1998 Season Summary

Statistics

0. April 26 Gila River Casino Lakefest Invitational [no points] Phoenix, Arizona
1. June 27-28 Pontiac Grand Am Thunder Evansville, Indiana
2. July 11-12 Chrysler Jeep APBA Gold Cup Detroit, Michigan
3. July 18-19 Virginia Is For Lovers Cup Norfolk, Virginia
4. July 26 Budweiser Columbia Cup With Wings Kennewick, Washington
5. August 1-2 Molson Dry Thunderfest Kelowna, British Columbia
6. August 9 Texaco Cup at Seafair Seattle, Washington
7. September 6 Budweiser Indiana Governor's Cup Madison, Indiana
8. September 19-20 Bayfair Bill Muncey Cup San Diego, California
9. September 27 Las Vegas Cup Las Vegas, Nevada
10. October 17,18 JN Automotive Hydrofest Honolulu, Hawaii

 

  Winner Crew Chief Designer Builder Engine Course Distance
6/28 Miss Budweiser (20) Mark Smith Brown-Jones Ron Brown Lycoming 2 Miles 22 Miles
7/12 Miss Budweiser (20) Mark Smith Brown-Jones Ron Brown Lycoming 2K Miles 52K Miles
7/19 Miss Budweiser (22) Mark Smith Leland-Villwock Ron Brown Lycoming 2 Miles 34 Miles
7/26 Miss Budweiser (20). Mark Smith Brown-Jones Ron Brown Lycoming 2K Miles 35 Miles
8/2 PICO American Dream (5) Ken Dryden Fred Leland Fred Leland Lycoming 2 Miles 28 Miles
8/9 Miss Budweiser (22) Mark Smith Leland-Villwock Ron Brown Lycoming 2 Miles 28 Miles
9/6 Miss Budweiser (20) Mark Smith Brown-Jones Ron Brown Lycoming 2K Miles 35 Miles
9/20 Miss Budweiser (22)’ Mark Smith Leland-Villwock Ron Brown Lycoming 2K Miles 35 Miles
9/27 Miss Budweiser (20) Mark Smith Brown-Jones Ron Brown Lycoming 2 Miles 28 Miles
10/18 Wild FIRE Jim Lucero Lucero-Jones Lucero-Jones Lycoming 2K Miles 35 Miles

 

  Built Boat High Points   Qual. Team Hiqh Pqints
1. (1993) Gaylord's   8§?1 (2)
2. (1997) Miss Budweiser (22)   7994 (1-15923)
3. (1995) Miss Budweiser (20)   7929  
4. (1996) Appian Jeronimo (3)   7263 (3)
5. (1998) PICO American Dream (5) a 7063 (4-7027)
6. (1988) Llumar Window: Film   5941 (5)
7. (1982) Tvetin's RV Mart   5080 (6)
8. (1995) Miss E-Lam Plus (2)   4311 (8)
9. (1984) Miss K.C. (2)   4171. (7-4340)
10. (1987) Wildfire   3365 (9)
11. (1997) Cooper's Express (2)   2330 (10)
12. (1992) Waikiki Trolley   2329 (Id
13. (1998) Miss Beelifqrklieti b 1747 (12-1398)
14. (1996) PICO American Dream (2)   1746  
15. (1988) Miss Madison (5)   855 (13)
16. (1997) Miss VONS (4)   169  
17. (1992) Miss Sammamish Lake Watch   000  
    PICO American Dream II     (14-765)
    United Furniture Warehouse     (15-349)
      a 1017 Points deducted by APBA also includes765 Points as PICO American Dream
b Includes 349 points as United Furniture Warehouse

 

  Driver High Points Total
1. Dave Villwock 15923
2. Steve David 8521
3. Mitch Evans 7263
4. Mark Evans 7027
5. Nate Brown 5941
6. Mark Weber 5695
7. Ken Muscatel 5080
8. Jimmy King 4311
9. Mike Weber 3805
10. Jerry Hale 2329
11. Mike Hanson 1390
12. Rick Christensen 1356
13. Mark Tate 765
14. Greg Hopp 222

 

