2000 Season Summary

Statistics 1

1. May 20-21 Empire Power Mohave Hydrofest Lake Havasu City, Arizona
2. June 25 Budweiser Thunder on The Ohio Evansville, Indiana
3. July 2 Belterra Indiana Governor's Cup Madison, Indiana
4. July 8-9 Chrysler Jeep A.P.B.A. Gold Cup Detroit, Michigan
5. July 29-30 Budweiser Columbia Cup With Wings Kennewick, Washington
6. August 6 General Motors Cup at Seafair Seattle, Washington
7. September 16-17 Ralph's/Food4Less Bill Muncey Cup San Diego, California

 

  Winner Crew Chief Designer Builder Engine Course Distance
5/21 Miss Budweiser (20) Mark Smith Brown-Jones Ron Brown Lycoming 2 Miles 28 Miles
6/25 Miss Budweiser (23) Mark Smith Dave Villwock Mark Smith Lycoming 2 Miles 28 Miles
7/2 Miss Budweiser (22) Mark Smith Leland-Villwock Ron Brown Lycoming 2½ Miles 35 Miles
7/9 Miss Budweiser (22) Mark Smith Leland-Villwock Ron Brown Lycoming 2½ Miles 42½ Miles
7/30 Miss E-Lam Plus (2) Erick Ellstom Leland-Dryden Tom Ellstrom Lycoming 2½ Miles 35 Miles
8/6 Miss Budweiser (22) Mark Smith Leland-Villwock Ron Brown Lycoming 2 Miles 28 Miles
9/17 Miss Budweiser (22) Mark Smith Leland-Villwock Ron Brown Lycoming 2½ Miles 35 Miles

 

  Built Boat High Points Total Team High Points
1. (1987) YORK International 6910 A (2-6510)
2. (2000) Sun Harbor 5819 B (4-5549)
3; (1997) Miss Budweiser (22) 5731   (1-9576)
4. (1990) Appian Jeronimo (4) 5591   (3)
5. (1995) Miss E-Lam Plus (2) 5543 C (5-5318)
6. (1988) Oh! Boy! Oberto (9) 5103   (6)
7. (1993) Freddie's Club 5094 A (7-4494)
8. (2000) Znetix I 4176 E (8-4218)
9. (1999) Miss Freei 3338 F (11-2742)
10. (1997) Bardahl Special 3302   (9)
11. (1988) LLumar Window Film 3232 G (10-3137)
12. (2000) Miss Budweiser(23) 2205    
13. (1996) Znetix II 1929 H (12-1633)
14. (1995) Miss Budweiser(20) 1640    
15. (1998) Project X 1038    
16. (1997) New Kid In Town 750   (13)
  Penalty points deducted:
A - 400
B - 300
C - 225
A - 600
E - 996
F - 596
G - 95
H - 296

 

  Driver High Points Total
1. Dave Villwock 9576
2. Mark Weber 6510
3. George Stratton 5591
4. Mike Hanson 5549
5. Mark Evans 5318
6. Mark Tate 4494
7. Greg Hopp 4218
8. Jimmy King 3137
9. Mitch Evans 3048
10. Nate Brown 2992
11. Ken Muscatel 2742
12. Charley Wiggins 1815
13. Terry Troxell 1633
14. Jerry Hale 750
15. Jerry Hopp 296
16. Mike Weber 254

 

