1983 Stroh's APBA Gold Cup

Atlas Wins Gold

by Bob Greenhow

1983 Evansville Cover
1983 Evansville Cover

Last year the Gold Cup kicked off the Midwest campaign. This year the trophy was contested for at Evansville, Indiana, the last stop and the Midwest tour and the corporate headquarters for Atlas Van Lines. Run under sweltering hot skies, the race turned out just fine for the hosts: Chip Hanauer capped his second win of the year after Miss Budweiser broke down early in the fifth lap of the final run. Jim Kropfeld pushed the 80-81 winner to a new record on the first circuit - 129.264. He also set a new heat mark of 123.886 in 1A, but a broken gear in the supercharger during the final heat denied him victory in his first Gold Cup.

For Atlas Van Lines it was a catch-up affair. During a run on Saturday the rudder and one propeller blade went, causing damage that meant some extra hours for the crew that evening. After the final heat, Hanauer had to be helped from the cockpit. Spray from another boat had damaged his helmet visor and he was in need of oxygen. After a few minutes inside an air-conditioned ambulance, Chip was accepting the trophy for the second year in a row.

Qualifying began as it had for the first five races this season. The Atlas Van Lines sprinted around the Ohio River course at 132.841 - not a world record because not all the buoys were set up. Miss Budweiser ran easily at 126.540. After Atlas pushed her average to 133.581 (by now all the buoys were in place), Bud clicked off one lap at 132 plus.

The race was run under the fast flight/slow flight format. This caused some scrambling on Saturday for placement in the top five. Jack Schafer, Jr. improved the time on American Speedy Printing Too (former Miss Prodelco and Budweiser Light) from 101 plus to 118.205, which was enough to make the fast field. Momentarily in the slow group, Ran Snyder whipped the Miss Rich Plan around the course at a two-lap average of 123.425. The sum total of this action was the The Squire Shop now headed up the slower field, although her average was 117.350. Milner Irvin did not attempt to raise his 119.304 effort in Miss Renault and he remained in the top group.

Jockeying for the second five was not nearly as hectic for the simple reason that only ten boats showed up. Joining Earle Hall and the U-2 were George Johnson in Executone (111.145), Terry Turner driving Risley's Express (106.785), Fred Leland aboard the American Speedy Printing Centers (106,824) and Todd Yarling helming Miss Tosti Asti (95.119). Another boat, Miss Pure D'Lite, bypassed the race.

Throughout the qualifications and race day the sun held forth in a virtually clear sky, although the haze increased a bit each day. That lemonade sure tasted great!

Before heat 1A Atlas Van Lines and Miss Budweiser were vying for the inside. In the process Bud hooked on the backstretch. Kropfeld stayed in the cockpit and the action commenced. Atlas lost the pole to Bud and Jim proceeded to set his heat record. Hanauer was close behind at 122.068. American Speedy Printing Too an the inside turned back repeated thrusts by Miss Rich Plan and finished third. Miss Renault was close behind in fifth.

Hanauer got the best of the start in 2A and parlayed it into first place, with an average of 110.410. Kropfeld tooled along in second, while once again the real battle was between Schafer and Snyder. Ron came from behind on the outside to claim third. Irvin was fifth again. The first four boats were placed in the championship heat while Miss Renault went to the consolation run.

The B sections were slower, but were wall run. In the first heat Miss Tosti Asti was first across the line. She ran a close second to Risley's Express on the backstretch, then slowed and fell to fourth, leading American Speedy Printing Centers. The Squire Shop took over the top position at the end of the first circuit and coasted home at 99.333. Executone challenged Risley's Express for second place late in the heat, but there was no passing.

Only Hall and Yarling appeared for the second run. They ran together for half the heat, then Todd had to go outside of Earle and fell back. With a winning average of 106.766 Squire joined the title chase.

Miss Renault led from start to finish in the consolation heat, winning with ease. Risley's and Tosti Asti conked out in the first turn with the latter restarting some time later. Executone finished in the runner-up spot, ahead of the tailless Tosti Asti. American Speedy Printing Centers, now being driven by Schafer, failed to finish. 106.142 was turned in by Milner who advanced to the final.

In the run for the Gold Cup Miss Budweiser dashed through her first lap in record time. At the time of her breakdown she had a very safe lead over Chip. Thus for the third year in a row Atlas Van Lines passed a disabled Miss Budweiser to win at Evansville. Despite his injuries, Chip averaged 117.041. American Speedy Printing Too finished second, followed by The Squire Shop, Miss Renault and Miss Rich Plan, although the latter was involved in a dual for third place at one time.

Along with renewed confidence Atlas Van Lines now trails Miss Budweiser by a mere 200 points. This could mean some spirited racing in the Northwest. Let's hope for that along with some badly needed sunshine!


Heat 1 Heat 2 Consolation Final
Fast Group (A)
Atlas Van Lines 2-300 1-400 1-400/1100
American Speedy Printing Too 3-225 4-169   2-300/694
Miss Renault 5-127 5-127 1st 4-169/423
Miss Rich Plan 4-169 3-225   5-127/521
Miss Budweiser 1-400 2-300 DNF/700
Slow Group (B)
The Squire Shop 1-200 1-200 3-225/625
Risley's Express 2-150 DNS DNF - /150
Executone 3-113 DNS 2nd - /113
Miss Tosti Asti 4-85 2-150 3rd - /235
American Speedy Printing Centers 5-64 DNS DNF - / 64


(Reprinted from the Unlimited NewsJournal, July 1983)