1980 Season Summary
|1||June 08||Champion Spark Plug Regatta||Miami, Florida|
|2||June 22||Thunder-On-The-Ohio Regatta||Evansville, Indiana|
|3||June 29-30||Spirit Of Detroit Regatta||Detroit, Michigan|
|4||July 06||APBA Gold Cup||Madison, Indiana|
|5||July 13||El Dorado-Bluestem Regatta||El Dorado, Kansas|
|6||July 27||Columbia Cup||Pasco, Washington|
|7||August 10||World Championship Seafair Trophy||Seattle, Washington|
|8||August 24||Big Mac Thunderboat Regatta||Ogallala, Nebraska|
|9||September 01||Utah Governor's Cup||Ogden, Utah|
|10||September 21||Circus Circus Thunderboat Regatta||San Diego, California|
|08-Jun||Miss Budweiser (12)||Dave Culley||Ron Jones||Ron Jones||Rolls Griffon|
|22-Jun||Miss Budweiser (12)||Dave Culley||Ron Jones||Ron Jones||Rolls Griffon|
|30-Jun||Miss Budweiser (12)||Dave Culley||Run Jones||Ron Jones||Rolls Griffon|
|06-Jul||Miss Budweiser (12)||Dave Culley||Ron Jones||Ron Jones||Rolls Griffon|
|13-Jul||Miss Budweiser (12)||Dave Culley||Ron Jones||Ron Jones||Rolls Griffon|
|27-Jul||Atlas Van Lines (9)||Dave Seefeldt||Jim Lucero||Norm Berg||Rolls Griffon|
|10-Aug||Atlas Van Lines (9)||Dave Seefeldt||Jim Lucero||Norm Berg||Rolls Merlin|
|24-Aug||Atlas Van Lines (9)||Dave Seefeldt||Jim Lucero||Norm Berg||Rolls Merlin|
|01-Sep||Squire Shop (2)||Jerry Zuvich||Dave Knowlen||Norm Berg||Rolls Merlin|
|21-Sep||Atlas Van Lines (9)||Dave Seefeldt||Jim Lucero||Norm Berg||Rolls Merlin|
|—||Built||Boat High Points||Total||Team Points|
|1||(1977)||Atlas Van Lines (9)||8900||(2)|
|2||(1980)||Miss Budweiser (12)||8300||(1-11196)|
|3||(1979)||Miss Circus Circus (2)||6513||(3)|
|4||(1973)||Miss Madison (4)||4892||(4)|
|5||(1979)||Squire Shop (2)||4300||(5)|
|7||(1966)||Miss Kentuckiana Paving||2553||(6)|
|8||(1967)||Campbell's Food Service||1488||(7)|
|9||(1972)||Oh Boy! Oberto (2)||948||(9)|
|10||(1972)||Miss Budweiser (13)||800||—|
|15||(1980)||Pay'n Pak (5)||DNS||—|
|18||(1972)||Burien Hobby Center||DNQ||—|
|20||(1971)||Miss Rock KISW-FM||DNQ||—|
|22||(1980)||Miss Circus Circus (3)||DNQ||—|
|23||(1976)||Miss O'Neil & Knudsen||DNQ||—|
|—||Driver High Points||Total|
|9||Steve La Cava||948|
Of the four top contenders of 1979 only Miss Budweiser did not return since she was damaged beyond repair in a mile trial in the fall. A new lighter Miss Budweiser of the same design was fashioned by Ron Jones and was ready to go at the beginning of the season.
Miss Circus Circus installed a belly pan for 1980 so that the engine could be placed lower in her hull and Squire Shop's sponsons were modified. Nonpareil crew chief Jim Lucero more or less left Atlas Van Lines to work for Pay N' Pak and Dave Seefeldt, Bill Muncey's crew chief on the Miss U.S.,was hired to replace him. Jerry Zuvich, a winner with Bardahl and Weisfields, replaced Bob Espland as Squire Shop's head man.
Pay N' Pak returned to the hydro wars with a turbine. The hull was light at 4300 lbs. or 5200 depending upon who you believed. This was primarily caused by the turbine engine which at 600 lbs. was about 1000 lbs. lighter than a Rolls or an Allison. Like Circus Circus the year before a rookie John Walters was hired to drive.
The Pay N' Pak represented an important development in the Unlimited Class. World War II aircraft engine were becoming increasingly scarce and the turbine could fill this potential void and at the same time get a step ahead of the Indy cars,who had banned the engine.-
Unlike 1979 the new Miss Budweiser was at the opening race at Miami and ready to win. She swept all four heats with a decisive 5 m.p.h. on the field. Atlas Van Lines was not fully prepared to start the season. Miss Circus Circus was markedly faster than the previous year, but it was not enough.
