1964 Dixie Cup
Lake Guntersville, Guntersville, Alabama, June 21, 1964

Muncey Wins Dixie Cup

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Bill Muncey, who couldn't do anything right with Miss Thriftway at midseason in 1963, came out of his brief retirement to drive the new Notre Dame and to show he's still the boss man of the unlimiteds when he won the Dixie Cup at Guntersville, Ala. on June 21. He still has the steadiest, heavy foot among the .thunderboat drivers. Notre Dame tied with Miss Madison, driven by George (Buddy) Byers, with 1100 points after three heats.

Muncey won with a faster pace. His 99.122 m.p.h. average bettered Byers' 95.858 for the three heats which totalled, 47 miles. All five drivers were over the line in the final and had to go an extra lap on the 2-mile course. This reduced the average which was figured for 45 miles.

For speed, the second heat was the show. Here Muncey tangled with Ron Musson and Miss Bardahl. The latter won the Dixie Cup a year ago. Both crossed the line as if they were nailed together. Muncey, however, was on the inside and stayed there as he shaved the buoys. Musson made three bids to go outside and didn't make it. Notre Dame's average for the heat was 106.77. The first lap was 108.34 and the third (unofficial) at 109.30 for Muncey was the fastest of the day on the sporty course.

The races were replete with excitement and none more than the final start. All five drivers charged and the hydroplanes raged over the line like mad bulls — all early. Muncey and Musson thought they weren't but Referee Bill Newton didn't agree.

Miss Bardahl was washed clown by Mariner Too, driven by Col. Warner Gardner, when Musson tried to cut in front in the charge for the line. Miss Bardahl nearly went out of control.

Miss Madison took over the lead at the upper turn and Byers held the spot to win the seven-lap race with an 88.524 average. Notre Dame was next with 87.233 mph. Miss Bardahl, Mariner Too and Tempo, the latter driven by Jimmy Fyle, were next.

Muncey said he drove to plan in the final when he finished second to Byers.

"I knew I had a 15 to 25 second pad in time to work on in that last heat," he said. "Now we've won one we've got the monkey off our back."

The 'we' included Shirley Mendelson MacDonald who didn't win a race during the two years she owned and campaigned her first Notre Dame. She coaxed Muncey out of retirement with her new boat this year.

The first heat key-noted the day's racing when Mariner Too and Bernie Little's new Miss Budweiser, driven by Bob Schroeder, put on a cliff-hanger for six laps. Mariner's engine froze with a bang, literally, only yards from the finish and Miss Budweiser raced by to take the heat as her rival drifted across the line.

Bill Cantrell took two thirds with the new Gale Enterprises boat, Miss Smirnoff and said the excessive heat (it was 108 in the pits at tines) gave him carburetion troubles. Chuck Thompson blew six blowers on the new Tahoe Miss, and finally raced without them.

The twelve boats were at Guntersville and the day's racing was watched by an estimated crowd of 60,000.

--George E. Van

(Reprinted from Yachting, August 1964, p.32)

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