Former Names
1. Miller American (2) , Miller High Life (2), Miss Circus Circus (4), Winston Eagle (3) , Smokin' Joe's (1) Close Call, Wildfire, Miss Havasu, Miss 25 NBC, Miss Pizza Time, Miss D.Y.C., Lowrey’s Big Beef
2. Jones Racing (2), WABX, Miss Carpenter Communications (2) , Miss Go Bowling (3)
4. Winston Eagle (2), Smokin' Joe's (2)
6. 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, DeWALT Tools, Miss Madison (5)
7. Miss T-Plus (2), Miss D.O.C. Acuvue, Jim Harvey Motorsports, ARC Construction (6), Trendwest Resorts, Miss KISS 106, Molson Jackhammer, Dole Cannery, Miss Detroit Ford Dealers, Primestar, Gargoyles Nitro Pennzoil Pit Stop, Deja Vu (2), Miss Chrysler Jeep, Harvey Motor Sports (2), Miss Molson, Gaylord's
9. Miss Bell Forklift (2), Toyota Industrial Equipment, Tire Factory, Team Yamaha Kelowna (2), Northwest Unlimited
10. Master Tire (2), Spirit of Lake Chelan (2), Cooper's Express (2), Graham Trucking (2), MSD Ignition, Vacationville.Com
11. 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, Spirit of Kelowna, Outrigger Hotels
13. PICO American Dream (2), Miss Commercial Sealants, United Furniture Warehouse (2), Miss WIKY, Hopp Racing, Miss R.S. Eatin Hotels (4), Ms. Tri-Cities, Miss Pontiac
15. PICO American Dream (5), Miss PICO (1)
16. PICO American Dream (3), Miss Crazy Tomato, Miss R.S. Eastin Hotels (2), Stihl (2), Graham Trucking, Miss Vons (4)

 

In 1997 Bernie Little hired Dave Villwock to drive Miss Budweiser and run his team. That year with Villwock driving Budweiser won 80% of their races. The next season Villwock and Budweiser also captured 80% of the events scheduled. Last year against Chip Hanauer and PICO, Dave and Bernie were in the winner's circle 66% of the time -- overall they were 73% against the Miss PICOs. In contrast with Dave Villwock out of the cockpit in the last half of the 1997 season Budweiser only won 20% of the regattas entered.

PICO was purchased by FIAT in the fall of 1999. FIAT did not share PICO's enthusiasm for Unlimited racing and cancelled Fred Leland's sponsorship. Chip Hanauer, who depended on PICO's technological support to Team Leland, decided to withdraw as driver when this technological assistance was no longer the factor it was before.

Fred Leland decided to move his #2 chauffeur Greg Hopp into Hanauer's vacant seat. Hopp had shown potential in 1999, but had made losing mistakes in several final heats. As a result it was certainly possible that Budweiser had an overwhelming advantage heading into 2000. All of their chief antagonists during the 90's had either lost their sponsorship or quit the sport.

In 1999 except in the Gold Cup the UHRA made an attempt to equalize the competition by requiring a consecutive winner to start in lane two, a threepeater to lane three and so on. By their own account this did not work as planned although 1999 was a more competive season than 1997 or 1998.

Now a winning boat would lose .1 gallon per minute in fuel for each contest in which they triumphed. A loss would correspondingly regain .1 gallon per minute. The lane penalty rule had been abrogated.

Four races of 1999 dropped off the circuit. They were: Honolulu (10 years on the schedule), Kelowna (4 years), Norfolk (3 years) and Barrie, Ontario (1 year). Four events had gone away before over the winter in 1991 and 1961.

The season started on Lake Havasu. Budweiser brought their 1995 boat - Turbine III [T3] - to the line. Fred Leland countered with the former PICO 98 which had three m.p.h. on PICO 96 and another two m.p.h. on PICO 99. Budweiser had five m.p.h. on the field and won all heats easily. Leland's entry ran as Project X.

In 1962 Miss U.S. 1 - not an especially competitive boat at the time - set a mile record of 200..449 m.p.h. She made one pass at 204.550 m.p.h. In 1966 Tahoe Miss and Miss Budweiser tried to top this record on Lake Tahoe and failed. Three years later the outrigger Pay N' Pak made an unsuccessful attempt at the mile in Guntersville. Then Jim McCormick's Red Man could not get the job done at the same site in 1974. Finally Miss Budweiser flipped at Seattle in 1979 trying to eclipse Miss U.S.'s 200 m.p.h.

For 20 consecutive seasons no one even tried to set a new mile record, which at one time was the greatest achievment in motorboat racing. Then this year Miss Freei came along. Owner Ken Muscatel wanted to give his sponsor the publicity of setting the mile record as he toured the circuit for the races of 2000.

