1959 APBA Gold Cup
Lake Washington, Seattle, WA, August 9, 1959
Gold Cup: Miss U.S. I Pacing 13
Seattle — Don Wilson blazed George Simon’s "sick" Miss U.S. I around the three-mile Lake Washington course Thursday night at a 115.056 miles an hour to top the 13 qualifiers for Sunday’s Gold Cup Race.
Wilson easily topped Miss Spokane’s mark of 113.128 mph for the three lap qualifying run and bested Mira Slovak’s lap mark of 118.684 mph on his third lap with a speed of 115.385.
The record setting run came on Wilson’s third attempt. The freckle-faced, ex-Detroiter ran laps of 117 and 121 Tuesday 8 before the boat’s engine supercharger, blew up at the end of the second lap.
Crew chiefs Roy Duby and Mary Henrich installed the new supercharger but found that many of the metal parts had gone through the engine.
"We agreed," Simon said, "to let Wilson attempt to squeeze nine miles out of the engine before it was gone completely."
Wilson toured the choppy course at 114.644 and 114.655 before the diaphragm in the fuel pump let go. A makeshift tube was used and Wilson went out again with less then 10 minutes left until Thursday’s deadline for qualifying.
Miss U.S.I’s first lap was 114,650 as Wilson went wide in the upper turn. But he cut the corners the next two times around as he averaged 115.139 , and 115.385.
Miss U.S. I became the 13th boat to qualify for the 52nd running, of powerboating’s top contest,’ The KOL-roy was the only other boat to qualify Thursday as rookie driver Bob Larsen squeezed in at 94.462 mph.
That left Coral Reef, Seattle and Tri-Cities as the only boats in, pits yet to qualify.
Miss Bardahl is still a question mark as the boats face their next to last day of the qualifying trials. She has been repaired after the accident in the Diamond Cup race three weeks ago that seriously injured Jack Regas.
As the deadline draws near, veteran drivers are at a premium as the owners are looking for a "heavier foot" to keep’ their boat up with the record-shattering field. The 13 qualifiers have averaged more than 108-mph in their three laps around the course.
Miss U.S. I, 115.056
Miss Spokane, 113.128
Miss Thriftway, 111.111
Hawaii Kai, 109;607
Pay’n Save, 108.214
Gale VI, 107.928
Breathless II, 104.922
Thriftway Too, 102.987
Gale V, 102.922
(Reprinted from Detroit Free Press, 1959)
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