1997 Pontiac/GMC Thunder

Miss Budweiser Victory Sweet Present for Busch

By Gordon Engelhardt

The Miss Budweiser unlimited hydroplane team wrapped up their birthday present to Anheuser-Busch president August Busch III on Sunday afternoon.

Dave Villwock drove Miss Budweiser to victory at Thunder 19 with an average speed of 140.616 mph over the 2-mile Ohio River course.

"It's August Busch's birthday this weekend. I don't think we could've given him a better birthday present," Villwock said.

He said it's never as easy as it looks. "We had a lot of people standing behind us.

"We know it will go away tomorrow," Villwock continued. "We'll sit back and enjoy it. Next week is next week.We're going to enjoy the moment."

Mark Evans drove PICO American Dream to a second-place finish in 138.601. Mark Tate was third, in Close Call, with a speed of 134.165.

Villwock is the first driver to win Thunder in back-to-back years driving different boats. He won in the PICO American Dream last year. The Thunder purse is $149,385.

O'DOUL'S HIGH POINT STANDINGS (through June 29)

Boats

Miss Budweiser           3,505
DeWALT Tools             2,467
Close Call               2,297
U-2 ARC Construction     2,121
PICO American Dream      2,016
Computers & Applications 1,628
Appian Jeronimo          1,135
Miss TruckGear           1,125
Mis Exide                  592
Miss Crazy Tomato          361
Master Tire                169

Drivers

Dave Villwock            3,505
Mike Hanson              2,467
Mark Tate                2,297
Steve David              2,121
Mark Evans               2,016
Ken Muscatel             1,628
Mitch Evans              1,135
Nate Brown               1,125
Mark Weber                 338
Jimmy King                 338
Mike Jones                 254
Rick Christensen           169
Scott Pierce                23

(Reprinted from the Evansville Courier, Monday, June 30, 1997)