Miss Freei had been built for the 1999 season. Her design was a collaboration between Fred Leland and builder Rick Campbell. The closest she could get to the leaders was 16 m.p.h. and the new Ken Muscatel entry did not have a reputation as a particularly good riding hull.

Nevertheless off Sand Point - the same locale as Slo-mo-shun IV made her 160 m.p.h. run in 1950 and Hawaii Kai III her record of 187 m.p.h. in 1957 - on June 15 Miss Freei set out for her rendezvous with destiny. After a day of rough water Miss Freei, driven by rookie Russ Wicks, got her chance on a smooth course one hour before the sanction would expire.

The first run through the trap from south to north produced a speed of 207.735 m.p.h. The return run was timed at 203.735 m.p.h. The average was 205.494. m.p.h. - five m.p.h. better than the Miss U.S. I of 38 years ago. With short courses of 2 and 2½ miles the Unlimiteds of 2000 did not need the straightaway speed of those of so long ago that ran on at least three mile ovals. This would account for some of the reason that the U.S. record stood for so long - in fact the longest tenure of any record in motorboat racing history.

Nine days later the triumphant Miss Freei arrived at Evansville to do battle with nine other teams for Thunder-On-The-Ohio. Reverting to form Miss Freei was 14 m.p.h. behind the leader during the regatta.

Fred Leland, now sponsored by Znetix, brought out his new hull, which was similar to his most recent designs, but lighter having a cockpit set off to the left. Budweiser also had a new entry - Turbine VI [T6] - which resembled Turbine V - however having a differently configured afterplane not as easily handicaped by reduced horsepower.

Miss Budweiser 2000 at 4.2 gallon per minute still had the fastest lap of the Evansville regatta leading the field by three m.p.h. as opposed to 5 m.p.h. at Havasu. She won all her heats to capture the Thunder-On-The-Ohio trophy. The new Znetix was her closest competition losing elimination heats to Budweiser by about 2 seconds and then the final by six seconds.

Fred Leland's Znetix was cited for a flagrant fuel violation and decided to skip the next two regattas. This left the door wide open for Miss Budwieiser 1997 that was to run at Madison. She would be down to 4.1 gallon per minute for the event. Still she posted the fastest lap of the regatta by three m.p.h. taking all her heats to annex the Indiana Governor's Cup.

As mentioned the fuel flow restriction did not apply to the Gold Cup at Detroit. Miss Budweiser 1997 was at full fuel, but curiously was 2 m.p.h. slower than Kim Gregory's Appian Jeronimo 2000 and Jim Harvey's Miss Chrysler Jeep. Nevertheless Miss Budweiser again triumphed in all her heats by a clear margin to win yet another Gold Cup for Bernie Little. This was Budweiser's tenth consecutive win breaking the old record of nine by Bill Muncey in 1979.

Budweiser was down to 3.9 gallons per minute for the Tri-Cities as a consequence of all her success. Bernie Little therefore chose Turbine VI - Miss Budweiser 2000 - as his standard bearer as this hull was built for less horsepower.

At the Tri-Cities there were five boats within four m.p.h. of each other - contending range. They were in order Appian Jeronimo the former #2 Woomer hull built in 1990), Znetix I, YORK International ( the former #1 Woomer hull built in 1987), Miss Budweiser and Madison's Oh Boy! Oberto. All except Miss Budweiser were victorious in the preliminary heats. Budweiser in heat 2-A was rammed by Miss Freei and crashed into Mike Jones' Miss Go Bowling. This put Miss Budweiser out of the running. Some said due to her fuel flow restriction she didn't have the acceleration to get out of the way of the errant Miss Freei.

Thus the favorites for the final heat were Znetix I and Appian Jeronimo 2000. Three m.p.h. back in the next echelon were YORK International and Oh Boy! Oberto.

Znetix and YORK got off plane before the start and were disqualified. Znetix I, however, was in front all the way closely pursued by Miss E-Lam Plus, who got the checkered flag. E-Lam might have beaten Znetix cold if she had not backed off after learning of the disqualification. During the Columbia Cup Mark Evans and Miss E-Lam Plus had gotten the better of superior or equal entries -- Appian Jeronimo and Oh Boy! Oberto.

