.S. the second. U-95 sank and Miss U.S. burned putting them out of the race. Valu-Mart was not running up to par leaving the contest to Miss Budweiser and Pay'n Pak.
Pay'n Pak got the best of Miss Budweiser all day long. In the early heats Budweiser was close, but as the day wore on Pay'n Pak's advantage became more pronounced and she won the regatta giving Dave Heerensperger his first Gold Cup.
The fleet next moved to Dayton, Ohio for a race on a small lake with 400 foot turns. The course was so narrow that the boats had to almost stop to make the turns. Only three entries could run together at one time. Pay'n Pak and Miss Budweiser were the only contenders.
Once more the aforementioned entries entered the final heat with 800 points. At the Dayton course Pay'n Pak had four m.p.h. on Budweiser and it showed as the Pak won the final heat easily to take the regatta.
Miss Budweiser got back in the winner's circle at Phoenix on Lake Carl Pleasant. She won her first heat against Valu-Mart, lost to her and Pay'n Pak in heat 2-A before barely prevailing over Atlas Van Lines in the final heat. Pay'n Pak, who had 5 m.p.h. on the field, won two preliminary heats, but got off to a bad start in the championship heat and finished fifth - a second place would have booted Miss Budweiser out of the winner's circle. Valu-Mart showed herself to be in Miss Budweiser's class at Phoenix. Interestingly Atlas Van Lines also proved to be in Budweiser's class and beat Valu-Mart in the final heat.
After the Phoenix win, Budweiser driver Howie Benns drove his motorcycle off a sand dune and broke both his legs. The persuasive Bernie Little was able to get his 1973 driver back for the last three races at San Diego, Madison and Jacksonville.
Pay'n Pak driver George Henley beat his new antagonist Dean Chenoweth twice to win the San Diego Cup. Miss Budweiser could again run with Pay'n Pak, but had mechanical failure at crucial moments in the race. Valu-Mart once more showed an ability to run with Miss Budweiser. Atlas Van Lines failed to build on her performance at Phoenix.
At Madison Valu-Mart proved better than Miss Budweiser beating her in heat 1-B, however she was clearly defeated by Pay'n Pak in 2-B. Again Pay'n Pak won all three heats and Miss Budweiser faltered when it mattered to lose the regatta.
The final event of the season was scheduled for Jacksonville, Florida. The race was run off a Navy base hence the designation Admiral's Cup. The final event shaped up as a battle between Pay'n Pak and Budweiser with Valu-Mart heading back to Seattle.
Surprisingly Miss Budweiser beat Pay'n Pak two out of three heats. Pay'n Pak had clinched the National High Point Championship at Madison. Or perhaps Bud driver Dean Chenoweth had found the range again in his third comeback race to win. the Admiral's Cup.
Unlike 1973 Pay'n Pak had significant speed on the field in 1974. Miss Budweiser, Valu-Mart and U-95 were about three m.p.h. back. Miss U.S. had shown an ability to effectively compete with the aforementioned entries. Speculation about the Atlas Van Lines' ability to compete were resolved against the Schoenith-Cantrell hull in 1974.
[Statistics from Greene, V.2]