1982 Thunder on the Ohio

Hanauer Sets Speed Record at Evansville

EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- (AP) Chip Hanauer was unimpressed with his own driving after setting a new national speed record for a two-mile course during qualifying Saturday for Thunder On the Ohio.

Hanauer, who piloted the Atlas Van Lines to a speed of 131.148 mph, said, "My grandmother could have driven it."

The 27-year-old Hanauer is considered the man to beat in Sunday's Thunder race.

"He's got this course wired," said Tom D'Eath, who qualified his Squire Shop boat at a speed of 121.417 mph on Friday. "Atlas is really the front-runner here."

One man who does not agree is Dean Chenoweth, pilot of the Miss Budweiser, who turned in a speed of 129.730 Saturday. Chenoweth said he was just taking it easy.

"We were testing different props and set-ups," he said. "We're taking our time trying to get back to where we were."

Miss Prodelco, one of the newest boats on the unlimited circuit, cannot be counted out of the race Sunday. During qualifying Friday, driver Steve Reynolds toured the course at an average speed of 112.417 mph.

But after a last test run Saturday, Reynolds said he doesn't see himself in the winner's circle.

"Do I like my chances? No," Reynolds said, bluntly. He said the team is moving along slowly and is operating on a comparatively small budget.

(Associated Press, Saturday, July 10, 1982)

(Hanauer did win the race, his second of five triumphs in that inaugural season aboard the Atlas Van Lines and the fifth of what ultimately would become 58 victories in an unlimited hydroplane. Reynolds was second in the Prodelco and D'Eath third in The Squire Shop to round off the victory podium in Evansville. And then an era came to an end.)

[Reprinted from the URC ThunderLetter)