1. Miss T-Plus (2), Miss D.O.C. Acuvue (3), Jim Harvey Motors Ports, ARC Construction (6) , Trendwest Resorts Miss KISS 106, Molson Jackhammer, Dole Cannery, Miss Detroit Ford Dealers, PrimeStar, Gargwiles Nitro Pennzoil Pit Stop, Deja Vu (2), Miss Chrysler Jeep, Harvey Motor Sports (2), Miss Molson, Freddie's Club
4. Chaplin's Bellevue Mazda, Miss VONS (2), Stihl (1), Miss Wellness Plan (3), KGMB Channel 9, PICO American Dream (4)
6. Mr. Pringles (2), Executone (4), Ellis Park, Super Range Golf, Ultra Bold Dash, Tide, Pizza Time/Exide Lynnwood Honda, Pfleuger Honda, Miss Tri-Cities (6), Miss Molson Dry, Chaplin's
7. Atlas Van Lines (10), Spirit of America, Squire Shop (4), Oh Boy! Oberto (6), The Brake Shop, ARC Construction (3), Harvey Motor Sports, Miss T-Plus (1), Target Stores, Computers & Applications (2), Miss Northwest Unlimited, Audio Bahn, Vaurnet, Jackson's Sports Bar, Team Yamaha Kelowna
9. Atlas Van Lines (11), Miller American (1), Miller High Life (1), Race Rock Motor City Diner, ARC Construction (4), Spirit of San Diego, American Spirit (1), Miss Circus Circus (5), Miss Exide (4) Miss Carpenter Communications, Cost Less Carpets (3) , Miss Graham Trucking
10. Miller American (2), Miller High Life (2), Miss Circus Circus (4), Winston Eagle (3), Smokin' Joe's (1) Close Call
11. Master Tire (2), Spirit of Lake Chelan (2)
12. The Brake Shop (2), Lytle State Rep., Miss U.A.W., Miss Hanalei Hotel, Dallas Motor Coach, ARC Construction (5), Tide's American Spirit, American Spirit (2), Miss Wellness Plan (2), Buehler's Buy Low, Kroeger's, Appian Renegade, Miss Rock KISW-FM (5), Miss VONS, Miss Columbia Communications, Waffle House, Miss Jennifer, Miss Welborn Health Plans, Miss R.S. Eastin Hotels, Performance Mortgage, Appian Jeronimo (2), Easter Seals (2)
13. Miss R.S. Eastin Hotels (3), PICO American Dream (6)
15. Holset Miss Madison (2), Holset Miss Mazda, Holset Miss U.S. Star, Gaylord's At Kilohana, Valvoline Miss Madison (2), Kellogg's Tony The Tiger, Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, Miss Jasper Engines, De Walt Too
16. PICO American Dream (3), Miss Crazy Tomato, Miss R.S. Eastin Hotels (2), Stihl (2), Graham Trucking
17. Coors Dry, Miss Circus Circus (7), Miss Exide II, Cost Less Carpets (2)

 

