1972 APBA Gold Cup
Hydro Pilot Laughs—Now
DETROIT — (AP) — The happiest guy in the Gold Cup hydroplane pits had to be Charlie Dunn of Miami — and he won’t even be in the race when the classic is run tomorrow.
Dunn felt fortunate to be in the pits at all after his boat, the Miss Madison, disintegrated during a trial run on the Detroit River yesterday.
Dunn returned to the racing area after a visit to a hospital where he was treated for scratches, bruises and a strained shoulder.
Dunn, who had qualified at 100.937 miles per hour earlier, was thrown from his boat when it hit a dip in the choppy water and broke up on his second qualifying run.
He was taken to Detroit General Hospital for treatment, but returned later to the pits, doing his best to laugh off his close call.
"I’d have felt a whole lot better if it hadn’t been so cold in that river," he joked. "That Detroit River of yours is about the coldest place I’ve ever been.
"I saw it coming but it was too late," he explained, saying the water was choppier than he anticipated. "I tried to keep the power and skip over the top of it. But the nose went under and it spit me out like a pumpkin seed.
"I’m lucky I didn’t stay with the boat," he added. "They haven’t found that yet."
Dunn was fished out of the water by a nearby powerboat and was rushed to a waiting ambulance. At-tempts were made to recover the sunken Miss Madison, but it eluded discovery.
Excluding Miss Madison, nine boats now have qualified for the race, with another still a possibility.
The qualifiers: Miss Budweiser, Terry Sterett of Owensboro, Ky.; Pay ‘N Pack, Billy Schumacher of Seattle; Towne Club, Freddie Alter: Atlas Van Lines U 70, Bill Muncey; Notre Dame, Dean Chenoweth; Pizza Pete, Bob Gilliam; Lincoln Thrift, George Henley, and Miss Timex, Jim McCormick.
Driver Salt Walther of Dayton, Ohio withdrew Country Boy from the qualifying runs yesterday when his supercharger failed.
The Unlimited Division of the American Powerboat Association yesterday waived a rule to allow one more boat, Sweet Thing, to attempt to qualify for the race tomorrow morning.
Dunn presently is third in driver-point standings behind Muncey, who topped the first qualifiers Wednesday with a one-lap top speed of 121.896 m.p.h. and an average speed of 120.448 m. p. h., and Schumacher.
(Reprinted from The Seattle Times, June 24, 1972)
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