1969 Dixie Cup Classic

Sterett Pushes Bud to Win Dixie Cup

Bill Sterett helmed Bernie Little's Miss Budweiser to three consecutive heat victories to put down a classy field of nine thunderboats in the Dixie Cup Classic, opening event of the 1969 American Power Boat Assn. Unlimited Racing Season.

Miss Budweiser averaged 102.048 for the 45 mile grind and made it two major victories in a row on the thunderboat circuit. She won the Arizona Governor's Cup Race at Phoenix, to close the 1968 circuit.

While Sterett dominated the race at Guntersville, Sunday, there were bright spots - and a few dim ones - for other thunderboats. Myr's Special piled up 1,025 points for a strong second place showing. But for a faulty injection valve into the engine the Myr's boat could have contested with Miss Budweiser for all the marbles. The two boats entered the final heat tied in points at 800 with the winner to take all the marbles. Myr's Special driver Dean Chenoweth, said he was caught in roostertails near the first turn when his engine failed to respond to his urging. He recovered to finish third.

Veteran Bill Muncey charged to third place in Miss U.S., from Detroit, racking up a strong second in the championship heat. Muncey had the misfortune to draw Miss Budweiser in both elimination heats and couldn't get past the beer wagon.

Brand new Notre Dame, driven by rookie Leif Borgersen, wound up fourth and gave promise for the future. Borgersen engaged in some gritty competition with Muncey and Chenoweth during the afternoon and gave a good account of himself and Shirley Mendelson McDonald's new hydro.

Miss Madison (fifth place) and Atlas Van Lines (sixth place) failed to start for the final heat, Miss Owensboro finished seventh despite the fact that rookie driver Ed Morgan was thrown out when the boat spun during an elimination heat. Neither Morgan nor the boat was hurt.

Pride of Pay'n Pak, radical departure from normal hydros, outriggered her way to eight place and was promptly dispatched to Les Staudacher's boat hospital at Bay City, Mich. for a sponson lifting operation. Miss Budweiser II looked good in spots but failed to finish a heat.

Miss Budweiser won $5,000 for her first place, $4,000 in prize money and $1,000 from the STP Corporation. Myr's Special, Miss U.S. and Notre Dame added STP dollars to their winnings, also.

(Reprinted from the 1969 Indiana Governor's Cup programme)