* * *

Speed Profiles '98 [Pt. 1 of 2]
      6-28 7-12 7-19 7-26 8-2
  Completion % Full Season - Rank   Evansville 2 Detroit 2½ Norfolk 2 Pasco 2½ Kelowna 2
1. Miss Budweiser (20)
1000
1000 - 1st
Test 155.162 166.312 151.007 162.493 154.129
Lap 144.936 152.588 152.207
Heat 137.013 146.448 145.750
( Finals; Finished5 of 5 )          
2. Miss Budweiser (22)
1000
Test 163.529 152.847 164.207 154.636
Lap 141.273 141.188
Heat 130.984 134.721
( Finals; Finished 5 of 5 )          
3. PICO American Dream (2)
.875 .
848- 2nd
Test 149.387 152.143 143.221 144.706
Lap 126.799 151.439
Heat 124.851 141.885
( Finals; Finished 1 of 2 )          
4. PICO American Dream (5)
PICO American Dream 98
.827
Test 154.334 141.218 155.526 140.004
Lap 140.838 134.668 143.784 138.878
Heat 134.576 124.067 140.952 136.926
( Finals; Finished 4 of 5 )          
5. Miss Bell Forklift
United Furniture Warehouse
.909
Test 153.474 149.735
Lap 103.758 123.625 140.577
Heat 101.337 121.872 134.189
( Finals; Finished 0 of 1          
6. Appian Jeronimo (3)
.838 - 4th
Test 129.334 159.450 160.505 150.423
Lap 129.536 147.092 148.950 138.116
Heat 126.267 140.222 146.086 135.062
( Finals; Finished 7 of 1 )          
7. Freddie's Club
Deja Vu (2)
.825 - 5th
Test 154.195 159.487 142.113 154.666 143.770
Lap 134.746 148.004 116.567 140.008 134.263
Heat 133.864 143.289 115.105 137.293 131.918
( Finals; Finished 6 of 9 )          
8. Miss Northwest Unlimited
.750 - 6th
Test 146.996 145.269 136.952
Lap 137.292 140.966 69.931 144.993 134.056
Heat 135.074 131.183 141.911 131.814
( Finals; Finished 4 of 6 )          
9. Carpenter Cownications
.551
.531 - 7th
Test 146.687 131.066 149.638 139.611
Lap 127.217 142.561 122.888 139.626 134.243
Heat. 125.680 134.880 100.315 136.540 131.230
( Finals; Finished 1 of 4 )          
10. Llumar Window Film
.840 - 3rd
Test 157.186 159.841 142.959
Lap 146.891 147.035 137.302
Heat 136.732 143.926 132.665
(Finals; Finished 5 of 6 )          
11. Miss E-Lam Plus (2)
1000
Test 158.019
Lap 148.979
Heat 144.397
( Finals; Finished 4 of 4 )          
12. Wildfire
1000
Test
Lap
Heat
( Finals; Finished 3 of 3 )          
13. Easter Seals (2) Test 146.275
.764 Lap 138.122
Heat 135.356
( Finals; Finished 3 of 4 )          
14. Miss Madison (5) .750 Test
Lap
Heat
( Finals; Finished 1 of 1 )          
15. Miss VONS (4) .333 Test
Lap
Heat
( Finals; Finished 0 of 0 )          
16. Master Tire (2) Test 129.071 125.287 134.313 123.097
.500 Lap 37.529 120.458 109.769 122.756 89.079
Heat 115.574 103.314 119.284
( Finals; Finished 1 of 3 )          
17. Miss Sammamish Lake Watch Test 129.242
.000 Lap
( Finals; Finished 0 of 0 )          

 

