1975 Season Summary
|1.||May 18||Champion Spark Plug Regatta||Miami, Florida|
|2.||May 31-June 1||Presidents Cup||Washington, D.C.|
|3.||June 15||Kentucky Governor's Cup||Owensboro, Kentucky|
|4.||June 29||Gar Wood Trophy||Detroit, Michigan|
|5.||July 6||Indiana Governor's Cup||Madison, Indiana|
|6.||July 13||Dayton Hydroglobe||Dayton, Ohio|
|7.||July 27||APBA Gold Cup||Pasco, Washington|
|8.||August 3||Seafair Trophy||Seattle, Wash|
|9.||September 14||Desert Thunderboat Classic||Phoenix, Arizona|
|10.||September 21||Weisfield's Trophy||San Diego, California|
|18-May||Weisfield's||Jerry Zuvich||Ron Jones||Ron Jones||Rolls-Merlin|
|01-Jun||Miss Budweiser (7)||Tom Frankhouser||Lucero-Jones||Ron Jones||Rolls-Merlin|
|15-Jun||Weisfield's||Jerry Zuvich||Ron Jones||Ron Jones||Rolls-Merlin|
|29-Jun||Miss U.S. (6)||Jim Kerth||Ron Jones||Ron Jones||Allison|
|06-Jul||Pay 'n Pak (4)||Jim Lucero||Ron Jones||Ron Jones||Rolls-Merlin|
|13-Jul||Pay 'n Pak (4)||Jim Lucero||Ron Jones||Ron Jones||Rolls-Merlin|
|27-Jul||Pay 'n Pak (4)||Jim Lucero||Ron Jones||Ron Jones||Rolls-Merlin|
|03-Aug||Pay 'n Pak (4)||Jim Lucero||Ron Jones||Ron Jones||Rolls-Merlin|
|14-Sep||Miss Budweiser (7)||Tom Frankhouser||Lucero-Jones||Ron Jones||Rolls-Merlin|
|21-Sep||Pay 'n Pak (4)||Jim Lucero||Ron Jones||Ron Jones||Rolls-Merlin|
|Built||Boat High Points||Total|
|1||1973||Pay 'n Pak (4)||8864|
|3||1974||Lincoln Thrift (2)||8103|
|4||1970||Miss Budweiser (7)||6677|
|6||1974||Miss U. S. (6)||4795|
|7||1975||Atlas Van Lines (7)||4017|
|9||1957||Sunny Jim (2)||1079|
|10||1967||Miss Van's P-X (1)||972|
|13||1962||Oh Boy Oberto||469|
|15||1963||Sunny Jim Jam||95|
|Driver High Points||Total|
|16||Jack Schafer Jr.||225|
With the advent of prize money, drivers were no longer so grateful for the privilege of driving an Unlimited Hydroplane that they would accept just expenses or indeed nothing at all. After the 1973 season Mickey Remund wanted more money from owner Dave Heerensperger and the Pak owner hired George Henley to replace him. Now Henley has gone the same route as Remund and Jim McCormick became the Pay 'n Pak pilot. In both cases Heerensperger took a driver from relative obscurity and made him a champion.
Jim McCormick was injured severely in 1974 so there was a question as to how much of McCormick Heerensperger was getting for 1975. McCormick got better competition laps from Red Man in late 1974 than either Jerry Bangs or Tom Sheehy although these laps were about 5 m.p.h. short of his performance with the boat in 1973.
Also hiring a new driver was Miss Budweiser in the person of former Pay 'n Pak chauffeur Mickey Remund. Miss U.S. and Valu-Mart now Weisfield's stood pat except Weisfield's had reunited the Bardahl winning combination of driver Billy Schumacher and Jerry Zuvich.
The Schoeniths finally waived the white flag of surrender and built a Ron Jones style hull. However the new Atlas was not designed by Ron Jones, but rather by the Schoenith camp and Jon Staudacher. Atlas driver Bill Muncey had gone three years without a win - his previous high being one season.
