1983 Atlas Van Lines Cup
On the Airwaves from Seneca Lake
Even with airline prices dropping and gas stabilizing most people can't attend all the unlimited races they'd like to see. So instead of long distance the Unlimited Radio Network has to be the next best thing to being there.
Living in the greater Seattle area (Bellevue) we receive Jim Hendrick & Co. on KXA-77AM. The only problem with that is everything is on a delayed basis and the half hour final heat broadcast does not come on until 4:00 o'clock which is usually 2-3 hours after the race is over. The best alternative is to try and tune in on Radio 1*2*3 (1230) from Everett. They carry the big boats live but the problem with this is that the station cannot be picked up everywhere in Seattle. I did manage to hear who won when it happened but that was about it. I waited for four o'clock and tuned in on Seattle’s Christian Broadcast Ministries (KXA-77).
Jim Hendrick came in loud and clear and immediately began with a recap of earlier heat, which is a good way to start. I got confused right off when he forgot to mention that after 1A & 1B the boats were grouped together for Heat 2. Jim called it a semi-feature event. The results went like this.
|1A||Atlas Van Lines||104.865||1B||Miss Budweiser||109.689||Heat 2||Miss Budweiser||—|
|Squire Shop||98.441||American Speedy||DSQ||Atlas Van Lines||—|
|Tosti Asti||74.84||Pure D'Lite||DNS||Squire Shop||—|
As the boats were run down for the final heat I noticed that the elimination heats didn’t really eliminate anybody. The final heat started and sounded like a great race with Bud and Atlas side by side, Hanauer grabbing lane 1 with Kropfeld applying the pressure. Side by side at the end of lap 1. Budweiser takes control on the outside going into the first corner of lap 2. Kropfeld pulls away and it’s all over but the shouting. The only other interesting bit of action occurs when Fred Leland cuts to the infield in front of the Atlas Van Lines. Chip has to slow considerably to avoid the American Speedy Printing Centers. Jim Kropfeld takes the checkered flag followed by Atlas, Squire, Tosti Asti with Fred Leland parking the U-40 in the infield. The next part of the broadcast I found rather amusing as Jim reports he doesn't know what happened to the Pure D'Lite so passes the mike to Sam Cole who says he doesn’t know where it is either. The best part of the broadcast is when Sam Cole comes on near the end and gives a News ‘n Rumors style report. Miss Renault and Rich Plan will be in Detroit along with the U-4 and the recently purchased Prodelco of Bob Taylor. More reports like this would make the broadcasts more enjoyable.
The final heat was delivered in Jim Hendrick excited style. The drawback I see to it is that he sometimes will get a bit careless. At one point during the final heat he reported that the Budweiser had just ran the fastest lap of the day at 125.4 when in fact he mentioned the Miss Budweiser’s fastest lap in the heat recaps was 125.8 in the second heat. The team of Hendrick/Cole does work well when they get all the facts straight , after all we can't see what’s going on they can and have to realize this, otherwise we will be confused more than anything.
It’s really a shame that Seattle doesn’t have a major league radio station to carry the broadcast. In the city where there are more unlimited fans than in any other part of the country the race has always been carried on an oddball channel or like in 1980 KJR edited reports that butchered the broadcasts down to zilch. At least these days they publish in the newspapers when the final heat comes on. I don’t know if I could ever take Stuart Hamblen’s Cowboy Church again.
(Reprinted from the Unlimited NewsJournal, June 1983)