Speed Profiles '98 [Pt. 2 of 2]
      8-9 9-6 9-20 9-27 10-18 2½ Mile
  Completion % Full Season - Rank   Seattle 2 Madison 2½ San Diego 2½ Las Vegas 2 Hawaii 2½ Course Optimum
1. Miss Budweiser (20)
1000
1000 - 1st
Test 156.582 160.858 165.563 166.312
Lap 145.617 141.412 152.588
Heat 140.730 129.661 146.448
( Finals; Finished5 of 5 )            
2. Miss Budweiser (22)
1000
Test 156.352 163.663 166.153 166.153
Lap 148.362 158.200 160.723 160.723
Heat 138.535 155.839 156.059 156.059
( Finals; Finished 5 of 5 )            
3. PICO American Dream (2)
.875 .
848- 2nd
Test 148.222 154.@@@
Lap 151.439
Heat 141.885
( Finals; Finished 1 of 2 )            
4. PICO American Dream (5)
PICO American Dream 98
.827
Test 145.413 155.028 162.607 162.607
Lap 143.968 145.865 158.006 158.006
Heat 138.083 141.418 153.547 153.547
( Finals; Finished 4 of 5 )            
5. Miss Bell Forklift
United Furniture Warehouse
.909
Test 150.985 153.474
Lap 140.577
Heat 134.189
( Finals; Finished 0 of 1            
6. Appian Jeronimo (3)
.838 - 4th
Test 156.822 162.728 161.175 162.728
Lap 147.173 151.702 137.615 160.108 160.108
Heat 141.718 150.703 133.644 155.186 155.186
( Finals; Finished 7 of 1 )            
7. Freddie's Club
Deja Vu (2)
.825 - 5th
Test 143.289 142.980 151.899 149.681 159.487
Lap 139.958 133.014 132.634 129.966 143.209 148.004
Heat 133.679 131.934 128.818 124.272 140.990 143.289
( Finals; Finished 6 of 9 )            
8. Miss Northwest Unlimited
.750 - 6th
Test 136.400 141.855 146.996
Lap 136.893 133.136 144.993
Heat 133.579 130.909 141.911
( Finals; Finished 4 of 6 )            
9. Carpenter Cownications
.551
.531 - 7th
Test 143.595 148.449 144.604 149.638
Lap 136.763 140.643 139.245 142.561
Heat. 131.721 137.896 136.755 137.896
( Finals; Finished 1 of 4 )            
10. Llumar Window Film
.840 - 3rd
Test 148.656 158.890 150.701 159.841
Lap 140.518 149.975 146.977 149.975
Heat 136.036 148.151 143.275 148.151
(Finals; Finished 5 of 6 )            
11. Miss E-Lam Plus (2)
1000
Test 151.343 158.881 158.881
Lap 139.708 150.615 137.350 150.615
Heat 135.197 147.426 133.066 147.426
( Finals; Finished 4 of 4 )            
12. Wildfire
1000
Test 153.312 149.823 153.312
Lap 144.529 134.409 145.714 145.714
Heat 139.340 125.305 144.008 144.008
( Finals; Finished 3 of 3 )            
13. Easter Seals (2) Test 137.151 143.269 146.275
.764 Lap 125.942 126.132 141.387 141.387
Heat 123.841 122.900 138.319 138.319
( Finals; Finished 3 of 4 )            
14. Miss Madison (5) .750 Test 149.975 149.975
Lap 140.421 140.421
Heat 136.240 136.240
( Finals; Finished 1 of 1 )            
15. Miss VONS (4) .333 Test 148.920 148.920
Lap 135.379 135.379
Heat 131.502 131.502
( Finals; Finished 0 of 0 )            
16. Master Tire (2) Test 132.509 134.313
.500 Lap 118.950 122.756
Heat 115.919 119.284
( Finals; Finished 1 of 3 )            
17. Miss Sammamish Lake Watch Test 128.841 133.@@@
.000 Lap
( Finals; Finished 0 of 0 )            

 

1998

After having utilized the flag start for seven years the UHRA honored tradition and went back to starts by the clock.

It seemed the drivers preferred it this way, which overcame any arguments that the flag start would gain Unlimited racing more fans, since if this had happened the difference was not perceptible.

Budweiser driver Dave Villwock was preparing for a comeback after his accident at the Tri-Cities in 1997. Villwock had only a thumb and the first two fingers of his right hand, but was cleared to drive by UHRA medical inasmuch as the left hand is the most important in turning a hydroplane left around a race course. Villwock also had impressive strength in his right hand after intensive therapy.

Mark Smith was named crew chief of the Miss Budweiser after the departure of Ron Brown to Team Woomer. Turbine V97 was repaired after her crash at the Tri-Cities and had a new style canopy that would better protect the driver. Turbine III 95 was the other hull scheduled for racing by the Budweiser camp.

After years of frustration trying to beat Bernie Little,

Steve Woomer gave up the ghost in the fall of 1997. When Budweiser crew chief Ron Brown approached Woomer, he changed his mind and decided to pursue Little with a renewed vigor even though he didn't have a sponsor. Brown was his new crew chief in place of Jim Lucero.

Reportedly Woomer gave Brown more money to work with than Budweiser. New crew chief Ron Brown made extensive renovations to Woomer's facility including the installation of a dynamometer. The remains of Turbine V96 - the center section - was purchased with plans to hang new sponsons on the boat. This had been Ron Brown's latest design, but had been jettisoned by Budweiser when it proved to be too rough a ride.

All of these plans came to an end on April 22, 1998 when owner Steve Woomer had a heart attack and died. After Woomer's funeral the crew was laid off except for Jim Lucero and Butch Corning who were to assemble the inventory for sale.