Miss Budweiser won another three heats at Evansville this time having only three m.p.h. on Miss Circus Circus. Circus again showed herself to be clearly faster than last season. Atlas Van Lines and Squire Shop were 13 m.p.h. south of the Budweiser standard.
Detroit was next and Miss Budweiser added another three heats to her growing total,which was assuming historic proportions,for her third consecutive win. Atlas Van Lines was about 5 m.p.h. short of the Bernie Little entry.
Miss Budweiser won the Gold Cup at Madison and increased her consecutive heat win streak to sixteen. In the final Budweiser got off to a bad start and was 4-1/2 seconds behind at the end of lap one. After lap 2 it was two seconds and at the beginning of lap 3 Budweiser and Atlas were dead even. In the next go round Miss Budweiser pulled away and won the- A.P.B.A. Gold Cup. All of this effort by Miss Budweiser was really not necessary as she was the only legal starter in the championship heat.
Miss Budweiser set an all time consecutive heat win record at 18 overcoming Miss Century 21's streak of 15 in 1962 by taking all three heats at the El Dorado Bluestem Regatta. Only five boats showed for the regatta and they had to be divided three and two in the preliminary heats due to a low water level. Atlas Van Lines stayed with Budweiser for the first two laps of the championship heat before falling behind. Miss Budweiser in winning had 2 m.p.h. on Miss Circus Circus and 4 m.p.h. on Atlas Van Lines.
The new Pay N' Pak made her debut at the Tri-Cities. In her test runs she appeared to be very light on her feet. On race day morning while making another test run she became airborne and did an incredible 2½ cartwheels before slamming down to the water surface. Fortunately driver John Walters was spit out of the cockpit before the Dave Heerensperger entry came down on her back. Walters survived with injuries.
Fifteen boats showed up at the Tri-Cities, but only two of them - Miss Budweiser and Atlas Van Lines - proved to have a chance in the championship heat. Both Circus Circus and Squire Shop had engine trouble and failed to make the final. This duo was only two m.p.h. behind Budweiser heading into the last heat.
Atlas Van Lines appeared to be down about 5 m.p.h. as in previous races.
At the start of the deciding heat Miss Budweiser tried to get the inside lane, however Atlas Van Lines was able to duck between the Bernie Little entry and the buoy line. This allowed Atlas to lead through the first turn. Miss Budweiser pulled even on the initial backstretch although Atlas accelerated away to finish the first lap in front by three seconds. Atlas Van Lines added to her advantage in the next two laps, but Budweiser cut the Atlas lead to 4 seconds heading into the final lap. Nevertheless Atlas Van Lines added one second to her lead to win the Columbia Cup.
The Bill Muncey entry ran on the ragged edge to win the Tri-Cities Regatta. Several times she seemed to be on the verge of going over. Her fastest lap at 133.730 m.p.h. was her all time performance by seven m.p.h. Based on previous races on 2 and 3 mile courses, Miss Budweiser figured to have the aforementioned 133 m.p.h. at the Tri-Cities. Yet she only had 127 m.p.h. in the final heat. Therefore claims by her adherents of a mechanically flawed heat had some credibility. Her consecutive heat win record was stopped at 20 .
More bad luck befell the Anheuser-Busch entry when she lost her rudder, spun out, and suffered severe damage in a qualifying run at Seattle. The boat and Dean Chenoweth were out of the contest, however owner Bernie Little in an effort to preserve his 2600 point lead for the National Championship leased Chuck Hickling's Tempus driven by Bob Maschmedt to run as Miss Budweiser.
With Budweiser out, Atlas Van Lines was a clear favorite and she took all three heats. Squire Shop showed some promise of competing with Atlas at the Tri-Cities, nevertheless it was no contest at Seattle. Miss Circus Circus had Pay N' Pak crew chief Jim Lucero in her corner, but was outrun by Squire Shop in three heat confrontations .
The hydro fleet next traveled to way out in the middle of nowhere to put on a regatta at Ogallala, Nebraska. Atlas Van Lines again won in three straight heats. Neither Squire Shop nor Miss Circus Circus could mount a challenge.
Squire Shop was able to sneak through for a victory at Ogden, Utah when Atlas Van Lines headed for the pits with a broken oil line before the championship heat. Miss Circus Circus, which had gotten the better of Squire Shop in heat 1-A, was on the backstretch when the gun went off for the start of the championship heat giving the Squire entry an easy time of it.
Atlas Van Lines was back in form for San Diego and swept all three heats. Miss Circus Circus and Squire Shop being about 5 m.p.h. off the pace could not keep up.
The Budweiser team by using two substitute hulls was able to win the National High Point Championship by over 2000 points. Dean Chenoweth appeared at San Diego with the ex-1972 Notre Dame. Miss Budweiser and took the driving championship from Bill Muncey.
[Statistics from Greene, V.2]