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)