Fred Leland built two new boats for 1998 - they were lighter versions of Leland's wide 1996 design. The 1997 hull had not been a success and the 1993 craft had a narrow transom not conducive to the 1998 racing environment. However they had to shave an inch off the new hulls as they were too wide under the rules. Mark Evans stayed in the saddle as PICO driver after four race wins in 1997.

Jerry Rise sponsored Bob Fendler as Appian Renegade in 1995 and then as Appian Jeronimo in 1996 and 1997. After the filled in triple wing of Ron Jones went over in 1996 at Pasco, Fendler purchased Fred Leland's 1992 hull best known as American Spirit in 1993. Driver Tom Hindley was replaced by Larry Lauterbach and then by Mitch Evans when Lauterbach retired.

Last year the 1992 hull under Fendler appeared on the eastern circuit and in due course after being 6 to 7 m.p.h. behind the leader in mid season was only 5 m.p.h. back in the last race of 1997 at Honolulu. Sponsor Rise was encouraged by this performance and endeavored to close the gap by splitting with Fendler and buying a new hull. He hired some marquee crew members in John Walters and Tim Ramsey although keeping Mitch Evans as driver.

The hull purchased was PICO 1997 that won at Seattle last year going over in that race as well as at Detroit when driven by Scott Pierce. The 97 PICO was the lightest of Leland's first three hulls, which were of a similar design. It was reported to be 500 lbs. lighter than the 1992 hull run as Appian Jeronimo last year.

After first appearing on the scene in the mid eighties, Mitch Evans was finally getting a chance to drive a boat that was presumably wired to win. The younger Evans had distinguished himself piloting the piston powered Cooper Express and was highly regarded by no less a personage than Chip Hanauer.

The 1995 Miss Budweiser won all her heats handily to take the first regatta of the season at Evansville. PICO selected their 1996 hull as opposed to either of their new boats for the race. A new fuel flow system had been installed for 1998 by the Leland team and their entry suffered since there were problems getting fuel to the engine.

PICO was 11 m.p.h. short of Budweiser and 13 m.p.h. slower than last year and as a consequence was defeated by two lesser entries in the preliminary heats. Appian Jeronimowas 15 m.ph. off the pace and couldn't get above third place.

Miss Budweiser 95 had an easy time winning the Gold Cup as her main opposition PICO American Dream 1996 and Appian Jeronimo had mechanical problems. PICO's problems continued to involve their fuel flow system and Appian Jeronimo had gear box troubles. PICO was within one m.p.h. of Budweiser in the early heats, but then began popping valves on her fuel flow sytem and was not able to contend thereafter.

After the Detroit Gold Cup owner Fred Leland was told by PICO to only race one hull instead of three. Also Appian Jeronimo and Liumar Window Film opted to skip the regatta at Norfolk, Virginia. This brought the field down to six and resulted in only five heats being run instead of nine. Moreover there were 15 failures in these five heats.

PICO decided to start their new boat, however it was seven m.p.h. short of Budweiser 1997, who won all her heats to take the regatta.

Dave Villwock piloted Turbine V97 for the first time in competition since it threw him at Pasco last year.

Miss Budweiser 1995 ran at the Tri-Cities and she won all her heats to take the Columbia Cup having four m.p.h. on the field. PICO 98, still having fuel flow problems, was nine m.p.h. down to Budweiser and didn't even make the final heat. Appian Jeronimo was only 4 m.p.h. off the pace and managed to win a heat, however she came a cropper in the championship heat when suddenly stopping in a warmup lap.

After 11 starters at the Tri-Cities only eight came to the line at Kelowna for the Molson Dry Thunderfest. Both PICO 98 and Appian Jeronimo had advanced to the point that they were only three mp.h. behind Budweiser. PICO had adjusted her fuel flow system. Budweiser 97 was the Anheuser-Busch charger for this event.

A portend of things to come occurred in heat 2-A. Miss Budweiser was forced to lane four by Miss Molson driven by Steve David. Molson kept Budweiser in lane four 2 seconds off the pace at the end of lap one. Then Budweiser got caught in Molson's roostertail and finished in fourth place well behind the first place boat. PICO 98 had out-dueled Appian Jeronimo for the heat win. Budweiser went on to take heat 3-B as she had 1-A. The Evans Brothers Mitch and Mark in Appian and PICO were her nearest competition.as Appian had reversed her defeat by PICO in heat 3-A.

