1965 Dixie Cup

Miss Madison Wins At Guntersville

Dixie Cup Programme
Dixie Cup Programme

Buddy Byers's admirable restraint at the start of the final heat in the unlimited hydroplane season's opener at Guntersville, Ala., brought him his first major triumph in the three seasons he has been handling Miss Madison, owned by the community of Madison, Ind.

The Columbus, Ohio driver had a rich background racing in the limited classes before taking to the thunderboat. It was this that paid off on Guntersville Lake in the 11-boat fleet of unlimiteds. Miss Madison won the final and the 1,000 points she accumulated from two seconds and a first was good for a purse of $4,500 and the Dixie Cup.

Jim Herrington's Mariner Too, of Grosse Pointe, driven by Col. Warner Gardner, took second with 927 points. Roy Duby was third with George Simon's Miss U.S. 5 (925) and Gale's Roostertail, driven by Jerry Schoenith, fourth (750).

Mariner Too won two heats, the first at a hot 110.587 m.p.h., chased by Miss U.S. 5 (Duby was a bit late at the start) and the second at 106.445 m.p.h. In the latter Byers was second with Miss Madison. Earlier, Miss Madison finished second to Rex Manchester, driving Shirley Mendelson MacDonald's Notre Dame in heat 1-D at 104.046 m.p.h.

Miss U.S. 5 came back for her second start to win heat 2-B with a fine 109.756 m.p.h.

Going into the final, Mariner Too had 800 and Miss U.S. 5, 700 points. Miss Madison was next with 600 but the crowd (estimated at 30,000) that lined the sheltered three-mile course around Guntersville Lake, looked for a boat-for-boat scrap between Mariner Too and Miss U.S. 5. They were the fastest boats on the lake. Chuck Thompson, driving Bill Harrah's Tahoe Miss, Notre Dame and Gale's Roostertail were the other boats in the final.

All six were early, save possibly, Roostertail. Miss U.S. 5, Tahoe Miss and Notre Dame never slowed clown perceptibly and all three were over. "I knew I was early but I had to go when Notre Dame and Tahoe Miss came shooting at me," said Duby, who holds the world record for propeller-driven boats (Miss U.S. 1) of 200.429 m.p.h. made in 1962.

And go he did. Miss U.S. 5 had several laps above 112 m.p.h. in her final start. But like Tahoe Miss and Notre Dame, she had to run a penalty sixth lap while the others covered five three-mile laps to make the regulation 15 miles. "I was just about dead in the water to avoid jumping the gun," said Byers afterwards. "I backed off that much and it wasn't easy."

Miss Madison averaged 100.111 winning her final heat. Roostertail was second at 95.727 m.p.h. Going the sixth lap cut Miss U.S. 5's average to 89.064. Mariner Too, after two impressive heat victories, lost power (supercharger) and finished fifth and last in the final.

Tahoe Miss also had mechanical trouble as did Mike Wolfbauer's Savair's Probe and Savair's Mist and Bernie Little's Miss Budweiser. Jack Schafer's Such Crust III failed to qualify at the required 100-mile lap.

— George E. Van

(Reprinted from Yachting, August 1965, p.170)