For Seattle's Seafair General Motors Cup the competition became more intense with five boats within three m.p.h. of each other. Znetix I, Miss Budweiser 1997, Miss E-Lam Plus, Znetix II (ex PICO 9 ) and Jim Harvey's Freddie's Club comprised the top contenders for Seattle. Miss Budweiser at 3,9 gallons per minute at the Tri-Cities had lost her first boat to boat competition. She would have 4.0 for Seafair.

Of the contenders again all except Miss Budweiser won preliminary heats. All except Freddie's Club made the chanpionship heat.

Znetix I, the fastest boat in the field, got inside at the start, nevertheless she was wet down in the first turn. In contrast Miss Budweiser in lane two got a good start and led out of the initial corner. She had about 5 m.p.h. on the second place Miss Go Bowling and exploited this advantage to win the time honored Seafair Trophy.

Death visited the Unlimiteds in San Diego after staying away for 18 years. Many potential accidents had been averted due to the safety capsule that first appeared on an Unlimited in 1985. Yet in 1993 the capsule shattered on the Winston Eagle when she went over at Seattle. Luckily driver Mark Tate escaped with his life.

The same thing happened when Appian Jeronimo 2000 blew over on a test run the morning of the second day of the San Diego regatta. Driver George Stratton was not so lucky and died instantly. George Stratton was a rookie, but was looked upon as having good potential as an Unlimited driver. He was a contender at the Tri-Cities and finished second in the final heat.

The Turbine V Miss Budweiser was down to 3.9 gallons tor San Diego as Turbine VI was at the Tri-Cities. Again there were five boats within four m.p.h. of each other - Miss Budweiser, Miss E-Lam Plus, Mike Jones' Sun Harbor (Coors Dry sponsons with a new center section), Znetix I and Oh Boy! Oberto. Three of these entries won elimination heats, yet Miss Budweiser - who posted the fastest lap of the regatta - was not one of them. Miss E-Lam Plus and Sun Harbor appeared the most promising contenders in the determinative heat as each had taken two preliminaries.

Once more Miss Budweiser driven by Dave Villwock made a great start inside his major opposition and was ahead at the end of the first lap. Thereafter Miss Budweiser improved her position and defeated Sun Harbor by four seconds.

At the end of the season Miss Budweiser 2000 was rated at 148.3 m.p.h. for a 2½ mile competition lap with Budweiser 1997 coming in at 148.0. Other contending entries during the season were: Appian Jeronimo 151.8, Znetix I 151.5, Freddie's Club 149.0, YORK International 148.6, Oh Boy! Oberto 147.1, and Miss E-Lam Plus 147.0. Seven of the 13 teams were within contending distance of each other at various imes during the year, yet the Budweisers - not the fastest boats out there won six of the seven regattas. For the first time in his long career Bernie Little had come within one victory of the perfect season like Bill Muncey in 1962, 1972 and 1978. Perhaps the restricted Bernie Little was at his very best in 2000.