Jerry Zuvich and the Weisfield's team did their homework in the off season and won the Champion Spark Plug Regatta sweeping all three heats. Weisfield's posted a lap and heat record in winning.
Pay 'n Pak had sponson modifications over the winter and was about 10 m.p.h. off the pace experiencing mechanical trouble in both her heats. Miss Budweiser hesitated at inopportune times in the final heat and lost placing fifth, but won heat 2-A after being trounced by Weisfield's in heat 1-B. The new Atlas ran well however she was clearly beaten on two occasions.
Nine entries showed up at Washington, D.C. for the Presidents Cup, but only seven qualified. The Unlimited Commission was firmly against three boat heats so under the rules the top six boats were to run four heats with the seventh boat being an alternate.
On the first day of the regatta the water was rather rough and Miss Budweiser beat Weisfield's. The other boats were out of contention. Miss U.S. was the seventh boat on the beach.
Sunday produced better water and Weisfield's won all three heats. However Weisfield's lost the race when she was penalized for cutting off the field in heat two. A steady Miss Budweiser captured the trophy although Weisfield's beat her three times and Pay 'n Pak once.
After the Presidents Cup, Jim McCormick resigned as Pay 'n Pak driver. McCormick possibly not fully recovered from his injuries of 1974 was convinced he could not do the job. The Pay 'n Pak had trouble turning and McCormick was not mastering the situation.
In spite of having her 1974 driver George Henley back in the cockpit, Pay 'n Pak was still having some trouble turning and spun out for Henley at Owensboro. Weisfield's therefore had another easy straight heat victory. Miss U.S. was the next fastest boat and ran with Weisfield's for a few laps. The new Atlas Van Lines gave an undistinguished performance. Miss Budweiser failed to complete a lap.
Weisfield's driver Billy Schumacher had never been overly fond of the Detroit River especially in the early season when due to prevailing wind conditions the river is generally rougher than in September. Pay 'n Pak continued to have trouble getting through the turns and lost to the winner Miss U.S. twice. Miss U.S. also defeated Miss Budweiser twice to score an impressive win. The new Atlas Van Lines was 12 m.p.h. down after being only 4 m.p.h. off the pace at Miami. The Detroit deficit was a continuation of a trend for Atlas that started in the second race.
Weisfield's was back in form at Madison, but unfortunately for her so was Weisfield's which had been brought back by the tinkering of crew chief Jim Lucero with the input of driver George Henley. Pay N' Pak beat Weisfield's twice in the preliminary heats by razor thin margins and then more or less stroked it in the final to win the regatta with 1100 points. The stars at Detroit Miss U.S. and Miss Budweiser were significantly off the pace. The somewhat elderly Miss Budweiser lost part of her sponson in heat 1-B.
The next event on the circuit was at the restored gravel pit at Dayton. Pay 'n Pak and Weisfield's won both their preliminary heats prior to their confrontation in the final heat. Weisfield's died off the first corner and Pay 'n Pak won another trophy. Budweiser and Miss U.S. were not in the ball game.
The Gold Cup at the Tri-Cities shaped up as another confrontation between Pay 'n Pak and Weisfield's. Weisfield's had mechanical trouble in heats one and three and was washed down in heat two leaving the Cup to Pay 'n Pak. Pak won all her preliminary heats and cruised to a third place in the final when she needed only a finish to prevail for the Gold Cup. Both Miss U.S. and Lincoln Thrift could be characterized as near contenders being about three m.p.h. back of Pay 'n Pak and Weisfield's.
Pay 'n Pak now held first place in the National High Point Standings. Weisfield's miscues in the middle season had made up for the Pak's bad start.
Miss U.S. had the fastest lap at Seattle's Seafair - in fact what proved to be the swiftest of the season -, but blew in the heat she turned this lap. Both the U.S. and the Miss Budweiser could not complete a heat. Weisfield's won two confrontations during the race including the final, but took a third in 2-A due to engine trouble.
Pay 'n Pak ran consistently all day long to annex the Seafair Trophy with 1100 points.