PICO American Dream started the championship heat in lane 5, nevertheless leading out of the first turn. Appian Jeronimo inside of PICO slid over on Budweiser and wet her down. Thereafter PICO had an easy lead on. Appian Jeronimo and won the heat and the regatta by eight seconds. Appian Jeronimo was disqualified for cutting over in the initial turn of the heat, but managed to hose Budweiser again before the Anheuser-Busch entry beat her out for third place.

At Seattle Appian Jeronimo finally caught up to Miss Budweiser 1997 being rated at 147.1 competition lap against 148.3 for Budweiser approaching the final heat. Appian won all three of her elimination heats and Budweiser 97 would have done the same except for jumping the gun in heat 2-A.

On the backstretch prior to the start of the championship heat Appian Jeronimo stalled having been caught in some roostertails. However she restarted and came on the outside at the gun then moved over illegally on Miss E-Lam Plus in the first turn resulting in a disqualification. Still she was third up the initial backstretch. PICO 98 was in front at this time, but was passed by Miss Budweiser before the second turn. Budweiser won by 11 seconds. The second place PICO continued to have fuel flow problems at Seattle.

As a result of heavy rains and a consequent flood over the fourth of July weekend, Madison postponed their regatta until September. A field of seven showed up after the Appian Jeronimo decided to stay home. PICO 98 had had her engines re-dynoed at her sponsors facility in Detroit and matched Budweiser 95's best lap at 145 m.p.h. in Madison.

PICO American Dream got the jump at the start of the final heat leading into the first turn and up the initial backstretch. However on lap two she went wide and pushed Miss Budweiser into a course marker resulting in her disqualification. PICO was in a physical first place until the third backstretch as Budweiser went by after the Fred Leland entry hooked slightly. Miss Budweiser scored yet another victory for owner Bernie Little.

Appian Jeronimo rejoined the tour at San Diego. PICO 1998 again matched Miss Budweiser - this time the 1997 boat - in competition laps at 158 m.p.h. Yet in the determinative confrontation PICO American Dream jumped the gun and blew its engine on lap three while being in:.third place. Appian Jeronimo could not win a heat all day long and lost the final heat to Miss Budweiser by nine seconds.

PICO American Dream beat Appian Jeronimo in heat 1-B which was invalidated by a N2 violation. In heat 2-A PICO battled Budweiser all the way and lost by a roostertail. Following a loss to Miss Budweiser in heat 3-A, PICO had another N2 violation in the last heat of the regatta. This resulted in the Fred Leland team losing all of their points for San Diego as the UHRA adjudged them to be in flagrant violation of the rules.

Fred Leland was incensed by the decision and pulled his entry off the circuit for the balance of the season. Appian Jeronimo had again fallen significantly behind Budweiser in lap speed, nevertheless she was Bernie Little's only competition at Las Vegas, which drew six boats.

Appian Jeronimo won some heats in Las Vegas, but could not get one best of Miss Budweiser. In the championship heat Appian gave Budweiser 1995 a good tussle for all five laps yet lost by two seconds.

Miss Budweiser had four m.p.h. on Appian at the Nevada city regatta.

In the last contest of the season at Honolulu as at Seattle Appian Jeronimo showed an ability to run with the Miss Budweiser 97 by equalling her best competition lap at 160 m.p.h. She almost beat Budweiser in heat 2-A, but jumped the gun in the final heat however leading the field including Budweiser after five laps. Budweiser also beat the clock and nosed Appian out for second at the end of six laps. This gave the JN Automotive Hydrofest to Wildfire - the ex-Close Call purchased from the Steve Woomer estate. Wildfire was 15 m.p.h. short of the pace set by Budweiser and Appian. In comparison to Appian Jeronimo, Miss Budweiser won all her elimination heats in Hawaii.

There were 61 failures - DNF's and DNS's - over the ten race schedule in 1998. This was a larger attrition rate than 1993 when there were no fuel flow restrictions or N2 shaft limitations.

[Statistics from Greene, V.2]