* * *

Speed Profiles 2000

Completion %
Full Season - Rank
  21-May 25-Jun 02-Jul 09-Jul 30-Jul 06-Aug 17-Sep 2½ Mile Course Optimum
Havasu Evansville Madison Detroit Pasco Seattle San Diego
2 2 2
1 Miss Budweiser (20)
1.000
Test 154.347 153.998 158.181 159.@@@
Lap 140.397 145.@@@
Heat 135.973 140.@@@
( Finals Finished 1 of 1)
2 Miss Budweiser (22)
1.000
1.000 - 1st
Test 156.125 153.262 169.699 152.63 152.416 159.909 169.699
Lap 142.225 147.679 142.586 148.08 148.08
Heat 132.801 143.336 134.837 143.142 143.142
( Finals Finished 4 of 4)
3 Miss Budweiser (23)
1.000
Test 155.373 148.485 163.325 160.143 163.325
Lap 143.11 148.334 148.334
Heat 137.64 147.946 147.946
( Finals Finished 1 of 1)
4 Project X
1.000
Test 137.36 142.@0@
Lap 132.076 137
Heat 130.067 135
( Finals Finished 1 of 1)
5 Znetix I
.941
.952 - 4th
Test 147.801 159.852 147.398 156.928 159.852
Lap 139.214 151.536 144.828 144.448 151.536
Heat 134.373 149.517 138.656 141.918 149.517
(Finals Finished 4 of 4 )
6 Znetix II
.833
Test 148.119 143.461 157.202 157.202
Lap 141.139 141.168 140.927 146
Heat 135.935 139.94 139.546 144
(Finals Finished 2 of 2 )
7 York International
.916 - 7th
Test 147.583 147.608 136.691 156.734 157.64 151.359 153.904 157.64
Lap 134.695 140.138 139.967 145.586 148.699 141.772 148.669
Heat 127.391 138.359 138.553 140.997 146.205 140.752 146.205
( Finals Finished 5 of 5 )
8 Appian Jeronimo (4)
.960 - 2nd
Test 133.129 144.066 141.777 147.805 153.644 148.136 153.033 153.644
Lap 129.185 124.415 136.135 149.728 151.842 132.587 139.557 151.842
Heat 123.114 122.034 134.403 146.742 148.064 129.347 138.747 148.064
( Finals Finished 4 of 4 )
9 Freddie’s Club
.952 - 4th
Test 147.623 151.963 154.131 155.852 157.58 146.822 157.068 157.58
Lap 135.137 137.276 149.061 141.257 138.66 149.061
Heat 132.932 133.861 139.704 135.968 134.958 140
( Finals Finished 3 of 4 )
10 Miss E-Lam Plus (2)
.850 - 9th
Test 142.651 155.769 157.222 149.334 156.571 157.222
Lap 133.099 141.405 146.987 142.256 147.064 147.064
Heat 131.726 138.191 141.762 140.161 143.873 140.@@@
( Finals Finished 3 of 4)
11 Miss Madison (5)
Oh Boy Oberto (9)
.954 - 3rd
Test 147.665 141.685 150.022 150.555 144.081 152.019 152.019
Lap 129.496 137.775 137.619 147.1 135.382 144.963 147.1
Heat 128.335 135.284 135.483 142.807 134.983 144.295 144.295
( Finals Finshed 3 of 4 )
12 Jones Racing (2) Miss Go Bowling (3)
.884 - 8th
Test 144.57 145.956 148.642 158.61 152.923 146.371 155.253 158.61
Lap 122.639 135.041 132.953 136.909 139.574 137.308 145.07 145.07
Heat 119.351 130.182 132.588 133.745 137.106 128.585 141.734 141.734
( Finals Finished 4 of 4 )
13 LLumar Window Film
.950 - 6th
Test 149.02 142.086 146.666 150.065 143.172 148.518 154.@@@
Lap 131.856 129.271 136.149 142.671 136.703 142.671
Heat 129.349 126.976 128.148 140.617 127.705 140.617
( Finals Finished 3 of 3)
14 Miss Freei
.777 - 11th
Test 139.773 138.825 142.086 144.485 133.136 143.758 144.485
Lap 107.488 129.081 113.654 127.854 142.939 120.684 140.272 142.939
Heat 102.592 126.404 120.356 123.177 130.771 118.856 119.081 130.771
( Finals Finished 1 of 1 )
15 Master Tire (2) Vacationville.com .785 - 10th Test 122.411 128.498 138.102 147.99 133.976 139.615 147.99
Lap 101.764 114.668 121.3 122.659 130.465 121.096 132.767 132.767
Heat 98.275 112.073 115.B75 120.023 120.798 119.038 124.478 124.478
( Finals Finished 2 of 3 )
16 New Kid In Town .750 Test 118.497 123.@@@
Lap 114.128 119.@@@
Heat 105.808 110.@@@
( Finals Finished 0 of 1 )

 

[Statistics from David Greene]