1977 Presidents Cup

Bill Muncey Wins His Sixth Presidents Cup

Records Career Victory #40

The race is not always to the swiftest, and Bill Muncey, driving his new cabover Atlas Van Lines, proved it again as he outfoxed his rivals and won the 46th annual President’s Cup Regatta June 11-12 on the Potomac River at Washington D.C.

The first two elimination heats, held Saturday amid rough wind and water, gave no indication of what was to transpire Sunday. Favorite Miss Budweiser won Heat 1-A easily over Mister Fabricator, Miss Esquire and U-7. Bud driver Mickey Remund averaged 102.412 mph for the five laps. Tom Kaufman returned to racing as a fill-in driver for Tad Dean’s U-22, and ended up sponsoring the 20 year old craft under his Fabricator banner. He finished second. Ron Snyder brought U-7 in for third after stalling several times, and Jerry Bangs could not finish in Jerry Kalen’s Miss Esquire Products after holding second place briefly on lap 1.

Heat 1-B saw Atlas Van Lines and Miss Madison jumping the gun and Tom Sheehy in Bernie Little’s Anheuser-Busch Natural Light win easily. Muncey’s boat overloaded and torched out in turn three of the first lap. He restarted later but was two laps behind Jon Peddie in Madison and three laps in back of winner Sheehy.

Sunday's weather was near perfect as the boats reeled off heats 2-A and 2-B. Atlas Van Lines and Natural Light smoked into the first turn together, but it was all Muncey after that as the veteran driver opened a commmanding lead and won heat 2-A. U-7 was third and Miss Madison failed to start.

Bernie Little's no. 1 boat, Miss Budweiser, set a course record in heat 2-B by averaging 112.782 for the heat, eclipsing the 112.0Z2 mark set by Billy Schumacher in Weisfield’s in 1975. Mister Fabricator was second again at 80.185 mph, and Miss Esquire Products completed one lap before her patched up engine quit.

The final, six boat heat was a barnburner from the start, with perfect water and all the drama of a Hitchcock screenplay.

It was a hairy start with Miss Budweiser screaming up from behind. Remund whizzed by the entire field on the inside as Atlas, Natural Light and U-7 all backed off to avoid an early start. Bud blistered off five sizzling laps that had the crowd of 20,000 cheering. U-7 held a surprising second thru lap 1, but Muncey snuck by to begin lap 2 in the runner-up position. Natural Light held fourth, Miss Madison fifth and Fabricator stalled in the first turn of lap 2.

On the fourth go-round the referee displayed the half blacked out starting clock, indicating that someone had jumped the gun. As Remund blasted over the line to complete the race a mile and a half in front of every other boat, he was given the green flag instead of the checkered one, signalling one more lap to go. Atlas came by and was given the victory. Muncey’s fastest lap was 106.484 mph; Remund's was 116.886. Natural Light passed U-7 for second place in a tight duel, and Jon Peddie brought Madison in fifth after slowing on lap 4.

The boats now head for Detroit and the Gar Wood Trophy Race June 26.

Final Standings
1. U-1 Atlas Van Lines 1025
2. U-13 Natural Light 1000
3. U-7 (Unnamed) 675
4. U-12 Miss Budweiser 969
5. U-6 Miss Madison 427
6. U-22 Mr. Fabricator 600
X. U-64 Miss Esquire Products 0


National Standings After Two Races
1. Atlas Van Lines Muncey 2125
2. Miss Budweiser Remund 2069
3- Anheuser-Busch Natural Light Sheehy 1750
4. Miss Madison Peddle 1046
5- U-7 (Unnamed) Snyder 975
6. Gemini Jones 827
7- Mister Fabricator Kaufman 600
X. Miss Esquire Prod. , Bangs 0


— Unlimiteds Detroit