1972 APBA Gold Cup
Muncey Bounces To 5th Gold Cup Win
DETROIT (AP) Bill Muncey has his fifth Gold Cup trophy and an assortment of bruises today after besting the rough, tough Detroit River course yesterday in a race in which five of the 10 boats competing against him came to grief.
Muncey piloted his airplane-engine-powered Atlas Van Lines I to comparatively easy wins in all three of his heats and the champion-ship finale, turning the latter into a runaway.
The three-mile course, which to the casual observer appeared on the tame side yesterday, was anything but that as the list of boat damages and injuries to two drivers sounded like a communiqué from a naval battle.
One of the boats sank, one caught fire, two suffered structural damage when they became airborne momentarily and smashed down on the hard water, and one had a two-foot gash torn in its bow as it fought the strong current.
Two of the drivers required medical attention. Dean Chenoweth; driver of the Notre Dame, suffered chest bruises and was taken to Detroit General Hospital for x-rays; the other was Walter Kade, 70, who suffered a back injury when his boat, Sweet Thing, was wrenched violently on a turn at the Belle Island bridge end of the course. He was treated at the medical tent at the racing pits.
Muncey, 44, has now won the first three events of the powerboat racing season earlier victories came at Miami, Fla. and Owensboro, Ky.
The Gold Cup win was especially sweet, he said, not only because of the $14,000 prize money, but also because it marked his fifth Gold Cup he won his last one in 1962 and it tied him with the illustrious late Gar Wood with five such triumphs.
Muncey, despite his triumph, was not happy with the course, and joined other drivers in saying so.
"It was difficult to negotiate this river safely at high speeds," he said, adding," I did not get over 145 miles an hour all day and the weather was not as good as it was Wednesday when I made my qualifying run.
Nearly all the drivers condemned the course as being treacherous. They pointed out that Charlie Dunn had a near tragedy Thursday when his Miss Madison disintegrated and sank as it raced around the course at over 100 miles an hour.
Billy Schumacher, pilot of Pay 'N Pak, which finished in a second place tie behind Muncey, was bitter about the Detroit course, which has some difficult turns and tricky straightaways.
"I didn't feel it was a boat race at all, and as far as I am concerned, I never want to drive here again," he told newsmen after the race. "The course is a test of stupidity or courage," he added.
Schumacher said of his pursuit of other boats, "I wasn't even going to try to keep up with them, I would rather be alive than on the bottom of the stinking river."
Pay 'N Pak and Budweiser had a strong battle for runner-up honors and finished in a tie, well behind Muncey.
The big story, however was not only Muncey's driving ability and the endurance power of his Rolls engines, but the succession of boat mishaps.
Notre Dame was the unluckiest boat of the day. On the first heat, Chenoweth tried to beat Muncey across the starting line and jumped the gun by four or five feet. Notre Dame was placed in the fifth and final spot in the heat.
On the next heat, Notre Dame's engine conked out just before the heat was to start and Chenoweth sat sadly and watched the boats go by. Then, on the third heat, pieces flew from his boat and he was plucked off by a helicopter before the boat sank.
For Muncey, the day had no secrets. All week long, he proclaimed that his strategy would be to be the first one across the starting line and to let the pack chase him. It worked perfectly.
1 Atlas Van Lines I, 1,600; 2 Pay 'N Pak 1,225 and Budweiser, 1,225; 4 Atlas Van Lines II 1,094; 5 Pizza Pete 821; 6 Towne Club, 652; 7 Timex. 563; 8 Sweet Thing, 169; 9 Notre Dame, 127; did not score Country Boy, Lincoln Thrift.
1. Atlas Van Lines I, 105,530 miles an hour, 400 points; 2. Pay 'n Pak, 97.755 m.p.h., 300; 3. Timex, 91.093 m. p., h., 225; 4. Pizza Pete, 88.932 m.p.h., 169; 5. Notre Dame, 82.226 m.p.h., 127.
1. Miss Budweiser, 98.648 m.p.h., 400; 2. Towne Club, 96.085 m.p.h., 300; 3. Atlas Van Lines II, 90.240 m.p.h., 225. Did not finish: Lincoln Thrift and Country Boy.
1. Pay 'n Pak, 92.434 m. p h., 400; 2. Atlas Van Lines II, 89.910 m.p.h., 300; 3. Towne Club, 89.226 m.p.h., 225; 4. Timex, 86.055 m.p.h. 169. Did not finish: Country Boy.
1. Atlas Van Lines I, 104.026 m.p.h., 400; 2. Miss Budweiser, 97.209 m.p.h., 300; 3. Pizza Pete, 91.432 m.p.h., 225; 4. Sweet Thing, 89.108 m.p.h., 169. Notre Dame did not start.
1. Atlas Van Lines I,.104.026 m. p. m., 400; 2. Budweiser, 98.576 m.p.h., 300; 3. Pay 'n Pak, 96.445 m.p.h., 225; 4. Timex, 93.555 m.p.h., 169; 5. Towne Club, 89.211 m.p.h., 127.
1. Atlas Van Lines II, 88.742 m.p.h., 400; 2. Pizza Pete, 87.733 m.p.h., 300 points. Did not finish: Sweet Thing, Notre Dame.
1. Atlas Van Lines I, 103.547 m.p.h.; 2. Pay 'n Pak, 98.792 m.p.h., 300; 3. Budweiser, 95.965 m.p.h., 225; 4. Atlas Van Lines II, 86.014 M.p.h., 169; 5. Pizza Pete, 83.294 m.p.h., 127.
(Reprinted from The Seattle Times, June 26, 1972)
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