The Seafair Regatta almost didn't happen since admission revenue was needed to stage the race. This was the reason for moving the contest to Sand Point. The U.R.C. rejected Sand Point since it was too rough thus precipitating a crisis. The crisis was resolved when Seafair raised $70,000 in a telethon to finance the regatta.
The hydros returned to Phoenix next for the Desert Thunderboat Regatta. The race would be held on Firebird Lake a short narrow man-made course designed for limited competition at 1⅔ miles. The fleet was thereby required to run match races in the preliminary heats as only two boats could run on the course at the same time. The final heat would have four entries - two in the front row and two trailers.
Weisfield's, Miss Budweiser, Lincoln Thrift, Hamm's Bear and Atlas Van Lines all won their sections of heat one. Only Weisfield's had meaningful competition as Miss U.S. gave her a good tussle before going dead in the water. Pay 'n Pak spun out in heat 1-E with driver George Henley having to push the Pak off the center island in order to finish.
Pay 'n Pak, Hamm's Bear, Miss Budweiser and Weisfield's won their sections of heat two. Nobody won heat 2-E as Miss U.S. failed to start and Oh Boy Oberto went dead in the water. Weisfield's again had meaningful opposition defeating Lincoln Thrift.
Miss Budweiser, Weisfield's, Hamm's Bear, and Lincoln Thrift made up the final four with Pay 'n Pak being eliminated on elapsed time after her infamous heat 1-E spinout. In the front row Miss Budweiser was given the inside over Weisfield's since she had the lower elapsed time. No dicing for position could be allowed due to the small, short course.
Miss Budweiser won the final heat and the race when Weisfield's after getting a slight lead on the final lap spun slightly in the last turn. Miss Budweiser came off the comer faster to give her the advantage at the finish line.
At this point Weisfield's regained first place in the High Point race and had a 349 marker lead over Pay 'n Pak. The Heerensperger entry had been the leader after the preceding two events.
Ironically Weisfield's would have won the High Point Championship had not its corporation decided to sponsor the final race at San Diego. The Weisfield's corporation could rationalize this to some extent since the Weisfield's Trophy was the most competitive Unlimited contest of all time.
Miss Budweiser won heat 1-A easily, but Pay 'n Pak and Weisfield's dueled throughout 1-B with Pay 'n Pak winning the confrontation by feet. Miss Budweiser took heat 2-A dueling with Weisfield's until the latter expired. Pay 'n Pak captured heat 2-B over Lincoln Thrift with the finish being so close that the judges had to decide the Pak's victory. This allowed Pay 'n Pak to gain 400 points on Weisfield's who had a lead of only 249 points after being defeated by Budweiser in heat 1-B.
Heading into the final Pay 'n Pak and a resurgent Miss Budweiser were tied 800 points. However according to preliminary heat lap speeds the Pak had six m.p.h. on Budweiser. Weisfield's did not qualify for the final heat thus Pay 'n Pak became 1975 National High Point Champion.
In spite of this Miss Budweiser battled Pay 'n Pak bow to bow until encountering Sunny Jim on the final backstretch. Budweiser had the inside and was forced to go through some of Sunny Jim's bad water. Pay 'n Pak on the outside was away clear. The defending and current High Point Champion had a slight lead off the final turn as Budweiser had not given up and accelerated away to win the heat and consequently the race by one second.
After Owensboro Pay 'n Pak was behind in the High Point race by 2350 points. Owensboro was the last race Weisfield's won. Thereafter the Pak took three straight regattas to get the High Point lead away from the fading Weisfield's to be in front after seven races with maybe three to go.
Weisfields stayed close however and when Pay 'n Pak stumbled at Phoenix regained the lead after nine races. But Pay 'n Pak's medicine proved stronger and she prevailed in the final race to take the Championship
At the end of the season Pay 'n Pak, Weisfield's and Miss U.S. were within one m.p.h. of each other. Lincoln Thrift and Miss Budweiser were about 2 m.p.h. back of the leaders. The new Atlas Van Lines did not make the grade as a contender.
[Statistics from Greene, V.2]